How to Stop Your High Blood Pressure Ruining Your Sex Life
While high blood pressure doesn’t often effect your wellness with any major symptoms, you may be able to quite clearly see the impact it has on your sexual health. Although having sex or engaging in any sexual activity isn’t likely to pose an immediate threat to your wellbeing – such as a heart attack – having high blood pressure can make sex less enjoyable, especially in men. Studies have proven a link between high blood pressure and sexual problems in men, but for women who have decreased sexual satisfaction, it’s not yet proved that high blood pressure is to blame. Nonetheless, treatment for high blood pressure and satisfaction with sex can go hand in hand — but only if you’re open about the problem and work closely with your doctor.
The reason why high blood pressure affects men’s sex lives is because, over time, it damages the lining of your blood vessels, causing your arteries to narrow and harden. This is a condition known as atherosclerosis and it limits your blood flow. As a result of atherosclerosis, blood cannot flow to your penis as easily, making it more difficult for you to achieve and maintain erections. This is otherwise known as the fairly common problem of erectile dysfunction (ED). Every time this happens to you, you can feel anxious that it will happen again. This means that men can try to avoid sex, which, in turn, has a negative impact on your relationship. Moreover, high blood pressure can reduce your sexual desire and interfere with ejaculation.
For women, high blood pressure’s effect on sexual problems still isn’t well understood, but it is possible that high blood pressure could affect your sex life. As with men, high blood pressure reduces blood flow, meaning that the blood cannot get to your vagina as easily. While women don’t necessarily need blood flow to be able to have sex, decreased blood flow to the genitals can lower your sexual desire or arousal, make it more difficult for you to achieve an orgasm, and contribute to vaginal dryness. However, lubrication and taking steps to improve your arousal can help. Still, the anxiety these problems cause – as with men – can mean you’re reluctant to have sex, which contributes to relationship problems.
Therefore, if you’re a man or a woman who experiences such difficulties, you should talk to a doctor about ways to make things better. The more your doctor knows about you, the better he or she can treat your high blood pressure — and help you maintain a satisfying sex life – so be open and honest, and prepared to answer questions your doctor may ask. Go to your consultation equipped with the following information:
- Any medications you are taking
- Whether your relationship with your sexual partner has changed recently
- Any recent feelings of depression
- Any stresses you are currently facing, and whether or not that’s more than usual
Your doctor will most likely recommend lifestyle changes that promote overall health, and boost your sexual satisfaction as a result. By eating healthy foods, reducing the amount of salt in your diet, losing weight, exercising regularly and not smoking, you can lower your blood pressure and potentially improve your sex life. Moreover, this healthy lifestyle will give you a leaner body, which will boost your confidence and help you feel more attractive – and that’s a plus to anyone’s sex life. Remember, you also need to communicate with your partner, as this will help to alleviate both of your worries and give you ways of moving forward. One thing you might try is initiating intimacy in a different, more relaxing way, such as through massage or getting in the bath together.