Do you have erectile dysfunction, and you aren't sure what to do about it? Are you aware that high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction correlate? If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, there is no need to worry.
It is estimated that about 50% of Canadian men have some level of erectile dysfunction. Some of these men have erectile dysfunction due to high blood pressure. This article will briefly discuss how erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure are connected and what you can do to improve your sexual health.
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In general, men who suffer from high blood pressure have a higher risk of erectile dysfunction. Over time, the arteries of those with high blood pressure start to narrow and harden, slowing and limiting blood flow.
For some, the decreased blood flow makes it harder to maintain erections, leading to anxiety in the bedroom. A single episode of erectile dysfunction can cause anxiety in men, and they may start to avoid sex for the fear that they won't be able to get it up for their partner.
There are high blood pressure effects for women as well, but the sexual problems aren't well understood. There is a possibility that high blood pressure can also affect a woman's sexual health by reducing blood flow to the vagina and limiting levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in women, helps smooth muscles relax, which can cause vaginal dryness, lowered sex drive, and difficulty achieving an orgasm.
One of the most significant symptoms of erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve and keep an erection. High blood pressure also causes a decline in the delivery of testosterone. With lower testosterone levels in the body, men become less interested in sex, and their performance lowers.
ED meds and high blood pressure may not sound like a good idea, but some doctors say it is okay. Even though that may be true for some, it may not be suitable for you.
Before you take any form of erectile dysfunction medication, be sure to check with your doctor first. Erectile dysfunction drugs are not recommended for those with severe cardiovascular disease or those who have other lower urinary tract problems.
Some blood pressure medications, such as water pills, can decrease blood flow to your penis, which can make it hard to maintain an erection. These diuretics can also deplete your body of zinc which helps make testosterone. Beta-blockers, especially older generations such as Inderal, often cause erectile dysfunction.
If you currently take blood pressure medication and already suffer from sexual side effects, reach out to your doctor about your options. There are other types of blood pressure medications that are less likely to cause problems with your sexual function and sex drive.
As mentioned above, there are other high blood pressure medications you can switch to, such as a better beta blocker, that will decrease your sexual side effects.
Of course, you will need to reach out to your doctor for a recommendation to make sure there are no other underlying health problems that need to be treated with the blood pressure medication. If your doctor states that it is okay to stop taking your blood pressure medication to see if your sexual symptoms improve, be sure to take blood pressure readings frequently.
If you take any over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements, be sure to tell your doctor. Over-the-counter medicines or herbal supplements may interact with your blood pressure medication, causing sexual problems.
In order to treat erectile dysfunction caused by high blood pressure, you must first deal with the high blood pressure part of the equation. One of the most significant ways to combat high blood pressure is to adapt to a healthier lifestyle.
Healthier lifestyle choices:
A healthy body can boost your confidence, and it will also help you feel more attractive. It will also help your performance, and you may be able to get off your high blood pressure medication.
Treating erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure can leave much room for questions such as, how is erectile dysfunction diagnosed? Is it permanent, and can it lead to infertility?
If you are unable to maintain an erection or you have a reduced desire for sexual activity, you may have erectile dysfunction. To receive a formal diagnosis, you will need to reach out to a medical professional.
Erectile dysfunction is usually treatable with surgery or medication. High blood pressure is also not a permanent situation as there is a medication that you can take to control your blood pressure levels.
If you don't want to take medication to regulate either of the two, you can adopt a healthier lifestyle to reverse symptoms. If your causes for these two are emotional or psychological, you can also seek therapy or psychological therapy.
Exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles can significantly benefit those with erectile dysfunction. Your pelvic floor muscles help sustain blood flow to the penis by putting pressure on your penile veins. This pressure helps keep blood from leaving your penis when you have an erection.
Exercises to try at home:
Treatment for erectile dysfunction starts with caring for your vascular health. Doing aerobic exercises is beneficial to those who have erectile dysfunction. There are studies that show that about 40 minutes of exercise four times a week can help decrease erectile dysfunction symptoms.
Male infertility commonly comes from sperm abnormalities, low sperm production, or blockages, not from erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction may not directly cause infertility, but it may have similar root causes.
When you reach out to a doctor for help with your ED, they will assess which lifestyles will work best for you. For example, they may recommend working out more and drinking less alcohol.
If you smoke tobacco, they will most likely recommend you stop smoking or start the journey to stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes dramatically affects your heart health which can also affect your sexual health and performance.
Common non-invasive ED treatments:
Depending on your health, your doctor may recommend a PDE5 inhibitor. This phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor blocks the PDE5 enzyme in your blood vessel walls. This medication causes these walls to relax, increasing the flow of blood.
Different types of erectile dysfunction devices are non-invasive, and some that require surgery. One non-invasive device that can help with erectile dysfunction is a vacuum erection device.
You wear this plastic tube over your penis, and the pump attached to it creates a low-pressure vacuum seal causing an erection. This device has an elastic ring that goes on the base of the penis, and it maintains your erection for up to 30 minutes.
Those who do not see results with a PDE5 inhibitor or some other form of medication or therapy can ask their doctors about a bendable implant or an inflatable implant. The bendable implant is made of two semi-rigid silicone rods that you can bend down to urinate and upward for sexual activity.
An inflatable implant allows men to control the size and firmness of their erection due to the tube placed inside the penis. The tube leads to a pump inside the scrotum that you can press, which inflates the penis naturally.
Now that you know how erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure relate to one another, it's time to fix both of those problems. Of course, reaching out to your doctor about switching medications or getting off of the medication while adapting to a lifestyle change should be your first step.
There are so many options available for you to choose from to help get yourself healthier and improve your sexual health. If you are looking for other ways to improve your male health, contact your healthcare provider today!