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Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

High Blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction

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If you have high blood pressure, you may experience erectile dysfunction.

For a healthy young man, erectile dysfunction is typically not a problem. As you age, however, you may notice some changes. Maybe it takes more coaxing to get erect than it used to. Sometimes it may take more direct stimulation of the penis, whereas merely a daydream or the suggestion of sex was once enough. Or perhaps your erection isn't quite as firm as it once was, but it's still good enough. These are normal changes.

So, what is erectile dysfunction and when should you seek help? Let's consider a few scenarios:

1. You come home one evening after a long and stressful day at work. Your partner wants to have sex. You think you'd like to also, but you have a problem getting an erection. The next time you try, everything is fine.

In this case, your problem probably doesn't need medical treatment, as long as it happens rarely. If it starts to happen more often, you may want to talk to your doctor about it.

2. Sometimes when you try to have sex, you get only partially erect. Your erection isn't rigid enough to enter your partner.

In the most severe cases of erectile dysfunction, a man isn't able to get even slightly erect. But there are degrees of this condition. Even mild erectile dysfunction is worth discussing with your doctor.

3. You can get a good erection during foreplay, but after you start to have intercourse you lose it.

This can be very frustrating for you and your partner. Even though you are able to get an erection, if it doesn't last long enough to complete sexual intercourse you may have erectile dysfuncton.

An estimated 80% of erectile dysfunction is due to physical causes, often high blood pressure.

The other 20% is psychological. For a long time, doctors thought that erectile dysfunction was mostly in one's head. Now they know that is not true. Still, the mind plays a big role in getting an erection. Maybe you're losing your erection due to anxiety or other issues between you and your partner. Your doctor can help you determine the cause.

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