Sex and High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke, but did you know it could also impact your sex life?

We all know that high blood pressure can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke and lead to cardiovascular problems. But did you know it could also impact your sex life?

Because blood pressure affects the blood flow throughout your body, it can prevent adequate blood flow to the pelvis and affect the sex lives of both men and women. In men, high blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction because of limited blood flow through the veins and arteries. And age doesn’t matter—even men in their mid-30s can have high blood pressure that affects their sex lives. But it’s not only men who are affected—women with high blood pressure can have a lower libido and reduced interest in sex.

Stress and anxiety may also play a role, because they’re often linked to high blood pressure and sexual dysfunction. Men who are under stress may be less likely to perform sexually, and women are often less likely to desire sex during stressful times. Blood pressure medicines may also affect sexual performance in men, because erectile dysfunction is sometimes a side effect of beta blockers and ACE inhibitors.

Generally, it’s safe to have sex if you have high blood pressure, but if you’re concerned talk with your doctor. Don’t stop taking your blood pressure medication if the side effects negatively affect your sex life—your doctor may be able to prescribe a medicine that may not have the same side effects.

If you haven’t been diagnosed with high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction could indicate you have high blood pressure and other heart problems. If you’re experiencing problems in the bedroom, visit your healthcare provider to see if cardiovascular problems may be the cause.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

AD. American Heart Association Support Network. Everyone's diagnosis story is different and sharing yours can help others. Join the Support Network and share your experience.


AD: American Heart Association logo. Symptoms. Always feeling tired isn't normal. Learn the signs of Heart Valve Disease.


AD. American Heart Association logo. Know your blood pressure numbers. And what they mean. Gain Control. button: learn more.


AD. Heart Insight. Get the app for free.


Edit ModuleShow Tags

Special Topic Supplements

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Heart News

Heart health news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.


Articles, poems and art submitted by heart disease survivors and their loved ones.

Life's Simple 7

Improving your health is as easy as minding seven simple health factors and behaviors. Tips and information to help you improve your health and enhance your quality of life.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These heart patients, their loved ones and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.