The Link Between Ed And Hypertension
About 80% of the time, erectile dysfunction has a physical cause with the most common cause being hypertension. In fact, men with chronic high blood pressure are twice as likely to have ED. And since ED is underreported, researchers estimate the numbers could be much higher.
This is because hypertension damages your blood vessels and arteries, making it impossible for the arteries that supply blood to your penis to function as theyre supposed to. This also affects the muscle in the penis by creating an inability to relax. The result? Your penis doesnt get enough blood to make it erect or keep it erect.
In addition, your risk of having low testosterone is nearly two times higher if you have hypertension. While the relationship between hypertension and low testosterone is still being investigated, having low testosterone can contribute to erectile problems and low libido.
Find The Right Balance Of Medications For You
Just because you have high blood pressure, that doesnt mean erectile dysfunction is a given. Even if you need to go on a blood pressure medication, there are many options that dont increase your risk for ED. And even if you do need to be on a beta blocker or thiazide diuretic and you experience erectile dysfunction, there are treatments available.
Speak with your healthcare provider about any concerns you have so that you can work together to find the treatment thats best for you.
What Medications Could Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a common side effect of a number of prescription drugs. While these medications may treat a disease or condition, in doing so they can affect a man’s hormones, nerves or blood circulation, resulting in ED or increasing the risk of ED.
If you experience ED and think that it may be a result of the medication you are using, do not stop taking the medication. If the problem persists, contact your doctor and he or she may be able to prescribe a different medication. Common medications that may list ED as a potential side effect include:
- Diuretics .
- Antihypertensives .
These drugs not only affect and often suppress the central nervous system, but can also cause serious damage to the blood vessels, leading to permanent ED.
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Which Erectile Dysfunction Drug Has The Least Side Effects
While ED treatment side effects can vary by person, vardenafil may pose the least number of side effects of all first-generation PDE5 drugs. Its thought this may be due to the higher potency of this medication, which could mean you may need to take a lower dose for it to work effectively.
Additionally, avanafil may also pose fewer side effects than older ED medications.
Antidepressants And Other Psychiatric Drugs
The sexual side effects of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs are well known.
By altering levels of the “feel-good” hormone serotonin, antidepressants can cause an imbalance of other hormones that regulate sexual function. These include testosterone which influences sexual arousal and the ability to achieve an erection, and dopamine, which plays a role in orgasms.
Other types of psychiatric drugs can cause erection problems, including anxiolytics and antipsychotics.
Among the psychiatric drugs that have the potential to cause ED are:
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How Does High Blood Pressure Cause Erectile Dysfunction
When you are sexually aroused, your brain sends signals to the nerves in and around the penis. These nerves cause more blood to flow into the penis and for the tissue and blood vessels to relax and open up, allowing blood to flow in to the penis, making it hard.
High blood pressure can damage your blood vessels throughout your body, including the blood vessels in or leading to the penis. They can become too narrow , meaning not enough blood can flow through them.
What Are Surgical Treatment Options For Erectile Dysfunction
Penile prosthesis surgery
Inflatable penile prostheses are implanted during outpatient surgery. Once they are part of a man’s body, they enable him to have an erection whenever he desires. The use of a prosthesis preserves penile sensation, orgasm and ejaculation for most men.
The most commonly used penile implant consists of a pair of inflatable cylinders that are surgically implanted in the erection chambers of the penis. The cylinders are connected through tubing to a reservoir of fluid under the lower abdominal muscles, and to a pump inside the scrotal sac.
To inflate the penile prosthesis, the man compresses the pump a number of times to transfer fluid from the reservoir to the cylinders. This causes the penis to become erect. When inflated, the prosthesis makes the penis stiff and thick, which is very similar to a natural erection.
A penile prosthesis does not change the sensation on the skin of the penis or a man’s ability to achieve orgasm or ejaculate. Pressing on a deflation valve attached to the pump returns the fluid to the reservoir, which returns the penis to a flaccid state.
The surgical procedure is performed through one or two small incisions that are generally well hidden. Other people will be unable to tell that a man has an inflatable penile prosthesis. Complications following surgery are not common, but primarily include infection and mechanical device failure.
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Anatomy Of An Erection
In the shaft of the penis there are two side-by-side chambers of spongy tissue called the corpora cavernosa. They’re mainly responsible for erections. Just below them is another chamber called the corpus spongiosum. The urethra, which carries semen and urine, runs through the center of it.
The corpora cavernosa are made of small arteries and veins, smooth muscle fiber, and empty spaces. The chambers are wrapped in a sheath of thin tissue.
When you get an erection, signals from the brain or nerve endings in the penis cause the smooth muscle of the chambers to relax and arteries to dilate, or open wider. This allows a rush of blood to fill the empty spaces.
The pressure of blood flow causes the sheath of tissue around the chambers to press on veins that normally drain blood out of the penis. That traps blood in the penis. As more blood flows in, the penis expands and stiffens, and you have an erection.
