In the US, erectile dysfunction is a highly frequent issue that impacts over 30 million males. Erectile dysfunction is a condition that can affect men at any age; however, it is more prevalent in older adults. A person with erectile dysfunction is unable to achieve or maintain a good enough erection for sexual activity.
Over half of males over 40 have high blood pressure, and the prevalence of high blood pressure increases with age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There might be a link between erectile dysfunction and excessive blood pressure in certain men. Men who are aware of this relationship may be able to find the men’s health care that works best for them.
High Blood Pressure: What is it?
When your blood vessel pressure is abnormally high on a regular basis, you have high blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension. You may be at risk for heart disease as a result of this. Damage from high blood pressure to the arteries leads to their hardening and narrowing, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
It’s critical to routinely check blood pressure. Less than 120/80 on a blood pressure measurement is regarded as normal. Since high blood pressure rarely exhibits symptoms, routine blood pressure checks and doctor visits are the best ways to identify the illness before it becomes a severe concern, according to the American Heart Association.
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Does Erectile Dysfunction Result from Elevated Blood Pressure?
Blood rushes to fill the penile arteries, causing an erection. Blood vessels that typically supply blood to the penis can get clogged by high blood pressure. The penis cannot become erect when there is insufficient blood flow to it.
Because the arteries in the penis are smaller than those in other body parts, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders may impact them first. Certain men become aware of their excessive blood pressure only after consulting with their physician regarding erectile dysfunction.
This implies that erectile dysfunction may be a precursor to hypertension, heart disease, or other medical issues. Patients seeking the best treatment for their erectile dysfunction can consult with urologists at Washington University.
Can Erectile Dysfunction be Brought on by Blood Pressure Medication?
Certain popular medications used to treat high blood pressure may lead to erectile dysfunction. These drugs may alter the nerve impulses that often trigger an erection, lessen the force of blood flow into the penis, or make it more difficult for the arteries to open and permit blood to flow.
It is not safe to combine some blood pressure meds with other medications, such as erectile dysfunction prescriptions. Speak with a doctor to learn more about the interactions and adverse effects of these medications.
There might be ways to assist even if the medicine used to treat high blood pressure is the cause of erectile dysfunction. Urologists at Washington University treat erectile dysfunction using a variety of pharmaceutical and minimally invasive methods.
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Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction at Washington University Urology
Every facet of a person’s health is taken into consideration by the men’s health professionals at Washington University Urology. First, our specialists identify the root source of the issue. Your urologist can assist you in understanding your options after determining the underlying reason of your erectile dysfunction. Depending on their health and other situations, some men may respond better to different kinds of treatment.
Washington University urologists can also assist men in making connections with other medical professionals to enhance their general health in the event that erectile dysfunction is caused by high blood pressure or another illness.
What May be the Root Cause of ED
There are several potential causes and contributing factors for ED. Usually, a confluence of factors causes it to accomplish one or more of the following:
- Affect the penis’s blood flow
- Between the brain and the penis, affect messages
- impact the penis’s nerves
For instance, problems like atherosclerosis, excessive cholesterol, and heart and blood vessel diseases might affect blood flow. Furthermore, many treatments for pelvic cancer as well as diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and others might cause nerve problems.
Additional medical disorders that may exacerbate ED include:
- Peyronie’s illness
- Low testosterone Damage to the spinal cord, other pelvic organs, or the penis
Medications That May Result in ED
Certain medications may cause erectile dysfunction as a side effect. The most prevalent examples are blood pressure medications, particularly beta-blockers (like metoprolol and atenolol) and diuretics (such furosemide and chlorothiazide), which can reduce blood flow to the penis.
ED’s Psychological Causes
Your body and mind must cooperate in order to have sex. It can be challenging to achieve and sustain an erection due to unpleasant feelings like as stress, fear, or guilt, even in the absence of any underlying medical conditions. This also applies to mental health issues like sadness and anxiety.
An prevalent example of a negative emotion that might exacerbate ED is worry over one’s ability to reproduce sexually. Furthermore, worrying could lead to more stress or anxiety if the cause of the concern is ED symptoms. It’s crucial to remember, though, that unpleasant emotions don’t always have to do with sex to cause problems. For example, if your job is really demanding, it may be more difficult to get into and stay in the mood.
Factors related to lifestyle that may exacerbate ED
Just like with certain medical problems, certain lifestyle factors are linked to ED. For example, smoking has a detrimental effect on blood circulation throughout the body. Additionally, being overweight or sedentary increases one’s risk of developing diabetes and heart problems.
Lastly, research has indicated that long-term use of illegal drugs or alcohol negatively impacts a person’s ability to have a sexual relationship for both men and women.
There are several potential reasons of erectile dysfunction, and multiple variables often contribute to the condition. It can, however, be eliminated from your daily life along with any associated stress with the correct mix of medication, lifestyle modifications, and other therapies.
See your primary care physician if you suspect you may have erectile dysfunction. If needed, they can provide you with an initial evaluation and a referral to a urologist or specialist in sexual health.