Can high blood pressure cause erectile dysfunction (ED)?
Many people ask the question whether hypertension or high blood pressure has effect on erectile dysfunction (ED); answer isn’t that simple. In some cases high blood pressure causes erectile dysfunction (ED). Remember not all men’s sex life is affected by hypertension.
On the other hand hypertension may not cause erectile dysfunction but bp meds (medications to control blood pressure) have some side effects including erectile dysfunction. But it’s not obvious. Many men don’t have any side effects.
Effects of hypertension or high blood pressure
High blood pressure may harm many vital organs of our body including heart, kidney, brain and eye. Our sex organs are not exception. One thing is common in all cases; that is high pressure inside blood vessel, this excess pressure damages cells inside blood vessels or arteries. Regardless of how much healthy diet we consume there is always fat content and that goes to blood stream. Blood vessels damaged due to high pressure are not smooth enough and starts to deposit fat inside, which means reduced blood flow. Moreover high pressure reduces elasticity of arteries and artery wall become harder which also reduces blood flow. So reduced blood flow means reduced nutrition and oxygen supply. Like other parts of our body sex organs like penis and vagina may be affected.
Remember like heart attack, this never happens suddenly. It may take several years to develop this condition if hypertension isn’t treated properly. I think now it’s clear to you that like other body parts and internal organs men’s penis and women’s vagina may be affected by high blood pressure.
There is one other important thing that is; high blood pressure may directly cause erectile dysfunction. Before going to that point some words on erectile dysfunction:
Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
Erectile dysfunction is also known as impotence which means men’s disability to erect. Penis has no bone; it’s like a soft balloon which hardens when filled with air. Imagine a partially inflated balloon. Blood also works like air in balloon. Increased blood flow helps men getting erections and disability to flow blood means erection may not last long enough for intercourse and satisfactory intimate relationship which is known as impotency.
How high blood pressure may cause erectile dysfunction (ED)
It has already been discussed how high blood pressure may damage arteries which may lead to deposition of fat and hardening of arteries. This may even burst blood vessel. So when blood vessels of penis are affected that may cause erectile dysfunction because it’s not getting enough blood to erect. One incident of ED may cause anxiety and that may lead to another.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction caused by hypertension
First of all you should remember that not all men suffer from erectile dysfunction due to high blood pressure. It’s treatable and in many cases controlling hypertension by following healthy lifestyle including healthy diet, exercise and adequate sleep brings the solution. Medication for controlling blood pressure may also be required.
Some medicines for controlling blood pressure also cause erectile dysfunction (ED). So don’t feel embarrassed, sex is part of our life. Your doctor knows which is the best blood pressure medicine for men. Discuss frankly s/he will select the most suitable drug for you.