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High blood pressure and sex: Overcome the challenges
Erectile dysfunction drugs and high blood pressure
Men considering medications for erectile dysfunction should check with their doctor first. It's usually safe to combine the erectile dysfunction drugs sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis) with high blood pressure medications.
Taking these drugs with nitrates, taken either regularly for chest pain or in an emergency setting, can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.
Be honest with your doctor
If you have high blood pressure, you usually don't have to live with a loss of sexual satisfaction. Start by talking with your doctor. The more your doctor knows about you, the better he or she can treat your high blood pressure — and help you maintain a satisfying sex life. Be prepared to answer questions your doctor may ask, such as:
- What medications are you taking?
- Has your relationship with your sexual partner changed recently?
- Have you been feeling depressed?
- Are you facing more stress than usual?
Promote overall health
By making healthy lifestyle choices, you can lower your blood pressure and potentially improve your sex life. Healthy lifestyle choices include:
- Not smoking or using tobacco
- Eating healthy foods
- Reducing the amount of salt in your diet
- Losing extra pounds
- Exercising regularly
Of course, a leaner body can boost your confidence and help you feel more attractive, which could also improve your sex life.
Set the stage for satisfying sex
Your sexual response may vary with feelings about your partner and the setting in which sex occurs. To encourage satisfying sex, initiate sex when you and your partner are feeling relaxed. Explore various ways to be physically intimate, such as massage or warm soaks in the tub. Share with each other the types of sexual activity you enjoy most. You may find that open communication is the best way to achieve sexual satisfaction.Previous page
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- Manolis A, et al. Sexual dysfunction: The 'prima ballerina' of hypertension-related quality-of-life complications. Journal of Hypertension. 2008;26:2074.
- Viigimaa M, et al. Hypertension and sexual dysfunction: Time to act. Journal of Hypertension. 2011;29:403.
- Miner M, et al. Cardiometabolic risk and female sexual health: The Princeton III summary. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2012;9:641.
- Sauer WH, et al. Sexual activity in patients with heart disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Nossaman VE, et al. Nitrates and nitrites in the treatment of ischemic cardiac disease. Cardiology in Review. 2010;18:190.
- Rosenthal SH. The New Sex Over 40. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Putnam; 1999:185.