High arterial pressure is among the most common health conditions in adults. Impotence (erectile dysfunction according to medical terminology) is also a not rare disorder, many men suffer from it, especially in older age. What Is the correlation between arterial hypertension and erection disorders? Can high BP cause ED? Let’s shed a light on this question.
Mechanism of Erection
To find out how elevated BP might affect erectile function, it is good to learn the mechanism of erection.
Well, a penis has two longish chambers inside; they are called corpora cavernosa (corpus cavernosum singular). These chambers are chiefly responsible for penis hardening. There is another one chamber right below them. The name of this chamber is corpus spongiosum. The corpora cavernosa consist of smooth muscles, blood vessels, and an extensive empty space.
When a male is sexually excited, his brain sends signals to the penis causing arteries to widen remarkably and smooth musculature to relax. Blood flow enters the empty space leading to male organ hardening and increasing in size.
Read our detailed article: What Exactly Does Viagra Do? Step-By-Step Description
What Does the Science Say?
Researchers who have paid attention to this issue, almost unanimously made the following verdict: erectile dysfunction is associated with high blood pressure.
One study published in the JAGS Journal indicated that near high BP sufferers in the age range of 40-79 years also had impotence.
Other scientists (a paper in the Journal of Urology) found that two-thirds of gentlemen with increased blood pressure who participated in the study had penile impotence of a certain severity. Moreover, the degree of the disease was serious in more than 40 percent of the participants.
Finnish scientists Arto Heikkilä, Antti Kaipia et al. (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2017) found a U-shaped correlation between diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and impotence with a 90 mm Hg nadir, which is another confirmation of the link between these two conditions.
Researchers Kenia Pedrosa Nunes et al. at Georgia Health Sciences University (Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension, 2012) even used a term hypertension-associated erectile dysfunction, however, they noted that the link “has not been totally understood”.
What’s the Underlying Cause?
When the blood pressure is high, vessels are overstrained, which may result in damage to them. Damaged vessels are apparently factors that contribute to ED development. If the vessels cannot provide the corpora cavernosa with the sufficient amount of blood, the erection is weak and poor.
By the way, women’s sexual life may also be affected by elevated arterial pressure but in lesser extent, as their arousal less depends on blood flow than that of men. However, ladies with high BP can have lower libido and diminished interest in sex. There are few options for treating sexual dysfunctions in the gentle sex, but they exist. In particular, a woman can use Female Pink Viagra, which is a sildenafil-based drug which improves blood circulation in the clitoris (a short review of the tablet is here).
What to Do?
Popping a pill, such as Viagra, Levitra or Cialis is a good solution, but ED pills don’t eliminate the cause of erectile dysfunction. They only provide symptomatic relief by improving mechanisms of achieving and maintaining an erection.
Therefore, you should also treat BP (this will also prevent other possible complications) etc. Treatment should include both medical therapy and changes in lifestyle. Studies have found that Mediterranean diet, which should include vegetables, fruits, whole-grained food, red wine, and seafood, might be helpful for high BP and symptoms of erectile dysfunction. In addition, it helps to lose weight, which is also beneficial, as being overweight increases chances to develop ED, not to mention that the penis may become embedded in abdominal fat with weight gain.
Do not suffer in silence, if you have a health problem, you need to solve it ASAP.