High blood pressure, or hypertension, can cause erection problems because it may interfere with blood flow to the penis. It is sometimes the cause of erectile dysfunction in many men, according to AHealthyMe.com, a website sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. High blood pressure affects erections through changes in the blood vessels. The arteries may lose their elasticity and are unable to handle the blood flow to the penis. Therefore, an erection cannot occur. The veins may also be affected. Usually, blood that flows to the penis has adequate time to create and maintain the erection. But weakened veins allow blood that flows into the penis to exit the penis quickly. High blood pressure also causes problems for female sexuality. The disorder has been cited by Mayo Clinic as a cause for low sex drive in women. Other sexual complaints from women with high blood pressure include pain during sexual intercourse and a decrease in vaginal lubrication.
Many medications for high blood pressure also cause sexual difficulties. Diuretics and beta-blockers may lead to erection problems. Some men overcome this by taking male sexual enhancement drugs. The drugs are usually safe to be taken with blood pressure medication, but you should always consult a physician before taking them to make sure. Sexual enhancement drugs should not be taken if you are using nitrates, usually prescribed for angina or chest pain.
There are erection-friendly medicines for high blood pressure, according to Netdoctor, a website featuring medical advice from physicians, specialists and health care professionals. ACE inhibitors seem to cause few erection problems. Calcium channel blockers and alpha-blockers may have fewer sexual side effects than diuretics or beta-blockers. Blood pressure medications also cause a lack of sexual desire in women. Men and women should talk to their doctor if they have any questions about how medication might be affecting their sexual functioning. Physicians can help restore your sex life by changing your prescriptions if medications are causing problems.
Sometimes people will find they have a low sex drive without realizing they have high blood pressure. That is why it is a good idea to get regular check-ups to make sure there are not any underlying problems. Many people who know they have hypertension may suspect it is the cause of a diminished sex drive. But people who suddenly discover their sex drive is low won't immediately suspect high blood pressure. In the meantime, there are always alternatives to treating high blood pressure without decreasing your sex drive. Even if you are taking medication, you can take natural steps to control hypertension and restore your active sex life. That includes eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, limiting alcohol, managing stress and practicing relaxation or deep breathing techniques, according to the Mayo Clinic.