Sex may permeate our popular culture, but conversations about it are still associated with stigma and shame in Indian homes. As a result, most individuals who deal with sexual health issues or seek out information about sex often resort to unverified online sources or follow the unscientific advice of their friends.
To dispel widespread misconceptions about sex, News18.com is running this weekly sex column, entitled ‘Let’s Talk Sex’. We hope that this column will start a conversation about sex and address sexual health issues with scientific insight and subtlety.
This column is being written by Sexologist Professor (Dr.) Saransh Jain. In today’s column, Dr. Jain discusses the link between hypertension and erectile dysfunction.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the leading cause of erectile dysfunction; It puts people at higher risk of ED. When your blood flows naturally, you can achieve a healthy erection. Natural stimulation increases blood flow to your penis which causes erection. With hypertension this process becomes more difficult. In this case, the blood vessels constrict, slowing the natural flow of blood. Hypertension not only increases your risk of stroke or heart attack, it also complicates erection. Men with high blood pressure are almost twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction and penile blood flow than men with normal blood pressure.
Why Hypertension is a Silent Killer
Hypertension develops for a variety of reasons, including kidney disease and lifestyle choices such as smoking or a high sodium diet. Sometimes people develop high blood pressure for no apparent reason.
Regardless of why you have hypertension, untreated chronic high blood pressure damages your heart and blood vessels and ultimately leads to fatal medical conditions such as heart disease and stroke. And because the condition does not come with significant symptoms, doctors call it a “silent killer.”
The link between erectile dysfunction and hypertension
To understand how hypertension can lead to erectile dysfunction, you must first understand how an erection works. Lifting is a complex process.
The shaft of the penis has two lateral chambers of spongy tissue called corpora cavernosa. They are made up of small arteries and veins, smooth muscle fibers and spaces. The chamber is wrapped in a thin tissue sheath.
This is how you get erection: signals from the brain travel from the nerves to the penis and relax the smooth muscles of the chambers and the arteries expand or widen. This allows a rush of blood to fill the gaps. The pressure of the blood flow causes the lining of the tissues around the chamber to press on the veins which normally draw blood out of the penis. Which traps blood in the penis. As more blood flows, the penis expands and hardens, and you get erect.
Hypertension damages your blood vessels and arteries, making it impossible for the arteries that supply blood to your penis to function. This also affects the muscles in the penis and creates an inability to relax. As a result, there is not enough blood to make your penis erect or to keep it erect. In addition, the risk of lowering testosterone is almost twice as high if you have hypertension. While the link between hypertension and low testosterone is still being investigated, having low testosterone can contribute to erectile problems and low libido.
Treatment options for men with hypertension and erectile dysfunction
It is important to control hypertension for your overall health. Each year, this silent killer kills or contributes to about half a million deaths, but only one in four adults with hypertension has their condition under control.
It is important to take steps to lower your blood pressure through both lifestyle changes and medications if recommended by your doctor. Unfortunately, many medications prescribed to help lower blood pressure can make your erectile dysfunction worse as it affects blood flow. Sometimes, the choices some men make with high blood pressure can exacerbate the problem. Smoking, in particular, is one of them. Smoking raises blood pressure, damages blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the body.
By living a healthy lifestyle and working with your doctor, there is a chance that you will be able to have normal sexual function again. If you incorporate these lifestyle changes into controlling your blood pressure, you can have much more success in treating erection problems:
• Eating well and exercising regularly will help prevent and manage high blood pressure.
If you need help controlling your blood pressure, try the DASH (Dietary Approach to Preventing Hypertension) diet. This can lower blood pressure in two weeks. In general, the DASH diet emphasizes eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products while limiting salt, fat, and sugar.
You should limit sodium to 1,500 mg daily. That’s about two-thirds of a tablespoon of salt. Prefer fresh foods that do not contain any preservatives or fats. Also, read food labels to check the amount of sodium in the serving, and do not add any extra salt.
Burning calories through exercise helps you tone your body and lose weight. Being overweight increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.
You don’t have to follow intense workouts when it comes to exercise. Find a way to move your body and increase your heart rate with 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.
તમે If you smoke, look at smoking cessation programs, and get support from your doctor, family and friends.
If you experience erectile dysfunction immediately after starting any medication for hypertension, talk to your doctor. They can work with you to recommend an existing medication option or to troubleshoot your problem. Keep in mind that the half-lives of different medications vary, which means that it may take several days or even weeks for the medication to leave your body, so it may take some time for your erection to return after stopping the hypertension medication.