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Hypertension can give you erectile dysfunction: Know how high blood pressure affects your sex life

Diuretics are often prescribed to hypertensive patients. This can decrease blood flow to the penis and make it difficult for and man to achieve an erection. @Shutterstock

One of the side-effects of hypertension is erectile dysfunction and a decrease in libido. Many drugs used to treat this condition has this effect too.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Published : August 5, 2020 9:31 PM IST

Hypertension is a silent disease that can creep up on you without any symptoms. It increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. But high blood pressure can also affect your sex life. According to experts, it can lead to low libido in women and erectile dysfunction in men. Some hypertension medicines also have an adverse effect on your sex drive. However, studies have been able to establish a relationship between hypertension and sex in men only. The results are inconclusive for women as many other factors come into play here.

Sexual health problems in hypertensive men

High blood pressure, if left untreated and over time, damages the lining of blood vessels. This leads to a hardening of the arteries, which also become narrow, limiting blood flow. This is called atherosclerosis. As a result of this less blood is able to flow to the penis. Because of this decreased blood flow, many men have a problem achieving and maintaining erections. This is erectile dysfunction and it is common problem in many men. Moreover, if your blood pressure levels are very high, you may also experience problems with ejaculation and suffer from low libido. Many hypertension drugs too have an adverse effect on sexual performance and libido.

Women are affected too

Experts have not yet been able to establish an association between high blood pressure and sexual problems in women. But many agree that this is possible. Just as it does in men, high blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the vagina too. This can have an adverse effect on libido. It can also cause vaginal dryness, difficulty in achieving an orgasm and general dissatisfaction with sex.

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Mental health issues can crop up because of this

For both men and women, this effect on sex life can have an effect on mental health too. Many people experience stress and anxiety. Some may even slip into clinical depression. The best way to deal with this is to consult a doctor and find a solution. There are many therapies that can help you deal with this problem.

Effect of hypertension drugs on sexual health

Diuretics are often prescribed to hypertensive patients. This can decrease blood flow to the penis and make it difficult for and man to achieve an erection. Moreover, your body loses zinc, which is essential for production of the sex hormone testosterone. Beta blockers are also known to cause sexual dysfunction. But all drugs for hypertension do not have this side-effect. There are many drugs that are safe, and you can consult your doctor about this.

To reduce the risk of side effects from these medications, including sexual problems, take medications exactly as prescribed. If you still have side effects, talk to your doctor about other possible medications that may have fewer side effects. Medications like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin II receptor blockers are les likely to come with these side-effects.

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