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High Blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

Even if your high blood pressure (or hypertension) has caused erectile dysfunction (ED), you have every reason to be optimistic about the future and a healthy sex life. ED is a common problem associated with high blood pressure but there are many proven treatments you can try.

A doctor's first choice for treating erection problems is usually one of the pills called PDE5 inhibitors. First there was Viagra. Now there's also Cialis, Levitra, and Staxyn. All of these drugs work in similar ways. They don't increase sexual desire. They make it physically possible to get an erection when you are aroused.

No one of them has been proven to work better than the others. But the time they take to start working and the duration of their effects vary. That's something you may want to consider based on your sexual habits. For example, does spontaneity matter to you, or do you usually plan sex ahead of time?

Viagra starts working in about 15 to 30 minutes and its effects last about two to four hours. Levitra starts working in about 30 to 60 minutes and lasts four to five hours. Cialis starts working in about 30 to 60 minutes and lasts as long as 36 hours. 

Staxyn is an orally disintegrating tablet that contains the same active ingredient as Levitra but is not interchangeable with Levitra tablets. 

Men whose blood pressure isn't under control and those who take alpha-blockers (for high blood pressure or prostate problems) shouldn't take Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, or Viagra.

Also, you may not be able to take these drugs if you:

 

When Erectile Dysfunction Pills Aren't an Option

If erectile dysfunction pills are out of the question, or if pills haven't worked for you, don't worry. There are other options.

Alprostadil is another drug for erectile dysfunction. However, it's not a pill. One brand, called MUSE, is an alprostadil pellet that you insert into the tip of your penis with an applicator. It widens blood vessels and relaxes smooth muscle tissue in the penis, allowing blood to fill the spongy tissue that makes the penis erect.

Injections directly into the penis are another way to deliver alprostadil. Phentolamine and papaverine are additional drugs that are injected into the penis to treat erectile dysfunction. When injecting these drugs there is some risk that your erection may last too long, a condition that can require medical treatment.

Next, you may want to try a vacuum device, or "penis pump." This is typically a clear plastic cylinder with a bulb or plunger and a constriction band.

You put your penis in the cylinder and start pumping. The suction creates a vacuum, so blood rushes in to fill the spaces in the spongy tissue of the penis, creating an erection. The erection lasts only as long as the blood stays in, so you slide the band down around the base of your penis, trapping the blood. It's safe to keep the band on for up to 30 minutes.

These devices are available without a prescription, but it's important to buy one from a reputable manufacturer. The device must include a safety control so you can't harm your penis with too much suction.

WebMD Medical Reference

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