Sexual dysfunction in hypertensive men. A critical review of the literature.
Sexual dysfunction is common in hypertensive men and often is first reported by patients while receiving hypotensive therapy, leading to a widespread belief by patients and physicians that the sexual dysfunction is caused by a specific antihypertensive medication. However, it is unclear from the literature whether this problem is related to hypertension or to its therapy. Further, whether the erectile failures reported during therapy are a result of 1) reduced penile blood flow secondary to reduction of blood pressure after antihypertensive treatment or to obstructive vascular disease (or both) or 2) specific drug effects has not been well studied. Because of these unresolved issues, this common problem is not well managed and contributes to noncompliance with therapy by hypertensive male patients, which impedes the attainment of satisfactory blood pressure control. The present article reviews the literature related to hypertension and sexual function in men and outlines a management strategy for clinicians that attempts to document normalcy of sexual function before initiating treatment in newly diagnosed hypertensive patients. Further, it does not ascribe causality to specific antihypertensive agents for the sexual dysfunction reported by treated hypertensive patients but attempts instead to delineate the pathogenesis of the dysfunction. Once the pathogenesis is established, treatment plans can be implemented to restore normotension and maintain adequate sexual function among treated hypertensive men. The article also discusses how applied research in this area may be performed.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association