"Sexual dysfunction often refers to different symptoms in men and women, yet can share similar underlying causes. In women, it is often characterized by low sexual desire or various disorders including sexual arousal, orgasm, and sexual pain.
In men, erectile dysfunction (ED) is just that: difficulty getting or keeping erections sufficient for intercourse. ED is often the result of an untreated underlying condition, like diabetes or hypertension. Female sexual dysfunction, on the other hand, is often more complex and can be a side effect of another condition and/or can involve emotional, physical or environmental aspects.
Recent studies estimate that prescription medications cause approximately one in four cases of sexual dysfunction. Here, I’ll discuss some of the medical conditions and major classes of drugs that can negatively impact your sex life.
High Blood Pressure - This condition can directly lead to sexual dysfunction, as can the medicines used to treat it. These medications act by lowering the pressure inside blood vessels, thereby decreasing the strain on the heart. In men, this decreased blood flow can interfere with erections, ejaculation and sexual desire. In women, decreased sexual desire, difficulties achieving orgasm and vaginal dryness are common side effects.
High Cholesterol - Statins and other drugs used to treat this condition, often act by limiting the availability of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a vital building block of hormones, including testosterone, estrogen and other sex hormones. Therefore, a reduction in cholesterol no doubt can lead to reduced production of these hormones.
Diabetes - This condition can damage blood vessels and nerves, two big components of sexual function. As with high blood pressure, the reduced blood flow resulting from damaged vessels can contribute to sexual dysfunction.
Depression/Anxiety - Antidepressants act by blocking chemicals in the brain, particularly chemicals that relay signals between nerve cells: serotonin, norepinephrine and acetylcholine. It is well documented that decreased libido, diminished ability to orgasm, impotence and ejaculation are associated with antidepressant usage.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms as a result of the condition or treatment, speak with your doctor about switching medications, decreasing dosages, or possible non-medical interventions. It is also important to consult your doctor about your overall health, and if you’re fit for sexual activity." Source - David B. Samadi, MD, Chronic Conditions and Medications That Can Lead to Sexual Dysfunction, Talking About Men's Health, July 31, 2013.
"If you’re having trouble maintaining an erection, print this post out and make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Researcher in Australia found that men who self-reported severe erectile dysfunction had a 35% increase in the risk of hospitalization for all heart-related diseases, and a 93% increased risk of death—even if they had no history of no history of heart disease. If they did have a history of cardiovascular problems, the risk of hospitalization went up by 60% and risk of death by a whopping 137%.
As with so many medical issues, it’s important to separate correlation from causation. In other words, it’s pretty unlikely that ED causes heart disease. However, whatever is blocking the arteries of your heart—cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc—is likely also blocking the arteries to your penis. And poor penile blood flow leads directly to ED.
“If you have erectile dysfunction you really need to take action and go to your doctor and ask for a heart check, if you haven’t been assessed before,” said the study’s lead researcher, Emily Banks, in an interview with Australian media. The study, published in PLOS Medicine." Source - Armin Brott, As Your Penis Goes, So Goes Your Heart, Talking About Men's Health, February 23, 2013.
"Instruction in sex is as important as instruction in food; yet not only are our adolescents not taught the physiology of sex, but never warned that the strongest sexual attraction may exist between persons so incompatible in tastes and capacities that they could not endure living together for a week much less a lifetime." - George Bernard Shaw