Hypertension and the drug are suspected to be the cause of erectile dysfunction (impotence). A recent study by researchers at the Department of Physiology, Georgia Health Sciences University, in Augusta, Georgia found that about 30 percent of men who suffer from hypertension complain of erectile dysfunction. Indeed, what is the relationship between high blood pressure and male penis erection?
What is the relationship between high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction?
The relationship between high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction is actually very simple. Blood pressure that is kept high for long will cause the vessel wall to tear. To respond to this injury, the arteries will harden and narrow which makes your blood flow not smooth. This condition is called atherosclerosis. If the amount of blood flowing into the penis becomes less because the artery is too narrow, you will have difficulty reaching or maintaining an erection.
Continuously high tension will also reduce nitric oxide levels in vessel wall cells. In fact, nitric oxide is needed to help vessels dilate to facilitate blood flow. People with chronic hypertension have low levels of nitric oxide in their bodies. This then limits the mechanism for widening arteries in the penis. As a result, the blood flow needed to get an erection will not fill the penis.
High blood pressure can also affect libido and ejaculation. Men with hypertension tend to have low testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone that triggers male sex drive. Low testosterone will make it difficult for men to get aroused and eventually ejaculate.
High blood pressure medications can also be a cause of erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a common side effect of most hypertensive drugs, especially diuretic drugs (water pills) and beta-blockers.
Diuretic drugs are the cause of erectile dysfunction because of the effect that decreases the flow of blood flow to the penis. Diuretics also reduce the zinc levels in the body needed to produce testosterone. Meanwhile, beta-blocker drugs work to block the arteries in the penis from widening so that blood flow cannot enter. This class of drugs can also produce a mild anesthetic effect or mild depressive symptoms that can reduce libido.
Even so, these side effects are temporary and you can return to erection as usual when the dose is stopped.
How can I overcome this condition?
Doctors can make changes to the dosage and type of your hypertension medication to reduce the possibility of erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems. The following are high blood pressure medications that are not very influential in causing erectile dysfunction.
- ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors)
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Alpha blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
You should talk openly with your doctor about your side effects and other drugs and supplements you use. This will help the doctor determine the best course of action in your care.
Aside from asking your doctor about other medications for high blood pressure, also ask about lifestyle changes that can help you deal with hypertension. Some of the things you can do include:
- Reduce salt intake.
- Stop smoking.
- Lose weight.
- Exercise or physical activity routine.
- Add foods rich in potassium in your daily diet.
Eating healthy foods can lower your blood pressure without the need to use drugs and help you revive your love desire.
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