Leading a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED). This can include everything from limiting alcohol intake, staying active, and avoiding smoking. But maintaining a healthy blood pressure is one of the best ways to prevent ED. Here’s why:
How Erections WorkTo understand why avoiding high blood pressure (hypertension) helps prevent ED, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how erections work. It’s actually a pretty complicated process, but to put it simply, when a man is aroused, the brain and nerves in the genital area signal the blood vessels in the penis to relax, which allows blood to rush in. This causes the penis to expand and stiffen, resulting in an erection.
How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Erections?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pressing against the walls of the body’s arteries. The higher the blood pressure, the harder the heart must work. Over time, the increased pressure can cause damage to the walls of the arteries, which makes it difficult for them to dilate and allow the influx of blood that is needed to achieve an erection. It can also make it harder for the muscles of the penis to relax. Studies have shown that around 50-80% of men with chronic hypertension also have erectile dysfunction.