Suffering from high blood pressure? Well, to keep you in the picture, high blood pressure and sexual problems do go hand in hand. It doesn’t mean that having sex can lead to a heart attack! What happens is that high blood pressure leads to narrowing of your arteries over a period of time, thereby restricting the blood flow to the penis. This leads to Erectile Dysfunction (ED) many a time. But the problem is actually bigger, since some medications for high BP, can also lead to ED and lowering of sex drive or libido.

Let’s read to know why does this happen and what can be done about the same?  Sexual issues are a proven side effect of some medications, which includes medication taken to lower blood pressure. Erectile Dysfunction and lower sex drive are amongst the most common problems faced by men. Since even a single episode of ED can badly hurt the confidence of many, it’s always better to know why is it happening and what you can do to prevent it.

The two main medicines which interfere with sexual functioning are:

1.     Water Pills (diuretics): This reduces the blood flow to the penis, thereby preventing an erection. Also, they reduce the quantity of Zinc in the body, which in turn affects the sex hormone testosterone, thereby reducing your sexual desire or libido.

2.     Beta-Blockers: Commonly associated with sexual dysfunction, these drugs like metoprolol and atenolol, increases your chances of erectile dysfunction by affecting that part of your nervous system responsible for an erection. But the good news is that unlike the above, there are drugs for high BP which can even help in improving your libido. Here are some drugs for high BP which usually doesn't interfere with your sexual functioning: Alpha-Blockers, Calcium Channel Blockers, Angiotensin II receptor blockers ACE Inhibitors

While taking medications for high BP, it would help to be absolutely honest with your doctor. This would help him prescribe the right drug for you. Also please keep in mind, it’s not safe to take drugs for improving sexual functioning like Viagra while on high BP medicines as it might interfere with the same, leading to lowering of your blood pressure levels, dangerously!

Instead what you can do is stick to some healthy lifestyle choices which would not only help in lowering your blood pressure but also help to improve your sexual functioning like:

1.     Quit smoking

2.     Reduce alcohol consumption

3.     Eat a healthy and low-fat diet

4.     Exercise regularly

5.      Reduce your salt intake

6.     Practice meditation and yoga

Along with the above activities, what really is going to help you, is maintaining a good and clear line of communication with your partner. Sex doesn’t always mean it has to be sexual intercourse. Indulging in kissing, caressing, touching and exploring each other can also lead to immense sexual satisfaction for both the partners.

For sexual intercourse, don’t take it as a mission to accomplish as this would lead to further stress. Instead indulge in sexual activities when you are feeling relaxed and happy, which would help to make your intimacy more enjoyable and perfect.