Everyone experiences a lag in their libido now and then, but if it persists, you may be suffering from sexual dysfunction — a scary-sounding condition with many easy fixes.
Both men and women can face sexual challenges from a subpar sex drive to difficulty with arousal to inability to orgasm — to name just a few. Sexual dysfuntion is more common than you might think. Studies show that up to 52% of men and 63% of women report challenging bedroom issues.
But just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s inevitable, and it certainly doesn't mean you have to live with it.
The causes of these problems run the gambit of chronic high stress to serious health conditions. One of the often overlooked culprits is high blood pressure.
At Four Peaks Primary Care & Internal Medicine, in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Fayz Yar Khan and our team help men and women get to the bottom of their sexual issues so they can enjoy a healthy sex life for years to come. If you have hypertension (high blood pressure), it may be a contributing factor in your sexual dysfunction. Here’s how the two conditions are linked.
How hypertension affects a man’s sexual function
The longer you live with hypertension, the more damage it does to the lining of your blood vessels. Over time, the walls of these essential delivery highways become harder and narrower — a condition called atherosclerosis. Most people relate that to heart disease, and they’re right, but it affects all your veins, including those in your penis.
If the blood flow in your penis is compromised, it affects your ability to get an erection and/or keep it long enough to have sex.
How hypertension affects a woman’s sexual function
The relationship between high blood pressure and woman’s sexual health is less straightforward. One clear connection is that decreased blood flow limits circulation in your genitals, which lowers sensitivity and inhibits your ability to reach an orgasm.
Lack of blood flow may also be responsible for a woman’s low libido and her difficulty in getting aroused.
Finally, poor circulation leads to poor skin health and dehydration, so your vagina becomes a dry, inhospitable environment, and sex becomes less desireable and more uncomfortable.
Is it safe to have sex if you have hypertension?
Sex gets your heart pumping faster, which makes it a great form of exercise. If you have hypertension, you may be wondering if all that excitement is safe.
The good news is that less than 1% of heart attacks stem from sexual activity. That said, if your high blood pressure is severe and uncontrolled, hold off on having sex until you talk with Dr. Yar Khan and he gives you the green light.
How your hypertension medications may affect your sex life
Although Dr. Yar Khan believes in the power of lifestyle changes to bring your high blood pressure back into a normal range, there are times when medications become necessary.
If you’re taking beta blockers for hypertension, it may be contributing to your sexual dysfunction. Talk to Dr. Yar Khan if you’ve noticed this side effect, so he can change your medication if possible.
How ED drugs can affect your sexual health
On the flip side, if you’re taking medication, such as Viagra, to resolve erectile dysfunction, it can exacerbate your hypertension. Every medication and every man is different, so it’s very possible to take ED drugs without endangering your health, but make sure you talk to Dr. Yar Khan honestly about all the medications you take and all the symptoms you experience.
To find out more about either hypertension, sexual dysfunction, or the link between them, book an appointment online or call our friendly staff today. Dr. Yar Khan is a great listener and an experienced specialist.