High blood pressure can put a strain on your sex life. For men, reduced blood flow to the penis can cause difficulty with erections and a loss of sexual desire. Women with high blood pressure may notice vaginal dryness and a decrease in sexual desire. Some high blood pressure medicines can make these problems worse. But there is help.

Talk with your doctor

The first step is to talk with your doctor. He or she may ask you questions about your relationship, stress level, and medicines.

Your doctor may suggest that you try another medicine for high blood pressure. He or she may also suggest medicine for erectile dysfunction. These medicines can usually be taken safely along with high blood pressure medicines.

A healthy lifestyle

You can improve your sex life without taking medicine. Having open communication with your partner and exploring different ways to be intimate can help. And you can improve both your blood pressure and sex life by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking. Feeling good about your body can give your confidence a boost.

Visit the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse’s website at http://www.kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/impotence for more information about impotence.

Medical Reviewer: [Fincannon, Joy RN MN, Foody, JoAnne, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A.] Last Annual Review Date: 2008-01-27T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright: Copyright Health Ink & Vitality Communications

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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the "silent killer" because: