Question: Is there a relationship between cigarettes and Impotence?
Impotence in men – but this time it’s great news!
One of the great benefits of now being a non-smoker is the dramatic improvement you’ll now experience in your sex life. Your blood will run more freely and fully now….and you’ll experience longer and harder erections.
The other great benefit is that you won’t suffer from one of the worst effects of cigarettes: penile erectile dysfunction
Penile erectile dysfunction or impotence is the repeated inability to have or maintain an erection.
Cigarettes increases the risk of erectile dysfunction by around 50% for men in their 30s and 40s.
During an erection……large quantities of blood flow, under pressure, into the penile arteries. This causes the veins which drain the penis to become compressed, so preventing the immediate outflow of blood. This process is significantly impaired by smoking.
Less blood flows into the penis if the inflow route is blocked by long term build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis) caused, in part, by cigarettes.
Rapid contractions in penile tissue, a direct and immediate result of nicotine stimulation in the brain, restrict arterial blood flow into the penis. This is known as acute vasospasm.
The valve mechanism that traps blood in the penis is impaired as a result of nicotine in the blood stream. This is known as venous dilation.
The damage caused by cigarettes to male sexual health also includes:
- Reduced volume of ejaculate
- Lowered sperm count
- Abnormal sperm shape
- Impaired sperm motility
The bottom line is: Cigarettes are a major and avoidable hazard for sexual health. Given that two of the three main side effects of smoking on erectile function are acute responses to nicotine, then immediate improvements on stopping smoking are possible.
Medical research also links smoking with other areas of male sexual health, including reduced volume of ejaculate, lowered sperm count, abnormal sperm shape and impaired sperm motility. Smoking is also linked to pyospermia, a condition manifested in swollen testes with excess white blood cells (pus) present in ejaculate.
It is now clear that smokers are more likely to develop impotence in just the same way that they develop heart disease. However if they can stop smoking, there will once again enjoy prolonged normal sexual function.