When the excitement ends, the smooth muscle contracts again, taking pressure off the veins and allowing blood to flow back out of the penis. Then the penis returns to a flaccid state.
If You Have Problems Getting An Erection And Dont Know Your Blood Pressure Numbers Speak To Your Gp And Get A Blood Pressure Check
Men with high blood pressure sometimes experience problems getting or keeping an erection thats hard enough for sex. But lowering your blood pressure through a healthy lifestyle, and medications if you need them, can be all you need to improve your erections.
Problems getting an erection can even be a sign of high blood pressure, damaged blood vessels and heart disease. If you have problems getting an erection and dont know your blood pressure numbers, speak to your GP and get a blood pressure check. It could save you from having a stroke or heart attack.
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Angiotensin Ii Receptor Blockers And Erectile Dysfunction
Studies have shown that angiotensin receptor blockers either have no significant negative effects or in some cases, beneficial effects on erectile function.
ARBs are a group of drugs used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. These medications work by blocking the action of a chemical which narrows the blood vessels. As a result, blood vessels widen, increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure. In some people, this effect also improves erectile function.
Some common ARBs taken for high blood pressure include:
High Blood Pressure And Your Blood Flow
When your blood flows naturally, you can have healthy erections. Natural arousal leads to increased blood flow to your penis causing an erection. This process becomes more difficult with high blood pressure. In this case, the blood vessels narrow, slowing its natural flow. Not only does hypertension raise your risk of a stroke or heart attack, it also complicates erections. At this point getting or maintaining erections may become a challenge this is ED.
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Blood Pressure Medication Side Effects For Men
A range of medications used to treat high blood pressure has been associated with ED. Not all of them are considered a problem, however. In fact, some blood pressure medication has been said to potentially improve erectile dysfunction.
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Erectile dysfunction is a common result of taking high blood pressure medication. The medications known for these side effects include:
- Beta blockers These drugs, especially in older generation forms such as propranolol are frequently linked to ED.
- Water pills Water pills are commonly associated with ED. These can decrease blood flow to your dick, making achieving a hard on incredibly difficult. They can also reduce zinc levels, which is needed for the production of testosterone.
If you do experience these blood pressure medication side effects, always consult with your doctor to consider an alternative. To reduce the risk of side effects, always take medications as directed.
High blood pressure and ED: Medications with fewer side effects
All is not lost when it comes to high blood pressure and ED, as medications are available that are less likely to cause sexual side effects. These include:
- Calcium channel blockers
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
If your doctor confirms it is safe, it may require stopping blood pressure medication briefly. This will help to determine whether your sexual function improves.
Do Blood Pressure Medications Affect Erectile Function
Erectile difficulties can happen at any age for a variety of reasons in fact, most men experience some type of erectile issue at some point during their lives. The reason for ED might be temporary, or there might be an underlying cause thats contributing to ongoing ED symptoms including high blood pressure. Some men are able to lower their BP through lifestyle changes alone, but many others need additional help from high blood pressure medication.
Unfortunately, many common types of blood pressure drugs can also significantly affect erectile function. This can make it difficult to stay on medication, and might seem like a vicious cycle however, there are many alternatives that can help.
While many drugs used to treat high blood pressure have been linked to ED, some are much less likely than others to cause problems. Certain high blood pressure drugs may even improve erectile dysfunction for some men. Its important to speak with your healthcare provider before changing or trying any new medications, particularly when it comes to blood pressure.
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When Erectile Dysfunction Pills Aren’t An Option
If erectile dysfunction pills are out of the question, or if pills haven’t worked for you, don’t worry. There are other options.
Alprostadil is another drug for erectile dysfunction. However, it’s not a pill. One brand, called MUSE, is an alprostadil pellet that you insert into the tip of your penis with an applicator. It widens blood vessels and relaxes smooth muscle tissue in the penis, allowing blood to fill the spongy tissue that makes the penis erect.
Injections directly into the penis are another way to deliver alprostadil. Phentolamine and papaverine are additional drugs that are injected into the penis to treat erectile dysfunction. When injecting these drugs there is some risk that your erection may last too long, a condition that can require medical treatment.
Next, you may want to try a vacuum device, or “penis pump.” This is typically a clear plastic cylinder with a bulb or plunger and a constriction band.
You put your penis in the cylinder and start pumping. The suction creates a vacuum, so blood rushes in to fill the spaces in the spongy tissue of the penis, creating an erection. The erection lasts only as long as the blood stays in, so you slide the band down around the base of your penis, trapping the blood. It’s safe to keep the band on for up to 30 minutes.
