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Sex

All pressure in all the right places

The penis won't work without functional blood vessels. If the vessels in the penis are not OK, there's no guarantee that performance between the sheets is top level either. In other words, erectile dysfunction may occur. Erectile dysfunction is a condition where there is no erection at all or when the penis bails out in the middle of intercourse.

It is a known fact that circulation problems are the most common cause of erectile dysfunction. Elevated blood pressure is at the top of the list of things that cause problems with circulation in the penis. Considering how common this issue is, it receives little attention. You see, elevated blood pressure plagues about half of adult men, whether they know it or not. One million Finns take medication for lowering their blood pressure. About two thirds of men with hypertension suffer from erectile dysfunction. In other words, if we line up all men who have high blood pressure and call out those who have problems with erection, quite a few guys will step forward.

Erection and sexual arousal are such a complex phenomenon that rare is the man who has never had any setbacks in the bedroom. Sexual issues tend to increase with age, which is nothing out of the ordinary. This being a fact, you shouldn't risk your erection further by allowing elevated blood pressure to mess things up. The likelihood of erectile dysfunction increases in proportion to the severity and duration of hypertension. So you really need to get the disease under control without delay.

Innermost layers of vessels take the hit

Blood pressure puts a strain on the innermost layer of the arteries of the penis. The layer produces nitric oxide that dilates the arteries in an erection, allowing sufficient volumes of blood to flow into the penis. In hypertension, the functioning of the innermost layer is compromised, resulting in insufficient production of nitric oxide.

Hypertension increases the risk of cerebrovascular accidents, coronary artery disease, cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac insufficiency and renal insufficiency. All of these have a weakening effect on the erection over time. In other words, fully functional ticker, vessels and kidneys are what it takes to get a proper erection.

To top it all off, elevated blood pressure worsens arteriosclerosis, which is something the arteries in the penis are not protected against any more than elsewhere in the body. You do not want the vessels to be the only thing that's getting hard down there.

Elevated or high blood pressure is often a sum of many parts. Smoking, letting yourself gain weight and eating saturated fats and salt are a sure bet to get your blood pressure up. Excessive drinking and stress will also be visible in your blood pressure readings. Youth is not forever: with many men and women, blood pressure starts creeping up soon after you hit 30. And since everything is interconnected, tobacco, alcohol and high cholesterol may also cause erectile dysfunction. On a side note, a non-fun fact: if you have already developed a solid beer belly or have a sagging sack around your waist, the weight of it may compromise circulation in the pelvic area. Even more important is that gaining weight lowers the concentration of testosterone a.k.a. the male hormone. The outcome of all this is that obesity interferes with all sexual functions. Losing those love handles might just add a lil' more lovin' in your life.

Is medication to blame?

Although elevated blood pressure is treated by means of lifestyle changes, medication is often also needed. One medication is not always enough. Medications help lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of developing other related illnesses.

Some of the blood pressure medications may cause erectile dysfunction. That is a fact. However, not all medications cause problems to everyone and for some they cause no issues at all. Make sure to talk to your physician if your medication is getting in the way of your sex life. Medications can be changed and different combinations can be tried. Finding the right medication doesn't happen overnight. There are no shortcuts. Except of course for medication that is used to treat erection problems. You shouldn't start taking such medication on your own. Check if you can use it if your blood pressure is high.