Sometimes people will discover that they have a low sex drive without realising they have high blood pressure. Blood pressure measures the rate at which blood pushes against the walls of the arteries as it moves through the body. The systolic pressure is when your heart is contracted and is pumping blood into the body, and the diastolic pressure is the rate when the heart is resting between pumps.
When blood pressure is too high on a regular basis, it can quietly damage the organs of the body for years before symptoms develop. But, despite the apparently invisibility of stress and high blood pressure, their effects can linger throughout many life activities, including sex. Unfortunately, the biggest problem with high blood pressure is that many people who have it don’t feel it. The absence of immediate symptoms makes it easy to ignore, or stop drug treatment when side effects appear.
Sex-related side effects such as impotence and ejaculation problems in men, painful or uncomfortable intercourse, difficulty having an orgasm in women, and lack of desire in both sexes have been ascribed to virtually all classes of drugs used to control blood pressure.
For some men, the decreased blood flow makes it difficult to achieve and maintain erections often referred to as erectile dysfunction. The problem is fairly common, especially among men who are not treating their high blood pressure. Unfortunately, even a single episode of erectile dysfunction can cause anxiety. Fears that it will happen again might lead men to avoid sex and affect relationship with their sexual partners. In some instances, the fear of having sex in some individuals with high blood pressure may cause heart attack, which on its own contributes to poor libido.
The biggest irony of the strange relationship between blood pressure and sex surfaces when you study the effect of high blood pressure medicines on sexual functioning. Some of the medicines used for treating high blood pressure can further deplete sex drive by causing erectile dysfunction.
High blood pressure’s effect on sexual problems in women isn’t well understood. But it’s possible that high blood pressure could affect a woman’s sex life. Experts are of the opinion that high blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the vagina. For some women, this leads to a decrease in sexual desire or arousal, vaginal dryness, or difficulty achieving orgasm. Improving arousal and lubrication can help. Like men, women can experience anxiety and relationship issues due to sexual dysfunction. Women should talk to their doctor if they experience these difficulties.
Nonetheless, by making healthy lifestyle choices, one can lower one’s blood pressure and potentially improve on one’s sex life. Healthy lifestyle choices include not smoking or using tobacco; eating healthy foods; reducing the amount of salt intake; losing weight, managing stress and exercising regularly.