Many men are actively aware of how high blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction. As a crash course explanation, the continuous damage to the blood vessels caused by HBP can decrease the blood volume being brought to the penis, causing impotence.
The natural train of thought would lead many patients to look into blood pressure medications as a potential cure. After all, if the source condition is treated, it’ll naturally follow that erectile dysfunction (ED) symptoms get mitigated as well, right?
Turns out, blood pressure medications aren’t the cure-all for impotence; it might even be more factual to deem them the opposite.
Although blood pressure medications do treat the source problem (i.e. high blood pressure) quite effectively, many forms of it won’t do anything to treat erectile dysfunction. In some rare cases where a patient is suffering from HBP without ED, these medications may even give rise to new sexual woes.
If you’re curious to learn more about the mechanisms that surround blood pressure medication and erectile function, you’re in the right place. Let’s deep dive into the science behind it to uncover the truth.
The Connection Between High Blood Pressure and Impotence
Before diving into the connection between HBP medication and impotence, let’s briefly recap the basics.
High blood pressure is a condition wherein your blood pressure has a higher reading than the prescribed threshold of 120/80 mmHg. This condition is widespread and is caused by a combination of several factors such as age, diet, genetics, and lifestyle choices.
High blood pressure is often asymptomatic, but over time, it causes damage to your arteries and blood vessels. This damage can come in various ways, from leakages to plaque build-up. Any structural vessel damage caused by HBP changes the way your blood flows.
But how do erections fit in the picture? Well, erections occur when blood pools in the penis, thus making it firm and rigid. If the pathway that brings blood to the penis is blocked or insufficient, an erection can’t be achieved.
Due to this, the presence of high blood pressure and its associated damage can undermine your erectile potential, even if your body feels fine otherwise. According to medical journals, individuals with high blood pressure are twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction compared to those without hypertension.
On top of that, endothelial dysfunction is a shared problem between these two conditions. This condition is characterized by an abnormal structural narrowing of the blood vessels, causing impaired penile blood flow.
Previous studies have also indicated that the presence of erectile dysfunction in patients with high blood pressure is more prominent among patients who are currently being treated for their condition as opposed to being left untreated.
This shows that high blood pressure medications also alter your erections negatively. Let’s look into this connection more closely.
High Blood Pressure Medication and Erectile Dysfunction
About 1 in 5 cases of ED are attributed to drug use. Besides SSRis, your standard high blood pressure drug is high on the list of drugs that can decrease blood flow to the penis.
Certain types of blood pressure medications, namely beta blockers and diuretics, can actively contribute to the development of ED symptoms.
Beta-blockers are used to reduce your blood pressure by blocking the effects of epinephrine (commonly known as adrenaline) in your body. This makes your heart beat more slowly while also reducing its blood pressure.
Diuretics, particularly thiazide diuretics, also pose the same sexual risk. This water pill’s primary function is to remove salt and water in the blood. The exact mechanism of water pills on the body is not clear, but some studies suggest that this pill affects the vascular smooth muscle cells and lowers the response of catecholamines in the body.
In cases wherein you’re suffering from ED caused by BP medication, your doctor may advise you to lower your current dosage to restore normal blood pressure.
In some cases, your doctor may also switch you to a different antihypertensive drug altogether. High blood pressure drugs that don’t normally induce ED are as follows:
- ACE inhibitors
- Angioten-sin-receptor blockers
Also, if “does Lisinopril cause ED?” crossed your mind, you’ll be pleased to know that this ACE inhibitor doesn’t cause ED.
BP Medications, ED, and the Placebo Effect
A study conducted by Harvard Health revealed that the placebo effect could also be a factor in inducing ED in patients with HBP.
In said study, two groups were given the same BP pill, but only one group was told that they may experience sexual side effects following usage. The results showed that about one-third of the group of people who were warned about the side effect claimed to have experienced ED, while only 3% of those who were not warned reported any sort of sexual side effects.
As seen above, the belief that certain medications can cause ED can be enough to trigger the condition in some people. This proves that the placebo effect may also play a role in the development of ED cases.
4 Ways to Treat Impotence
Impotence is a multifactorial condition. While high blood pressure and HBP medication can cause it, diabetes, sleep apnea, and obesity can also leave men at risk of developing this sexual dysfunction in the future.
It’s best to address the underlying cause to alleviate your impotence. But if you’re already lowering blood pressure through various programs and still not getting results, consider the following treatment options to remedy your condition:
- RestoreWave therapy: RestoreWave therapy, also known as acoustic wave therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that uses a wand-like device to induce shockwaves to improve circulation and restore blood flow in the penis.
- ED therapy: This medical program is a tailored one wherein the doctor prescribes topical gels, creams, and injections to help restore an erection in patients.
- Surgery: This is the most invasive form of treatment. This approach is typically not necessary for most men, but often is the most effective when utilized, especially for severe ED.
- Lifestyle modification program: Patients will undergo a rigorous exercise, diet, and stress management program to naturally protect themselves from future ED symptoms.
Get Superior Treatment at Atlanta, Georgia with Priority Men’s Medical Center
Although blood pressure medication has the potential to lead to erectile dysfunction, you shouldn’t give up your current treatment plan outright.
At Priority Men’s Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia, our friendly roster of expert urologists will help you treat high blood pressure and ED symptoms.
Besides ED treatment, we also offer men’s health services such as hormone replacement therapy, premature ejaculation treatment, and customized health programs aimed to lower blood pressure.
Interested in getting your sexual function back on track? Book a free consultation with us today.