The Link Between High Blood Pressure And Sex Drive
We get what youre thinking you eat well, are fit and healthy, high blood pressure isnt your bag. But dont forget that sneaky little something that lurks in the shadows and, for some of you, bubbles away constantly. Stress.
Whether you’re displaying stress symptoms or not, it could be causing its damage without your realising it.
Time to pass over to the experts.
There is definitely a link between high blood pressure, stress and low sex drive, says Dr Marilyn Glenville, UK nutritionist and author of The Natural Health Bible For Women.
When you are stressed, high cortisol levels prepare you for your fight-or-flight response and your body assumes that it needs a higher blood pressure to cope with this. It holds back sodium and this salinates the blood. It is the equivalent of overdosing on salt , which we know is linked to high blood pressure.
Cortisol pushes blood around the body diverting it from non-essential areas to places where it thinks it is most needed . It does this by dilating blood vessels in some parts of the body and constricting them in other parts. The result is high blood pressure and, as if all this wasnt enough, high cortisol also increases the level of another substance called angiotensin II, which is a very strong blood vessel constrictor.
And the physical onslaught doesnt end there.
Wait How Does High Blood Pressure Affect My Sex Life
Dont forget high blood pressure has an impact on all your bodys organs. Your body also experiences a change in the flow of your blood. Circulation shifts can impact your brain, organs, and your extremities .
Circulation regularity is also important for the healthy function of your penis. When your blood vessels cannot help your blood flow as smoothly as they should, you may experience problems with your erections, known as erectile dysfunction . ED occurs when you have trouble achieving or maintaining an erection.
Also, a drop in your blood flow can mean you have an imbalance in your hormones. Your blood distributes your hormones throughout your body. Without this distribution, your libido and interest in sex may drop.
Signs Youre Healthy Enough For Sex
The primary fear regarding intimacy for most people with;heart disease;is being scared that having sex will cause a;heart attack. While sexual activity does increase your heart rate, its not something that most people with stable heart disease should worry about, says Blaha. In general, if youre able to climb stairs or jog or walk a mile without difficulty, its safe for you to have sex.
The possibility of having a heart attack during sexual activity is exceedingly low and shouldnt scare you away, says Blaha. As long as youre not experiencing any symptoms, its not worrisome.
You should abstain from any heavy physical exertion, including sex, until you see a doctor if you have heart disease symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Nausea or indigestion
Is there a chance of having a heart attack during sex? Yes. Your risk is slightly elevated whenever youre physically active, whether its sexual activity or going for a run or any other type of aerobic exercise, compared to when youre resting. But for people with a stable heart, the long-term benefits of regular physical activity including sex far outweigh the risks, says Blaha.
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How Does Viagra Effect Blood Pressure
If you listen carefully to the long list of side-effects and warnings given at the end of those TV commercials for Viagra, or the related drugs Levitra and Cialis, you may have heard something to the effect of, may cause a serious or unsafe drop in blood pressure, particularly in men already taking certain; medication for hypertension. This is because high blood pressure interferes with normal erectile function. So, one of the mechanisms of action of Viagra and the related PDE5 inhibitors is to lower blood pressure. That may not be a problem in most men, and may not even be a problem for men with high blood pressure, who are not taking medications. However, if you are already taking a blood pressure-lowering drug, taking Viagra on top of that can cause your blood pressure to drop dramatically, to a point where it is too low for your heart to pump normally leading to cardiac arrest.
Diabetes Increases The Risk Of Sexual Dysfunction
There are several reasons people with diabetes experience sexual dysfunction more often than the general public.
Obesity, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and depression are common conditions that occur alongside diabetes, says Avadhanula. Obesity can indirectly lead to erectile dysfunction . Sleep apnea can cause ED for men or put women at a higher risk for sexual difficulties. Depression and anxiety can also negatively impact the libido or lead to the use of medication that affects sexual interest or function.
Emotional health concerns
Men and women who wear an insulin pump may feel self-conscious. Plus, the time and energy spent managing diabetes and related conditions can take a toll on emotional health. This may lead to disinterest in sex or the use of a medication that negatively affects sexual function.
Changes in testosterone or estrogen can impact libido, lubrication and the ability to become sexually aroused, says Avadhanula.
Less blood flow
Diabetes impacts blood flow, which could affect blood reaching the penis or vagina. For a man to achieve and sustain an erection, he needs blood to flow to the penis. In women, decreased blood flow could play a role in vaginal dryness.
Medication side effects
High blood pressure medications may impact the ability to achieve or maintain an erection, says Avadhanula. And some medications which ;help manage depression or anxiety are notorious for inhibiting arousal or sexual interest.
