a render of a blood vessel suffering from high blood pressure

Erectile Dysfunction
& High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (Hypertension) is a major cause of Erectile Dysfunction (ED). A paper published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society revealed that around 49% of men aged 40 to 79 with high blood pressure suffered with ED. There is also a link between high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction and high cholesterol.

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Do you have High Blood pressure, and have developed ED?

Contact us now for a FREE 20-minute phone consultation or carry on reading to find out more about how MansMatters can help.

 

 

 

an illustration contrasting a flaccid penis versus an erect penis

How does High Blood pressure effect erections?

To appreciate how high blood pressure can lead to ED, you first need to understand how erections work - Getting an erection is a really complicated process.

The penis consists of three tubes, one is the hollow urethra that carries urine and semen, and two are soft, spongy tubes called the corpora cavernosa. During an erection these two tubes fill with blood to stiffen the penis.

As you age high blood pressure damages the lining of the blood vessels causing arteries to harden and narrow. This limits blood flow to the penis. It also makes the physical exercise required during penetrative sex more of a challenge due to the physically demanding exercise required and you may experience difficulty in continuing.

Sometimes you can get an erection during foreplay but maintaining it after you start to have intercourse may be difficult as the blood flow weakens.

In early medical studies, the link between high blood pressure and ED could not be factually proven, so many believed that there was no correlation between ED and hypertension. However, as medical science has progressed and more scientific research has been conducted, it became clear that, ED can indeed be caused due to hypertension – see Erectile Dysfunction and Hypertension: Impact on Cardiovascular Risk and Treatment as reported in the International Journal of Hypertension. 

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a nitric oxide compound, consisting of a nitrogen molecule, and oxygen molecule

The Role of Nitric Oxide

Another major way high blood pressure causes ED is by reducing the Nitric Oxide level. Nitric Oxide or NO is essential for men to have strong erections. Men with high blood pressure are more likely to have bigger carotid intima-media thickness, increased level of serum inflammatory mediators and lower level of brachial flow-mediated dilation than men who have normal blood pressure. These happen because of the lack of sufficient Nitric Oxide. Such issues can ultimately pave the way for several cardiovascular diseases, which in turn can affect erectile function in men.

The severity of ED also correlates with the duration of hypertension. Men who have been suffering from high blood pressure for a longer period of time, have higher chances of experiencing more severe ED than others.

Males with hypertension can also develop ED due to endothelial dysfunction. High blood pressure increases oxidative stress and damages endothelial cells. Because of these issues, arterioles, blood arteries and sinusoids of the corpus cavernosum can't dilate properly, which can hamper the erectile function to work effectively. Even existing endothelial dysfunction can get worse due to hypertension.

Testosterone hormone levels can also get affected by high blood pressure. Men with high blood pressure usually have a lower testosterone level than others. This hormone is vital for a proper sexual function in men. Without enough testosterone, men may not get sexually excited enough and in turn suffer from ED.

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a blood pressure monitor next to blister packs of medication

Blood Pressure Drugs & Their Effects on ED

Men who discover that they have high blood pressure are usually prescribed drugs to lower their blood pressure, while this is linked to reduced risks of death, stroke, and heart disease – it is thought that as many as 50% of men do not take their medication because of the impact they have on sexual function.

Some medicines for hypertension can also be potential risk factors for ED. Medicine like diuretics which are usually prescribed for the treatment of hypertension, are related to the development of ED in men. Diuretics decrease the flow of the blood into the penile tissues. These also decrease the level of zinc in the body which is essential for the generation of testosterone hormone. Both testosterone hormone and adequate blood supply to the penis are essential in order to have strong erections.

If a man suffers from ED due to hypertension, then he may experience better erectile function if his high blood pressure gets treated. However, if his hypertension persists for too long the blood vessels may get permanently damaged. In this case just lowering blood pressure may not be enough for him to have strong erections and he will need to undergo specialist ED treatment to recover from it. There are various treatments available now for ED, ranging from non-invasive, minimally invasive through to surgically invasive. Non-invasive treatments should be explored first.

GP's will be careful about prescribing ‘little blue pills' to men taking statins for high blood pressure and many men discover that after taking these pills for some time the effect wanes. That is why we recommend a course of shockwave treatment to restore erectile function as this will not interfere with your statins.

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an illustration of a shockwave therapy procedure for erectile dysfunction

Focused Shockwave Therapy

Focused shockwave therapy that we provide is completely harmless without any notable side effects. It increases the flow of the blood inside the penile tissues and helps in the regeneration of new blood cells. It is non-invasive and painless, and we use a handheld device to send the shockwaves to the penis.

