Does smoking cause impotence? Medicine has for a long time confirmed that smoking is a direct threat to men’s sex life and ego, so it could be a good idea to start looking at the cigarette with another face. There is an important number of publications of scientific organizations where the relationship between tobacco and impotence has been clearly established.
Erectile dysfunction or impotence is a global public health problem that affects the quality of life of millions of men. The number of patients with this problem will most likely increase in the future due to the aging of the population.
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Impotence and smoking
Tobacco today is the most important preventable cause of illness and death. It is known to also have a detrimental effect on the erectile function of the penis. Several previous epidemiological studies have shown that smoking is associated with erectile dysfunction and smokers are 1.5 times more likely to have this health problem than non-smokers.
In 1994, the medical journal “American Journal of Epidemiology” published an article that, after analyzing more than 4,000 Vietnam veterans, ages 31 and 49, researchers found that smokers were 50 percent more likely to be impotent. That same year, the medical journal “Journal of Urology” published a study in Massachusetts that warns that smoking increases the risks of cardiovascular problems and the risks of developing impotence.
Impotence or erectile dysfunction is the repeated inability to have or maintain an erection. This problem affects 1 in 10 people between 21 and 75 years of age and 75% of cases are of physical origin.
Smokers increase the risk of impotence by 50% for men between the ages of 30 and 50. Other important risk factors are diabetes, elevated cholesterol and medications used for hypertension.
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How does Smoking effect Erectile Dysfunction
During an erection, large amounts of blood flow under pressure into the arteries of the penis. This causes the veins that drain blood from the penis to compress and thus prevent blood from flowing out. This whole process is significantly altered by smoking through three mechanisms:
Damage caused by smoking to men’s sexual health also includes:
Smoking is a major and avoidable danger to the sexual health of men. Because two of the three most important harmful effects of smoking on erectile function are acute responses to nicotine, we know that it is possible to expect an improvement in impotence, often immediately.
88% of smokers are unaware that smoking is one of the most frequent causes of impotence.
Evidence also suggests that smoking significantly increases other risk factors for impotence.
Smoking not only decreases the life expectancy, but also the quality of life. Smokers with impotence generally suffer in silence with the knowledge that the problem was totally preventable.
With so much research done in this area, it is clear that smokers are more likely to develop sexual impotence in exactly the same way as heart disease, and if they can quit smoking, there is every chance they can continue with their normal sexual function.
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Does Quit Smoking Cure Impotence?
Smoking would reduce male sexual performance. In a new study, men who were able to quit tobacco addiction performed better on sexual health tests than those who smoked again.
This shows that smoking would be altering the sexual health of men who consider themselves good lovers, and not just those with impotence. “In younger men, the risks of smoking seem farther away, they think they do not have to worry for a few years,” said study author Christopher Harte of the Boston Veterans Affairs Medical Care System.
The results, he said, “are not yet definitive.” But, “regardless of whether all men who smoke or not are applicable (the goal is) to inform the male population to influence their decision to start quitting.” Harte and co-author Cindy Meston of the University of Texas in Austin gathered 65 men with no perceived impotence in an eight-week smoking cessation program with nicotine patches.
Before the treatment, in the middle of the program and a few weeks after completing it, they took the participants to a laboratory and showed them a high-pitched film.
Meanwhile, the men recorded the level of excitement and a device measured how much the size of their penis changed.
In addition, participants responded to surveys on habitual sexual function, desire and sexual satisfaction. By the end of the study, 20 men had not smoked for at least the past week and 45 continued to smoke. In those who had quit smoking there was a greater increase in penis size (measured by diameter) than in smokers.
In addition, these men had earlier reached their maximum level of arousal than those who continued to smoke. Even so, those who had quit did not report real-life sexual enhancement, according to the authors in the British Journal of Urology International.
It is possible, they add, that this improvement perceived in the laboratory takes to get to real life. “There is strong evidence for the relationship between smoking, as a risk factor, and erectile dysfunction,” said Dr. Lydia Bazzano of the Tulane University Health Science Center in New Orleans.
Bazzano explained that smoking can delay vasodilation, which is necessary for an erection. But “that does not apply to men with severe erection problems,” Harte said.
“The important thing here is that even men without a clinical diagnosis (of erectile dysfunction) would benefit if they stop smoking,” he concluded.
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