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Average Blood Pressure By Age
As you get older, your blood vessels tend to become stiffer and plaque can build up in them, which can raise your blood pressure. If your blood pressure becomes too high, you’re at a greater risk for heart disease, strokes, and more.
In 2015, the average blood pressure worldwide was 127/79 mm Hg in men, and 122/77 mm Hg in women, according to a study analysis published in Lancet.
When researchers for the National Center for Health Statistics looked at average blood pressure in U.S. adults between 2001 and 2008, the average reading was 122/71 mm Hg. The breakout was 124/72 mm Hg for men, and 121/70 mm Hg in women. It rose by age and was significantly higher in Black people.
The researchers found the following breakdown by age, sex, and race or ethnicity:
|Blood Pressure by Age|
As the population ages and life expectancy increases, high blood pressure is becoming more common.
But Masturbation Cannot Cause Hypertension
If youre worried about whether masturbation can cause hypertension, the answer to that is clear. It does not. What it can do, like sex, is to temporarily elevate your blood pressure, as you have already seen. But that never translates to a blood pressure problem on its own.3 Having a pre-existing hypertension issue doesnt make the act unsafe either. More on that next.
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Bp Medicines May Affect Sexual Function And Take The Fun Out Of Masturbation
Besides the impact high blood pressure has on sexual function, sometimes the very treatment for hypertension may worsen things for you. Many antihypertensive drugs are known to cause impairment of sexual function including erectile function.10
If you find it hard to have or sustain an erection, it can make masturbation a rather frustrating and unsatisfying experience. The good news is your doctor may be able to get around these side effects by including phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors to counteract the effect of the drugs or switching you to angiotensin receptor blockers. The latter doesnt have the negative effects on sexual function that some older antihypertensive drugs have.11
High Blood Pressure And Sexual Performance
The World Health Organization states that a blood pressure reading of more than 140/90 mm/Hg is considered high, while a measurement of over 180/110 mm/Hg is categorized as dangerously severe. If not properly treated, it can lead to numerous other serious health conditions as well as have a severe impact upon both mens and womens sexual performance.
Men with high blood pressure who do not receive adequate treatment are at risk of blood vessel damage, which can lead to their arteries becoming hardened and narrow. This then results in decreased circulatory function, including with regard to the circulation necessary to maintain an erection, meaning that their sexual performance is affected. Furthermore, high blood pressure can also interfere with ejaculation and reduce sexual desire. All of this could lead them to avoid sexual intercourse and affect the levels of intimacy they share with their partner.
With regard to women with high blood pressure, it has been found that their orgasms are affected, while there is also an increase in the pain they feel during intercourse due to the circulation in their vagina being significantly impacted, leading to vaginal dryness.
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Is It Dangerous To Have Sex If I Have High Blood Pressure
Guest post by
In response to our series of articles on sex and blood pressure, we recently received a question about whether it was safe to have sex if you have hypertension. The person was wondering if they would have a heart attack through over stimulation and over exertion.Well first let me say: Congratulations if you are able to have sex despite high blood pressure. Hypertension can make sex a real challenge for many people, so you are doing well!
When Should I See A Doctor
If youre worried that masturbation is interfering with your life or causing health issues, you may want to speak with a doctor or a sex therapist.
For a person with a penis, you may want to see a doctor if you have difficulty achieving an erection. Erectile dysfunction may have an underlying cause that requires treatment, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
See a doctor if youve noticed any other concerning symptoms while masturbating, such as:
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Think Sexy And You’ll Be Sexy
Which leads us to what may be happening in your head. For some people, getting physical problems under control is all it takes to fan the flames of desire. For others, it’s still not quite enough.
Experts say that one of the biggest obstacles to enjoying sex at any size is a poor body image. They caution that the inability to accept your weight and your size can leave you sleeping single in a double bed.
“There is this idea out there that if you accept your body and your weight that it’s somehow going to take away your motivation to change the way you look — in a way, society almost tells us that you have to hate your body before you can improve it,” says Binks.
This is the kind of attitude, he says, that frequently causes overweight folks to feel so self-conscious about how they look that desire is completely inhibited.
Psychologist and body-image expert Abby Aronowitz, PhD, agrees. “The epitome of sexuality is abandoning self-consciousness to experience the moment intensely. If one is fretting about this bulge or that bulge or how their butt looks from every angle, it’s pretty difficult to enjoy the moment, much less be there for your partner,” says Aronowitz, author of Your Final Diet.
While body image can hamper both men and women, experts agree that women feel the impact more. In fact, Kellogg reports that even women who have loving partners can still view themselves as sexually unattractive if their body image doesn’t conform to the “norm.”
