Beta blockers are a popular treatment for controlling blood pressure, but is there any reason to worry about what effect they might have on penis health? There have been some studies which indicate they might increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. Some studies indicate that beta blockers can be a risk factor for developing Peyronie’s disease, also known as the “bent penis disease.”
About beta blockers
Sometimes called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, beta blockers are frequently prescribed for high blood pressure and migraines. The drug basically works by “blocking” epinephrine, a hormone which people know more familiarly as adrenaline.
Beta blockers can either work on the heart alone or on the heart and blood vessels. When used properly, they force the heart to beat a little more slowly, which in turn brings down otherwise-elevated blood pressure. Sometimes the medicine also helps open up blood vessels, which allows blood to flow more freely – thereby also helping to reduce high blood pressure.
Typically, beta blockers aren’t prescribed for high blood pressure until other methods have been tried and found wanting. They also are often prescribed in tandem with other medications that treat high blood pressure.
A number of studies have indicated that a man who uses beta blockers is at increased risk of erectile dysfunction. This seems to be due to a decrease in testosterone brought about, which in turn can decrease sex drive and/or the ability to attain and maintain an erection.
The bent penis connection
Some curvature of the erect penis is quite common among men. When the degree of curvature is slight, it usually causes no problem. However, when the degree is significant, it can make penetration difficult. In addition, erections themselves may become painful when the bent penis is too severely curved. Cases of extreme curvature are typically labeled as Peyronie’s disease.
In most cases, the bent penis occurs thanks to a build-up of plaque due to repeated injury. When trauma occurs on the penis, scar tissue develops as part of the healing process. If layers of scar tissue develop in one place, it can affect the elasticity of the penis skin. Thus when an erection occurs, the section loaded with scar tissue acts to prevent the skin from stretching, causing the curvature.
How do beta blockers come into play here? One of the side effects is the development of fibrotic tissue.If this occurs on the penis, it has the same effect as layers of scar tissue, interfering with the natural elasticity of the penis skin. Thus, a bent penis may develop.
Of course, there can be other reasons why a man comes down with a bent penis. However, if a link between the bent penis and beta blocker usage seems likely, a man should discuss this with his doctor to determine if another medication might be used in place of the beta blocker.If this occurs on the penis, it has the same effect as layers of scar tissue, interfering with the natural elasticity of the penis skin. Thus, a bent penis may develop.