High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
High blood pressure is a process whereby the force pushing against your artery walls is consistently too high. This means the heart must work harder to pump blood around the body – a mechanism that can lead to a heart attack. Due to the lack of perceptible warning signs, high blood pressure is often branded the “silent killer”. Having the condition, which is also referred to as hypertension, can cause sexual problems and symptoms in both men and woman.
Sexual symptoms in men
Over time, high blood pressure damages the lining of blood vessels and causes arteries to harden and narrow (atherosclerosis), limiting blood flow, said the Mayo Clinic.
The health site added: “This means less blood is able to flow to the penis.
“For some men, the decreased blood flow makes it difficult to achieve and maintain erections — often referred to as erectile dysfunction. The problem is fairly common.
“High blood pressure can also interfere with ejaculation and reduce sexual desire.”
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A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that about 49 percent of men ages 40 to 79 with high blood pressure had erectile dysfunction.
Another study of men with hypertension, published in the Journal of Urology, found that 68 percent of them had some degree of erectile dysfunction.
For 45 percent of the men, it was considered severe.
High blood pressure keeps the arteries that carry blood into the penis from dilating the way they’re supposed to.
It also makes the smooth muscle in the penis lose its ability to relax.
As a result, not enough blood flows into the penis to make it erect.
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Sexual symptoms in women
High blood pressure’s effect on sexual problems in women isn’t well-understood, said the Mayo Clinic.
The health site continued: “But it’s possible that high blood pressure could affect a woman’s sex life.
“High blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the vagina. For some women, this leads to a decrease in sexual desire or arousal, vaginal dryness, or difficulty achieving orgasm. Improving arousal and lubrication can help.
“Like men, women can experience anxiety and relationship issues due to sexual dysfunction. Women should talk to their doctor if they experience these difficulties.”
In a study published in Scielo, hypertension as a risk factor for female sexual dysfunction was further investigated.
A cross-sectional study looked at samples composing of 54 hypertensive patients and 54 normotensive patients.
The female sexual dysfunction was evaluated by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI).
The study found that among hypertensive patients, 63 percent showed sexual dysfunction in opposition to 39 percent of normotensive patients.
Hypertensive women had 1.67 more chances of showing the dysfunction than women with normal blood pressure.
It was concluded that the sexual dysfunction prevalence is higher in hypertensive women than in normotensive women hence, hypertension is a potentiator factor for female sexual dysfunction.
How to lower reading to improve sexual symptoms
A healthy, balanced diet should be complemented with regular exercise.
As the NHS explains, being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.
“Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure,” notes the health body.
Adults should do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week, it says.
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