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High Blood Pressure and Your Sex Life: What You Need to Know

By    |   Thursday, 07 Jul 2016 06:52 PM

Most people know high blood pressure, or hypertension, is dangerous to your health, but it can also affect your sex life in many different ways.

According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure affects about 78 million Americans and is sometimes called the “silent killer.” Hypertension causes your heart and other organs to work harder than normal and, over time, will damage the lining of your blood vessels.

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Dr. Gina Lundberg, a volunteer at the AHA, says high blood pressure hinders blood flow throughout the body, including the pelvic region, and can harm the sex lives of both men and women.

In men, the effects of hypertension are more obvious than for women. In men, the most common problem is erectile dysfunction, or trouble achieving and maintaining an erection during intercourse, says the Mayo Clinic.

Ironically, even the medications used to treat high blood pressure can produce similar side effects in men, including reduced desire for sex and reduced sensation during it.

For women, the problem can be a bit more complicated, researcher Dr. Michael Adams tells the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The evidence of the effects of high blood pressure on sexual function isn’t as strong.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure reduces blood flow to the vagina and pelvis. For some women, this causes vaginal dryness and a sharp drop in arousal and desire. It can also make achieving orgasm difficult.

It is important for men to talk with their physicians prior to taking any sexual enhancement drugs for erectile dysfunction such as Viagra. These drugs were tested on patients who were taking high blood pressure medications, says Adams, however taking blood pressure drugs incorrectly combined with drugs for erectile dysfunction can result in a dangerous and sudden drop in blood pressure.

Lundberg says it is generally safe to engage in sex even with high blood pressure, and you should not avoid taking high blood pressure medications because of sexual side effects. Adams encourages open dialogue with your healthcare practitioners to address these challenges head-on.

Special: Blood Pressure Breakthrough From Nobel-Winning Scientist

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Most people know high blood pressure, or hypertension, is dangerous to your health, but it can also affect your sex life in many different ways.
high blood pressure, sex
Thursday, 07 Jul 2016 06:52 PM
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