Hypertension is the medical term used to describe high blood pressure (HBP). The causes of HBP can vary but its effects over time can result in damage to blood vessels, making them narrower and more rigid. In combination with atherosclerosis, this can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Any disease which impairs the circulatory system can affect sexual function as described in the Sexual Difficulties section of this site.
It is important that you discuss any sexual difficulties which you have experienced on a regular basis with your doctor as hypertension itself may not present any symptoms.
The Hypertensive Association recommends blood pressure being checked when you are 20 and then every 5 years thereafter if found to be normal. If an abnormal reading is ever detected, they recommend annual checks thereafter. Predisposing factors are indicated by a family history of HBP, stroke or heart disease and diabetes. If HBP develops and is diagnosed, your doctor will advise on the actions you should take to deal with the condition.
Preventative measures are considered to include a reduction in salt intake, regular exercise, reduced smoking and alcohol use. If you are diagnosed as having HBP your doctor will start treatment which is likely to include medication.
How does this affect your sex life?
Your doctor may consider treating any sexual difficulties you have found with some of the methods outlined in the Sexual difficulties section of this site, taking into account the effect they could have on your health.
Sexual activity will raise your blood pressure but only for a short time and this is considered to be quite safe. Experiencing a heart attack or stroke is quite rare when enaging in sexual activity. You should not give up something that gives you and others enjoyment without strong evidence that it is necessary.
The medication provided for the treatment of your HBP can cause some degree of sexual incapacity as a side-effect. If you notice this happening, report it to your doctor who may be able to change your medication for an alternative which does not affect you.