Smoking and Erectile Dysfunction
If you’re a smoker and you’re having trouble in the bedroom, it’s important to know that there is a definitive link between smoking and erectile dysfunction (ED). Numerous studies have linked smoking and erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the persistent inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficiently enough to permit satisfactory sexual performance.
Smoking can cause cause erectile dysfunction in younger men as well as older men, making it a major risk no matter your age.
While a cigarette or cigar every now and then is unlikely to cause erectile dysfunction, regular smoking could seriously affect your sexual performance.
This can be seriously damaging to your sexual performance, as erections are dependent on a mix of signaling from your brain and a reliable level of blood supply through the arteries of the penis.
Reduced blood flow from smoking or other unhealthy habits can make it much more difficult to achieve an erection, leaving you with a weak erection or no physical response at all to sexual arousal.
Scientific research shows that the severity of erectile dysfunction in smokers is closely linked to their level of exposure to cigarette smoke. It also appears to show that quitting smoking could help reduce and even eliminate ED symptoms.
How does smoking impact an erection?
Cigarettes can contain up to around 41,000 chemicals, some of which that can cause ED, such as, acetone, arsenic and carbon monoxide. Male smokers have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction due to the damage these chemicals can do to their blood vessels, narrowing the arteries and causing poor blood supply to the penis. Nicotine has a direct effect on the blood vessels that carry blood to the penis, by reducing the blood flow and this makes getting and maintaining an erection difficult. It is advised to avoid all types of tobacco and nicotine to reduce your chances of erectile dysfunction.
Both smoking and erectile dysfunction have often been associated — individually — with plaque build-up in the arteries, called atherosclerosis. The plaque obstructs blood flow through vessels, causing a host of circulatory problems throughout the body, such as erectile dysfunction.
1. Erectile dysfunction
Smoking damages blood circulation in many ways, leading to a host of related health problems including heart disease, heart attack and stroke. You can also add erectile dysfunction to the list.
An erection is only possible when blood vessels in the penis enlarge and fill with blood. Smoking disrupts blood vessels in that area of the body, meaning the action can’t always happen. In fact, smoking can cause erectile dysfunction in men as young as 20.
• Men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily had a 60% higher risk of erectile dysfunction, compared to men who never smoked.
• 15% of the past and present smokers had experienced erectile dysfunction.
• Men who currently – and formerly — smoked were about 30% more likely to suffer from impotence.
• Among men who had never smoked, 12% had erection problems.
2. Decreased libido
While more research is needed, a few studies have suggested a link between nicotine and a lower sex drive in men. i.e. Smoking is also a cause for Decreased Libido
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine warns that tobacco use can negatively affect fertility in both men and women. According to the organization, male and female smokers have about double the rate of infertility found in nonsmokers.
Smoking is linked to fertility challenges in several ways. Smoking damages the DNA in eggs and sperm, which can cause problems with fertility. In addition, women who smoke can also have a shorter window for getting pregnant because the chemicals in tobacco products, including nicotine, cyanide and carbon monoxide, accelerate the loss of eggs and cause smokers to experience menopause earlier than nonsmokers. The aforementioned erectile dysfunction can also contribute to failure to conceive.
If men cease smoking then the condition can improve along with their overall vascular health. The rate in which they may see this improvement will vary, based on the individual, age, the severity of your erectile dysfunction prior to quitting smoking, and other major health problems will affect this.
Solutions and Treatment Options for Smokers With ED
If you have erectile dysfunction as a result of cigarette smoking, the best course of action—and we know this is going to sting a little bit—is to quit smoking. Study data shows that men who quit smoking can, and very often do, experience improvements in their sexual performance and a reduction in erectile dysfunction symptoms.
For some smokers, gradually reducing the amount of cigarettes you smoke can be enough to produce a noticeable improvement in your erection quality and sexual performance.
In some cases, quitting smoking might not be enough to restore full erectile function. In this case, erectile dysfunction drugs can be effective treatments for helping you maintain an erection and improve your sexual experience.
However, because smoking is closely linked with heart disease, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions that can cause issues when combined with ED medication, it’s best to talk to your doctor before considering these drugs.