High blood pressure and Sex
Are you suffering from any type
of heart disease, it's only natural to have concerns about whether sex is still safe for you or
not. Yes you have good news: According to the American Heart Association, most people with heart
disease can have sex safely -- and that includes those with high blood pressure.
Sexlike any other form of
exercise keep the heart pumping. And, in rare cases, some people may have heart attack in extra
exertion. But the risks are encouragingly small. According to a report in the July 20, 2000
issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, fewer than 1 percent of all heart attacks occur
during sexual activity. Still, some people need to be careful
As reported in the American
Journal of Cardiology, for people with severe hypertension that isn't under control, sex really
can be dangerous. If you have high blood pressure but aren't getting treatment -- or if your
blood pressure is high despite treatment -- your doctor may ask you to abstain from sex or other
strenuous activity until your pressure is under control. If there's any doubt about your safety,
your doctor will order a stress test like Excercise tolerance test to measure the effects of
exercise on your heart muscles.
sexual functioning can be affected by High Blood
Whether you're a
woman or a man, high blood pressure can definitely put a damper on your sex life. Among men,
high blood pressure can cause erectile dysfunction by slowing the supply of blood to the penis.
A survey of 104 men with high blood pressure, published in the October 2000 issue of The
Journal of Urology, found that the vast majority -- 71 patients -- had some form of erectile
dysfunction. For 47 men -- nearly half -- the problem was severe.
What is role of high blood
pressure on female sexuality. A study of 640 women, published in the June 2000 issue of The
American Journal of Hypertension, found that the women with hypertension were significantly more
likely than others to suffer pain during intercourse. They also were more likely to have
decreased vaginal lubrication and trouble reaching orgasm.
Effect of hypertension
medications on sexuality
Many drugs that are good for
your heart can be hard on your sex life. According to the Mayo Clinic, many diuretics and beta
blockers, two very popular classes of blood pressure medicine can affect a person's sex drive
and cause erectile problems in men. Though it’s usually safe to take erectile dysfunction drugs
(Viagra, Levitra, Cialis) with high blood pressure medication, don’t take them with nitrates,
this can cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure as these drugs cause intense
If you have any sexual
difficulties after taking your high blood pressure medication, don't suffer in silence. Your
doctor can usually solve the problem by simply changing the prescription. As reported in
Postgraduate Medicine, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers can lower blood pressure with
little to no risk of sexual side effects.
Some High blood pressure
medicines may actually give a boost to a person's sex life. A study of 82 men with sexual
dysfunction, published in the May 2001 issue of the American Journal of Medicine and Science,
found that patients had more reliable erections and more frequent sex after treatment with the
drug losartan (Cozaar). Losartan belongs to a relatively new class of drugs known as angiotensin
II receptor antagonists or ARBs.
Whatever medicine your doctor
prescribes, be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
Debusk R et al. Management of
sexual dysfunction in patients with cardiovascular disease: Recommendations of the Princeton
Consensus Panel. American Journal of Cardiology. July 20, 2000. 86(2A):
Kochar MS et al. What is
causing your patient's sexual dysfunction? Postgraduate Medicine. August 1999. 106 (2):
Mayo Clinic. High Blood
Pressure and Sex: Overcome the Challenges. August 2006.
Burchardt M et al. Hypertension
is associated with severe erectile dysfunction. Journal of Urology. October 2000.
Duncan LE at al. Does
hypertension and its pharmacotherapy affect the quality of sexual function in women? American
Journal of Hypertension. June 2000. 13(6 pt 1): 640-647.