Sexual Effects of Blood Pressure Medication

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Tess Thompson



If you subtract the pleasure and relationship from the sexual act, it is reduced to another form of exercise. Like any other exercise, sex also gets the heart pumping and many people fear that sex may not be advisable for those with hypertension (high blood pressure) or heart disease. Sexual activity seldom has any cardiovascular risks associated with it. But the same cannot be said when you have the condition of continuous high blood pressure.

Chronic high blood pressure tends to harm blood vessels and can result in a condition known as atherosclerosis, fatty deposits inside the arterial walls, which narrows the arteries. An erection is caused by a hydraulic function of the body, which comes into play upon stimulation, and there is a rush of blood in the penis. In order to obtain an erection, it is imperative that there is a free flow of blood in the blood vessels. Any obstruction hinders the hydraulic function ending up in erectile dysfunction. High blood pressure may also lead to ejaculation problems or a lower sex drive.

Erectile dysfunction can be a highly disturbing condition and even a one chance episode can affect overall sex drive in men. The encouraging part is that some high blood pressure medications not only help in treating hypertension but also improve erectile dysfunction for some men. However, it requires an informative selection of drugs because some of them can actually make an erection difficult.

Some people are able to treat their blood pressure through natural remedies for high blood pressure like dietary and lifestyle changes. Others who need medication are usually prescribed medications in steps. This involves trying a medicine and evaluating its side effects before moving on to the next drug. The first choice medication is normally a diuretic like hydrochlorothiazide or a beta blocker like Atenolol. These two are normally able to control blood pressure but are also known to cause difficulties with erection.

Side effects are a part of treating diseases with conventional drugs. The disease may be cured but the drug causes some side effect that can get troublesome. In such a situation, there are a couple of other classes of high blood pressure medications that you can choose from.

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Angiotensin Converting Enzymes are less likely to cause any sex-related side effects and erectile dysfunction has been reported in less than 1% of patients.
  • Alpha-blockers
  • Although rarely used for treating high blood pressure, these androgen receptor blockers, if used result in curing erectile dysfunction.
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Different drugs within this class have varying effects on sexual functioning.
  • ARBs
  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers are the least likely to cause problems with your sex life and may actually improve sexual functioning.

It is better to check with the specialist and change your medication rather that look for other drugs simply to increase sex drive because such drugs are not recommended for high blood pressure patients.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure-and-sex/HI00091
http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/medicine-ed
http://healthresources.caremark.com/topic/bpsex

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