Management Of Erectile Dysfunction In Hypertensive Patients
A detailed history of the patient’s disease is essential for a correct diagnosis of the cause of erectile dysfunction. It must be focused on detecting possible comorbidities, toxic habits or drugs which could explain ED, especially mental health medications which have been classically associated with sexual dysfunction. Some psychosexual factors can be the cause of the disease and should be addressed in the interview: anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, relationship with sexual partner or possible symptoms of female sexual dysfunction. Furthermore, the doctor must examine possible penis abnormalities, signs of hypogonadism, as well as perform a rectal examination to rule out prostatic pathologies. In addition, it is recommended to complement the history and exploration with basic laboratory profile, including testosterone levels.
Moreover, ED severity can be measured with the International Index of Erectile Function 5 scale. This scale is a validated, self-administered questionnaire that evaluates the most relevant aspects of male sexual function, such as erectile strength, orgasm, desire, satisfaction with intercourse, and overall satisfaction. The IIEF classifies the severity of ED into five categories stratified by score: No ED,2225 Mild,1721 Mild to moderate,1216 Moderate,811 Severe.57,22
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Early Research: Losartan And Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects many assigned males as they get older. Around 44% of assigned males ages 60 to 69 and 70% of those 70 and older experience erection problems compared to 5% of assigned males under 40.
In 2001, a study published in the American Journal of Medicine and Science was among the first to report that assigned males with sexual dysfunction who were treated for hypertension experienced improvements in sexual function when taking losartan.
The study involved 164 assigned males with hypertension, half of whom reported sexual dysfunction and half of whom who didn’t.
Both groups were given a 50- to 100-milligram daily dose of losartan for 12 weeks. At the end of the study period, 88% of those who reported sexual issues reported improvements in at least one of the three categories, while 73.7% reported improved quality of life. No such changes were reported in assigned males who didn’t originally report sexual concerns.
When To Talk With A Doctor
If you have concerns about ED, its important to talk with your doctor. Not only is this common condition treatable, but ED may also be an early sign of an underlying medical problem. Sometimes, treating the underlying cause may also help alleviate ED.
Talk with your doctor if you are at risk of developing, or currently have, the following conditions:
Additionally, ED is more common after the age of 50 and in those who smoke and drink alcohol. You can talk with your doctor about such risk factors and whether ED treatments are appropriate for your situation.
When discussing ED treatment with your doctor, its important to tell them about all drugs you take and other health conditions you have. If medications arent right for your ED, your doctor may suggest other treatment options, such as surgery or .
If your doctor does prescribe medications for ED treatment, its important to contact them immediately if you experience any severe side effects.
Certain people are more at risk of these side effects than others. This may be because of other conditions they have or other medications they take.
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Diuretics And Beta Blockers Bp Meds May Cause Erectile Dysfunction
One of the first types of medications that a doctor would prescribe to someone with high blood pressure is diuretics . These are pills that essentially get rid of excess salt and water within your body, thereby reducing overall blood volume and therefore overall blood pressure. However, because diuretics also reduce fluid levels in the body, they can also result in decreased blood flow to the penisâwhich is necessary for erection.Beta blockers are also another common medication that doctors prescribe to their patients. These drugs reduce the effects of a body hormone called epinephrine, which helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Unfortunately, beta blockers can also block your erection. Epinephrine plays a part in the nervous system, which is very much needed in the realm of getting stimulated.Hereâs a brief list of brand names for diuretics and beta-blockers. See any that are familiar to you?Diuretics: Clorpres, Tenoretic, Lopressor, Lasix, ZaroxolynBeta-blockers: Atenolol, Sectral, Monocor, Coreg, Levatol, Inderal
To cut to the chase, both diuretics and beta blockers are good at lowering high blood pressure, but sometimes they may also come with side effects, which include erectile dysfunction.Make sure the medications you or your partner takes are not the reason why you canât have fun in bed!
How Losartan Can Help Ed
Erections involve a complex series of biological mechanisms encompassing nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and emotions. These mechanisms work together to engorge the penis with blood by widening blood vessels servicing the penis.
Hypertension can contribute to ED in several ways:
- Firstly, with hypertension, the walls of the arteries that carry blood into the penis will gradually harden over time, making them less able to dilate.
- Secondly, hypertension causes smooth muscles like those inside the penis to stiffen. So, rather than relaxing and allowing blood to flow unimpeded, the muscles remain rigid and limit the amount the blood able to enter the penis.
Losartan is thought to help treat ED by blocking an enzyme called angiotensin II that causes vasoconstriction . It does so by binding to receptors on the walls of blood vessels that angiotensin II uses to “turn on” vasoconstriction.
Losartan has relatively mild side effects, including headache, cough, stomach pain, heart palpitations, and dizziness when standing.
One of losartan’s “positive” side effects is its effects on moods. Among the studies investigating ARBs in treating ED, mild giddiness was one of the more common side effects.
ARBs are known to have fewer adverse effects on moods compared to other high blood pressure medications and, for many people, may even elevate moods. Elevated moods can, in turn, increase the likelihood of achieving and sustaining an erection.
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