Men with high blood pressure have an increased risk for erectile dysfunction (ED).
What makes the problem worse is that many types of blood pressure drugs can actually cause erectile dysfunction or affect sexual function.
One reason ED is more common in older men is that they are more likely to be on medication or have a condition like cardiovascular disease, and ED is often a side effect of these conditions and many over-the-counter and prescription drugs.
While several types of drugs can produce erectile difficulties, blood pressure medicine is the worse offender.
Fortunately, some blood pressure medications are much less likely than others to cause problems.
In the article below, we will discuss blood pressure medicine and how they relate to erectile dysfunction.
[Check out our last article, What Are The Latest Treatments For Erectile Dysfunction?]
High Blood Pressure And ED
High blood pressure damages your arteries, and over time it can cause them to become rigid and narrow.
This will reduce your blood flow.
Reduced blood flow will put you at risk of a stroke or heart attack, but it also limits the blood that can circulate to your penis, which negatively impacts erectile function.
When your penis doesn’t get proper blood flow, it can make it hard to achieve or maintain an erection, making sexual intercourse next to impossible.
If blood pressure is left untreated, it can cause ED.
Although that may not be as severe as a heart attack or a stroke, it can still lessen your quality of life.
But since some drug treatments can cause erectile dysfunction as well, it may seem like you are destined to be trapped in a vicious circle.
Fortunately, not all blood pressure medicines cause ED, so a simple conversation with your healthcare provider may be all you need.
High Blood Pressure and Your Blood Flow
When your blood flows naturally, you can have healthy erections.
An increase in arousal causes increased blood circulation to your penis, which leads to erectile response.
However, patients with hypertension, or high blood pressure, struggle to achieve or maintain erections because of limited blood flow.
Since the blood vessels narrow with hypertension, it restricts your penile blood flow, leading to sexual dysfunction, and may prevent you from responding to sexual stimulation.
High Blood Pressure and Male Sex Drive
Testosterone is a crucial hormone responsible for sex drive.
High blood pressure is a medical condition that will lead to a decline in blood flow and thus reduce how much testosterone is circulated through your body.
Low testosterone levels cause men to become less interested in sex and have difficulty getting and maintaining an erection.
Blood Pressure Medication & ED
Some blood pressure meds are more likely to cause ED than others.
Learning which types of medications are more likely to cause erectile dysfunction will allow you to talk freely with your healthcare professional about them.
This will help you treat your blood pressure level without causing ED.
Be sure to ask for a blood pressure treatment program that has no association with erectile dysfunction.
Three drugs that have been shown not to cause ED are:
- ACE inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
The good news is three of the most commonly prescribed medications for hypertension have no association with sexual side effects.
But the not-so-good news is that two of the other most common blood pressure medicines do come with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction.
Those medications are beta-blockers and diuretics.
If your doctors recommend a beta-blocker or diuretic and you’re concerned about erectile dysfunction, be sure to discuss your concerns with them.
Beta-blockers treat a wide range of conditions, including congestive heart failure, hyperthyroidism, and coronary artery disease, in addition to high blood pressure.
These typically aren’t used as a first-line treatment for high blood pressure but are prescribed when other medications have failed to lower blood pressure.
Water pills (aka diuretics) cause you to urinate more often than usual.
This decreases the levels of sodium and water in the body, lowering your blood pressure.
What Do I Need To Do If My ED Is Caused By Medicine?
If you’re worried your high blood pressure medications are causing ED or negatively affecting erectile function, you should speak with your doctor immediately.
If it’s discovered that your medication is causing your ED and not the high blood pressure itself, you may be able to switch to another medication to solve the problem.
Never stop taking your medicine without speaking to your healthcare provider first.
If your high blood pressure is causing your erectile dysfunction, ask about drugs like avanafil (Stendra), sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn,).
Your doctor will likely start you on these drugs once your blood pressure is under control because they aren’t safe for people with hypertension.
You also shouldn’t take them if you are on alpha-blockers or nitrate drugs for heart disease.
Dealing with erectile dysfunction can be challenging. This is why you need to seek treatment options from a medical professional who can help you find with erectile dysfunction drug (like a PDE5 inhibitor) or cutting-edge treatments like acoustic wave therapy.
Choice Men’s Health Can Help With Your Erectile Dysfunction
If you’re dealing with ED, whether it’s related to blood pressure medicine or not, it’s time to see a professional.
Once a health professional has diagnosed you with ED, it can be treated so you can lead a happier, healthier life.
If you have questions about erectile dysfunction, Choice Men’s Health in Atlanta, Georgia, has been helping men enjoy a healthy sex life for years.
We have customized treatments that can help you reconnect with your partner and have great sex again!