Everything about Smoking and Erectile Dysfunction Explained
Smoking and Erectile Dysfunction: Is there any link?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common medical problem affecting approximately 15% of men year after year. It is a condition when men fail to attain and maintain a strong penile erection, and eventually fail to get successful intercourse or enough sexual pleasure.
Over about 150 million men worldwide were estimated to have been affected by erectile dysfunction in 1995, and by 2025, this figure is expected to rise to near around 320 million. ED can arise from multiple psychological and physical reasons which also include a few lifestyle issues as well like too much alcoholism, substance abuse, hectic and stressful daily routine, etc.
Does smoking cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Smoking damages blood circulation in many ways, leading to a host of related health problems including heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Erectile dysfunction is also a major adverse effect of too much smoking. In fact, smoking can cause erectile dysfunction in men as young as 20.
A penile erection is reached when blood vessels in the penis open up to allow a sufficient amount of blood. But smoking hampers the very circulatory system of our body. It causes the blood vessels to constrict significantly. This reduces the blood’s ability to move around the body, including into the penis.
The key culprit is nicotine, which is a known vasoconstrictor, i,e a type of chemical that reduces blood flow throughout the body. Hence smoking disrupts the blood vessels in the penile area of the male body.
It also increases a person’s chances of developing certain health conditions that can eventually give rise to ED, like the following:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Will quitting smoking improve erectile dysfunction?
In case someone is suffering from the symptoms of ED, which is particularly a result of excessive smoking habits, then such symptoms can be reversed by quitting smoking habits. Speaking of which, switching to a nicotine patch might not be entirely effective in preventing ED. Rather, a gradual reduction in the number of cigarettes one smokes in a day can be of better help, in order to produce a noticeable improvement in the erection quality and sexual performance.
However, in some cases, quitting smoking might not be enough to restore full erectile function. In such cases, one needs to consult a doctor and finalize upon an erectile dysfunction drug such as the following:
How long after quitting smoking will erectile dysfunction improve?
Research also suggests that within 2 to 12 weeks of quitting smoking, your circulation improves, which could help or even eliminate symptoms of ED.
Other Male Sexual Problems related to Smoking
Decrease in libido level
Although more research is yet required to confirm the link between nicotine and a lower sex drive in men; some studies do speak of how too much smoking is responsible for cutting down the libido levels in men.
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.
Low sperm count
Smoking can cause a lot of problems related to sperm, like:
- lower sperm count
- lower semen volume
- lower sperm motility
Smoking negatively impacts a person’s physical fitness, including stamina levels. This can affect sexual performance.
No matter how strong or low the intensity of problems you are facing in regard to erectile dysfunction, consulting an authorized practitioner in the very first place is the best thing to do. Avoid self-medication and strictly abide by the doctor’s prescription. Lastly, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet coupled with exercise, cut down a lot of health problems; including ED in men.