High Blood Pressure And Blood Flow
Normal, unobstructed blood flow is the key to healthy erections. When you feel aroused, your body increases the level of blood flow to tissue inside the penis, filling the corpora cavernosa and giving you an erection.
High blood pressure can make this more difficult by damaging blood vessels. Hypertension is closely linked to narrowed, ruptured or otherwise damaged blood vessels — an issue that can negatively affect blood flow and even potentially increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Damaged blood vessels result in weaker, less consistent blood flow throughout your body — a condition that makes developing an erection much more difficult.
When there isnt enough blood flow to fill the corpora cavernosa, you might have trouble with getting and maintaining an erection. Sometimes, high blood pressure might not produce total ED — instead, you might notice slightly weaker erections that are harder to maintain.
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Erectile Dysfunction Drugs And High Blood Pressure
Men considering medications for erectile dysfunction should check with their doctors first. Erectile dysfunction drugs include sildenafil , vardenafil and tadalafil . The pill forms are generally considered safe for men with high blood pressure who are in otherwise good health.
Erectile dysfunction drugs aren’t recommended for men with severe cardiovascular disease or for men with high blood pressure who have difficulties with urination or have other lower urinary tract problems. Never take erectile dysfunction drugs with nitrates, which are used to treat chest pain. Doing so can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.
Can High Blood Pressure Affect Erectile Dysfunction
Having chronically high blood pressure can affect overall satisfaction with sex and affect mens ability to achieve a firm erection. Due to constant vessel damage as a result of high blood pressure, linings of the arteries begin to harden and narrow, a process called atherosclerosis. Because blood flow is limited to the affected regions of the body, arterial blood circulation to various organsincluding the heart muscles, brain, and even the groincan be compromised, with myocardial infarctions, strokes, and erectile difficulty being common in hypertensive patients. Studies show that approximately 30 percent of hypertensive patients reported having erectile dysfunction, and approximately 49 percent of men aged 40 to 79 had both high blood pressure and ED.
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Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
Regular ejaculation could help to prevent prostate cancer, its been reported.
While having sex may lower your chances of the disease, you could also gain the benefit from masturbation, said WebMD.
Men who ejaculated frequently were less likely to get;prostate cancer during one study, it added.
It’s not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. Lots of factors affect;cancer;risk. But more sex wont hurt.
How Are Women Affected
Although its not yet well understood, high blood pressure can also have an effect on a womans interest in sex and her ability to maintain satisfaction. A few issues include a decrease in arousal, vaginal dryness, and/or difficulty achieving orgasm. Discussing ways to improve arousal or using lubrication with your partner can help to overcome some of these difficulties dont let a few roadblocks discourage your trip down pleasure road!;
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Viagra And Blood Pressure: What Should You Be Aware Of
In 30 seconds
If youre experiencing erectile dysfunction, this may be a sign that you also have high blood pressure , a common condition that can lead to restricted blood flow to the penis and impact your ability to achieve an erection.
ED medications like Viagra can often be taken safely at the same time as blood pressure medicines, but you should always consult your prescriber before use.
Making changes to your lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet and reducing alcohol consumption, can help to treat ED and high blood pressure.
Men who are suffering from low blood pressure should seek medical advice before taking Viagra.;
High blood pressure affects around a third of adults in the UK. Many people dont realise that they have high blood pressure, as it often doesnt cause noticeable symptoms. However, if its not treated it can lead to more serious health conditions, including heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
If youre experiencing erectile dysfunction , this can be a warning sign of high blood pressure, and you may want to have your blood pressure checked. The two conditions are closely connected because theyre both related to the health of your circulatory system: a firm erection depends on sufficient blood flow to the penis.
High Bp May Lower Libido And Interest In Masturbation
Your high blood pressure doesnt hold you back from having sex or masturbating. However, hypertension can cause damage to inner walls of your arteries and alter blood circulation patterns in the body, hampering or reducing blood flow to the genital region.6 This can affect how quickly or how much you can arouse yourself, putting a spanner in the works when you are masturbating.7
Many women with high blood pressure experience a dip in libido or sex drive. This may cause you to have less interest in masturbation or sex and can leave you more fatigued.8
In men, high blood pressure may also cause reduced blood flow to the penis, making it difficult to attain or sustain an erection while masturbating or during sexual intercourse. If you have erectile dysfunction as a result of your hypertension, you can still go ahead and pleasure yourself but be prepared that it may not always yield the results you want. You will need to treat the high blood pressure to improve blood flow to the pelvic region and penis.9
In fact, if you are unaware of your high blood pressure problem, your masturbation may actually help you identify the problem. Your doctor may ask you about your sexual life to understand if you lose erections during masturbation or have less than full erections.
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