Smoking kills! Tobacco causes cancer! Nicotine is an addictive chemical!
We all are aware of such warning notices. Most of us have seen disclaimers on various smoking products. But such products still manage to hold huge markets across the globe. In addition, vaping products are often considered a great alternative to harmful cigarettes or tobacco products.
Speaking of which, few of us are aware of the impact of such vaping habits on a man’s sexual health. So, does vaping affect you sexually? Is vaping equally harming a man’s performance in bed, just like a usual tobacco cigarette? Let us understand the relationship between Vaping and Erectile Dysfunction.
Vaping and Erectile Dysfunction
To start with, let us consider the two concepts individually and then connect their correlations.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is the recurrent problem of attaining and maintaining a penile erection that is strong enough for successful penetration and offers optimum sexual pleasure.
What is Vaping all about?
Just like smoking cigarettes, nicotine gum, or patches, vaping is a method by which nicotine is administered into the entire body, including the reproductive organs. It involves the use of an electronic cigarette that holds liquid nicotine that is vaporized and inhaled by the user.
Is Vaping safer than Smoking Cigarettes?
Many believe this is a safer way to take in nicotine because the user avoids the thousands of chemicals in cigarette smoke.
While it is correct that vaping does not really expose anyone to the thousands of chemicals produced when smoking cigarettes, that does not make it a completely safe option either. Yes, you read it right. We cannot overlook the fact that nicotine alone, regardless of how it is consumed, poses many significant health risks. Nicotine does affect your sex life.
How does Vaping cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Actually, it does not matter whether it is a vaping device or a smoking cigarette; it is the nicotine that matters. It is the nicotine that is bringing impotence in men. Now that you have understood who the real villain is, let us understand the phenomenon in depth.
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance found in tobacco. It works on almost all parts of the body. It works on the ‘reward center’ of the brain and increases the amount of the neurotransmitters that make us feel good. This explains why in spite of all the dramatic warnings men end up having a smoke.
So, whether people are having regular cigarettes or using some classy vaping device; nicotine is the main ingredient that they are consuming, and this toxic ingredient does bring a certain negative impact on a man’s health, including his sexual wellness. Nicotine impacts cardiovascular health, skin aging, immune function, and brain functioning, and the list is endless. The negative effects include two crucial symptoms, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure; which are associated with erectile dysfunction.
There is already sufficient evidence that nicotine may be associated with erectile dysfunction in men, irrespective of age and other health conditions. The effects of vaping on sexual health in men are supported by an increasing number of studies that link its use with erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and slower arousal times.
The attainment and sustenance of a strong penile erection are possible only if there is a sufficient flow of blood into the spongy tissues and smooth muscles of the penis. As a result of sexual arousal, certain chemicals in the lining of the blood vessels inside the penis allow the penile muscles to relax and accept the additional blood flow. The same chemicals then create a seal to lock or hold the blood in the penis; which eventually makes the penile erect.
Now, as it is, nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, thereby reducing the blood flow to all organs, including the penis, men who smoke or vape are at higher risk for experiencing ED. Sexual health may then be further diminished by the man’s emotional response to incidents of ED, which may include lowered self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy.
Further, nicotine as a psychoactive component in tobacco used in e-cigarettes has been found to damage endothelial cells, which make up the lining of blood vessels. Endothelial cells play an important part in allowing the smooth muscles surrounding blood vessels to ‘vasodilate’, i.e., the opening of vessels to increase blood flow to the area. It occurs in the vessels around the ‘corpus cavernosum,’ the area in the penis which is involved in causing erections.
Its function is impaired when there is any kind of damage to the endothelial cells, such as that resulting from nicotine use. Hence, these vessels can no longer relax and allow blood to flow into the area of the penis necessary for an erection to occur.
Other studies have found that nicotine decreases the amount of a signaling molecule called nitric oxide, which signals the vessels to relax and open up to allow blood to flow into the penis, thus causing an erection.
Nicotine can also act on receptors in vessels found in the penis and cause them to spasm. Nicotine binds to a receptor, appropriately called the ‘nicotinic receptor,’ and results in spasms of these vessels. The spasm causes a decrease in blood flow to the area of the penis that is usually involved in causing an erection, resulting in erectile dysfunction.
Say A Big NO to Nicotine!
Long story cut short, nicotine causes havoc to one’s overall health, including a man’s sexual wellness. Whether it is normal cigarettes, nicotine gums, nicotine patches, vaping, or some other form or route of consuming nicotine, you are only damaging your health in every possible way.
Seek consultation from health experts, and even friends and family if required; to get rid of such a toxic habit. There might be some withdrawal symptoms at the initial phase, but if you are really that determined about your health, nothing can actually come in your way.