How Can High Blood Pressure Affect Your Sex Drive?

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  1. Introduction

    • High blood pressure can have a multitude of detrimental effects on various aspects of your life, including your sex life and underlying sex drive. There are several reasons that high blood pressure can affect your sex drive, from psychological (such as the fear that having sex when your blood pressure is elevated may cause heart attacks) to physical (such as high blood pressure preventing arousal). The fact of the matter is that suffering from high blood pressure can and often does affect your sex drive.

    The Process

    • Whether you are male or female, high blood pressure can result in physical manifestations that are detrimental to your sex drive. While the specific physical manifestations vary depending on gender, they generally result in either a lessened desire to engage in sexual activity or a decreased ability to physically perform. Men with uncontrolled high blood pressure tend to suffer from some degree of erectile dysfunction. It has been found that upward of 70 percent of men suffering from high blood pressure also suffer from some form of erectile dysfunction, and for nearly 50 percent of them, the dysfunction is severe.

      While the effects of high blood pressure on male sex drive have long been observed, more recently, it has begun to be understood that it also can have profoundly negative effects on women. In a 2000 study published in The American Journal of Hypertension, it was determined that women suffering from high blood pressure had a significantly higher chance of encountering pain during intercourse than those with normal blood pressure; additionally, they were less likely to produce adequate lubrication and less likely to achieve orgasm as a result.

    Medication

    • One of the first steps taken by the majority of those who have high blood pressure is to begin a regimen of prescription drug treatment. Unfortunately, the same drugs that are proven to lower blood pressure also are often linked to sexual side effects. In particular, drugs containing beta blockers and diuretics can cause significant erectile issues among men who take them. For this reason, men often combine erectile dysfunction drugs with their blood pressure medication. However, it is vitally important to discuss all drugs you are taking (prescription or over-the-counter) with your health-care professional before taking additional medication or otherwise altering your treatment.

      If you have prescription medications to treat your high blood pressure and you believe they are negatively affecting your sex drive, it is imperative that you contact your health-care professional so that all of your treatment options can be discussed.

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