The effectiveness of this treatment is enhanced with focused Extracorporeal Magnetotransduction Therapy (EMTT). EMTT encourages the growth of new endothelial cells within penile tissues using a strong magnetic field. These endothelial cells are crucial to have a healthy erectile function, as they transmit nutrients through various tissues and generate energy. Strong erections require these cells to work properly. If endothelial cells are healthy, then the chances of penile tissues to get more blood easily.

 

 

 

 

blood pressure equipment on top of a cardiograph

Peyronie's Disease & High Blood Pressure

In the medical profession, we have a term called comorbidities. This refers to the simultaneous presence of two or more medical conditions or diseases in a patient. High blood pressure and diabetes are often comorbidities with both Peyronie's Disease (PD) or ED, and it is not uncommon that some patients suffer from three conditions at the same time.

Some men with high blood pressure are prescribed Beta blockers. Beta blockers help lower the blood pressure by blocking a particular receptor in the nervous system. Receptors are affected by chemicals. One such chemical, Epinephrine, limits and restricts the blood vessels, causing your heart to pump harder. Beta blockers work by blocking these receptors.

It is thought that Beta blockers can also affect the nervous system, which is essential in enabling a man to have an erection. This can lead to inadequate erections in some men.

 

 

 


a pensive looking man looking to his left


Beta Blockers and Peyronie's Disease

Beta blockers are also thought to be a contributory factor to PD. It is thought they can encourage fibrotic tissue disorders, leading to the formation of plaques and scars in the penis.

PD is a sexual issue in which men initially experience pain and go on to develop difficulties in obtaining erections, due to the penile curvature. However, not all penile curvature can be labelled as PD. Many men around the world have a slightly curved penis. It can happen due to various reasons. As long as the curve doesn't cause any pain and difficulties performing sexual intercourse, then no further medical intervention is required.

Treatment of PD is more challenging than ED. But using our non-invasive treatments, we have been able to treat PD in many men. Our focused shockwave therapy is greatly effective in reducing curvature and breaking up plaques. Men can also suffer from the inability of having strong erections due to such plaques. This is because penile plaques hamper the blood flow within the tissues inside the penis and restrict blood from circulating freely. By breaking up such plaques, shockwave therapy enables these tissues to function properly during sexual activity.

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Erectile Dysfunction & High Blood Pressure FAQs

If I Have Cardiovascular Issues, Will I Suffer From ED?

Cardiovascular issues are some of the major causes of ED. It’s not guaranteed that you will have erection problems, but there is a greater chance it may happen.

Is High Blood Pressure Associated With ED?

High blood pressure is a common cardiovascular disease, and it is one of the driving factors in the progression of ED in men. High blood pressure or hypertension over time causes damage to the blood vessels and blood pathways, which reduce the blood flow within the penis. Without proper blood flow the penis cannot get fully erect. Several studies have also found that many ED patients suffer from hypertension.

Why Is Normal Blood Pressure Important to Obtain Strong Erections?

Normal blood pressure maintains an adequate carotid intima-media thickness, normal level of serum inflammatory mediators and normal level of brachial flow-mediated dilation in men. All of these mechanisms are highly important for getting strong erections.

Does High Blood Pressure Have Any Effect on Nitric Oxide Levels & Why Is NO So Important In Gaining Erections?

Hypertension causes endothelial dysfunction in men and endothelial dysfunction reduces Nitric Oxide production. Due to an inadequate level of NO, the level of serum inflammatory mediators increases and carotid intima-media thickness increases. These are some of the signs of a lack of NO in men suffering from hypertension. And NO is highly essential for erections. Sufficient NO levels make sure that cavernosal smooth muscles relax which enables the penis to expand due to a free flow of blood when a person is sexually excited.

Is The Effect of Hypertension on Erectile Function Permanent?

If you suffer from hypertension for an extended period then blood vessels can be permanently damaged. In that case, there may be permanent damage.

Is There Any Correlation Between High Blood Pressure and The Severity Of ED?

ED gets worse if hypertension is not properly managed.

Can Medicine for Hypertension Affect My Erectile Function?

It is possible for you to develop ED if you are taking certain medicines for hypertension. Medicines like Beta blockers and Diuretics can have adverse effects on the erectile function.

Can My ED Effectively Get Treated If I Have High Blood Pressure?

You need to treat both conditions.

Can I Check My Own Blood Pressure?

Yes, blood pressure monitors can be purchased online or from your local pharmacy for as little as £12.50.

Is Hypertension Highly Associated with Peyronie’s Disease?

Hypertension itself may not induce PD but certain medicines that are prescribed for hypertension create a higher risk of PD. For example, Beta blockers, which can encourage fibrotic tissue disorders which in turn can cause plaques and scars to develop in the penis. Penile curvature usually occurs due to the formation of such plaques in the penis.

Is PD a Treatable Disease Even If a Patient Has High Blood Pressure?

Yes, PD is a treatable condition regardless of the fact that they may suffer from hypertension.

 

 

 

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