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Health News of Tuesday, 10 January 2023


Uncontrolled hypertension may cause sudden death during sex — Physicians

Hypertension Hypertension

Medical experts have cautioned people with uncontrolled hypertension against engaging in rigorous sexual intercourse without first ensuring they are properly treated for the health condition.

According to the experts, uncontrolled hypertension and heart disease could lead to sudden death during sexual intercourse.

The experts warned that uncontrolled high blood pressure causes heart disease, adding that uncontrolled heart disease is the commonest cause of death during sex.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with PUNCH HealthWise, one of the experts, a Consultant Urologist, Dr. Gabriel Ogah, said persons living with hypertension and heart disease should always ensure that their health condition is properly managed and that their blood pressure is under control before engaging in sexual activities.

Sexual intercourse, Ogah said, is a strenuous exercise that people should be medically fit to engage in.

The urologist who is the Managing Director, Ogah Hospital and Urology Centre, Fugar, Edo State, said young people rarely die during sex because they are fit for it.

The physician explained, “If you have hypertension, make sure you control it before you have sex. If you have heart disease, make sure you control it before you have sex.

“This is because sex is a strenuous exercise, if people are not medically fit for it, especially if they have heart disease, they could die during the exercise. That is why people die during sex.

“If a person is doing an exercise that he does not have the power to do like having sex and because sex is sweet and intoxicating, he continues the exercise, the person can give up in the process.

“People die during sex because they are not medically fit for the exercise and commonly, their main problem is that they have cardiac disease and people with cardiac disease are not supposed to engage in very strenuous exercise.

“And because sex is a strenuous exercise and an intoxicating exercise, they don’t stop doing it until the exercise kills them.”

The physician reiterated that the commonest cause of death while having sexual intercourse is often untreated heart disease.

Ogah noted, “And when we talk about heart disease, hypertension is one of them.

“The blood pressure could go up during the exercise and you now have sudden death. High blood pressure that is not controlled and has not caused heart disease yet, can kill someone during sex because sex can make the blood pressure go up suddenly.”

He also cautioned Nigerians against using sex-enhancing drugs that are not medically prescribed.

“Don’t take sex-enhancing drugs which are not medically prescribed. Don’t take any sex-enhancing drugs without a doctor’s prescription,” he said.

According to Mayo Clinic – a medical center focused on integrated health care, education, and research, high blood pressure could impact sexual activity negatively especially in men, stressing that a link between high blood pressure and sexual problems has been proved in men.

“Over time, high blood pressure damages the lining of the blood vessels and causes arteries to harden and narrow (atherosclerosis), limiting blood flow. This means that less blood flows to the penis.

“For some men, the decreased blood flow makes it difficult to achieve and maintain erections. This problem is called erectile dysfunction. It’s fairly common.

“Even a single episode of erectile dysfunction can cause anxiety. Fears that it will happen again might lead men to avoid sex, which can affect their relationship with their sexual partners.

“High blood pressure can also interfere with ejaculation and reduce sexual desire. Some blood pressure medications may cause similar effects.

“Men should discuss any concerns with their doctors,” the clinic said.

Also, data from the American Heart Association says considerable apprehension often surrounds the issue of sudden cardiovascular arrest during physical activity, especially that related to sexual intercourse.

The association states that cardiovascular effects during coitus have been studied by monitoring volunteers.

“Hemodynamic changes, including increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, have been identified, especially during orgasm.

“The increased cerebral perfusion pressure when intracranial pressure decreases abruptly during orgasm results in maximal wall tension in cerebral aneurysms, which could explain the higher proportion of subarachnoid hemorrhage,” it noted.

A heart specialist, Dr. John Asekhame, told our correspondent that most cases of a sudden slump are linked to undiagnosed and untreated cases of cardiac and non-cardiac health conditions.

Asekhame, a Consultant Physician and Cardiologist with Providence Multi-Specialty Hospital, Abuja, said, uncontrolled blood pressure, malaria, low blood sugar, and excessive dehydration can cause a person to suddenly slump.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, a normal blood pressure range is less than 120/80 mmHg.

Uncontrolled blood pressure, according to Asekhame, can cause health problems like stroke and cardiac complications at any time without giving a sign.

The cardiologist urged Nigerians to embrace the culture of going to pharmacies and hospitals to check their blood pressure and get proper treatment if it is high.