I had a heart attack 2 years ago, put a stent, take medicine every day. Currently, I feel good, but my sex drive is reduced.
I also have high blood pressure, take medicine every day. Does cardiovascular disease impair physiological function? What do I need to do to improve? (Chau Phong, 40 years old, HCMC).
Erectile dysfunction in men can be caused by damage to the heart such as coronary artery stenosis, restenosis after stenting, …
The problem you face is also the top concern of men. The occasional phenomenon of “the upper and lower do not listen”, the lack of interest in sex, leading to a decrease in the frequency of married life is not uncommon, stemming from many causes. It can come from the heart condition and blood pressure itself.
First of all, you need to contact your treating doctor to consider whether the drugs used to treat high blood pressure and blood vessels are affecting physiological function or not. In general, these drugs do not cause or worsen erectile dysfunction symptoms.
However, in certain cases, the thienopyridines group of drugs can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction, decrease libido, and affect sexual function. Similarly, priapism (a dangerous condition that causes prolonged erections) has also been found to be an uncommon but serious complication of treatment with certain anticoagulants. These conclusions were published by the researchers in 2017.
The fact that you have erectile dysfunction, decreased interest may also be due to a heart attack. Despite being treated and stented, the heart muscle was basically necrotic, leading to reduced heart function, unable to pump blood as strongly as before. At this time, the blood flow to the penis is not enough, other organs are also deprived of blood, lack of oxygen, making the body tired, reducing libido.
You also need to go to the hospital to check to see if there is a re-stenosis at the place where the stent was placed. This narrowing of blood vessels is also a mechanism that causes erectile dysfunction. Because if it is, this means that the blood flow to the heart, brain or penis is limited, necessarily not enough blood to create the desired erection.
Many studies also show that cardiovascular disease is related to testosterone levels (male sex hormone). Men with cardiovascular disease have testosterone levels only half that of men without. Low testosterone levels cause men to experience symptoms such as fatigue, decreased sex drive. Therefore, if properly treated cardiovascular disease can help improve erectile dysfunction. You can have a blood test to check your current testosterone levels. If it is below the threshold of 300 ng/dL, it means that testosterone is low.
Finally, psychological factors also need to be considered. Sometimes, experiencing a “death of life” affects the psyche, making you unable to “do your best” in married life. Daily stressors and worries in life can also raise blood pressure and stress hormone levels, which can lead to restricted blood flow to the heart. Cardiovascular health is affected, leading to many other problems, including erectile dysfunction.
All of the causes listed above are possible. You need to visit directly at a reputable medical facility that specializes in cardiology and male studies so that the doctor can determine the exact cause. From there, the doctor offers the optimal treatment, improving the disease condition and quality of life.
Besides, you can actively take heart health care measures such as: eat healthy with lots of fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fat, sodium, sugar; maintain a reasonable weight, avoid overweight and obesity; exercise regularly with moderate exercise; no smoking, drinking alcohol, alcoholic beverages.
BS.CCII Huynh Ngoc Long
Director of Cardiovascular Intervention Center – Tam Anh General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City