Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common and has many potential causes and contributing factors. Some men discover that their ED is due to physical health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Others have underlying psychological issues or a combination of mental health and physical health problems. Addiction is another possibility that urologists consider when evaluating a man for erectile dysfunction. Scientific research has linked tobacco use to problems achieving and sustaining an erection.
How Smoking Affects Sexual Health
A man’s sexual health depends on vascular health. When a man becomes sexually aroused, the nerves respond by telling the blood vessels in the penis to expand and fill with more blood. This causes an erection. However, smoking substantially damages the blood vessels, which affects their ability to respond to sexual arousal. Impotence is the result. Men who smoke, especially those who are heavy smokers, are more likely to suffer from ED. However, they can reverse the effects, and achieve faster, firmer erections by kicking the habit.
How Smoking Affects Fertility
It’s extremely hazardous to the health of a pregnant woman and her child when they live with a smoker. Even if a man only smokes outdoors, the smoke can drift inside the home, and the residue clings to clothing, fingers, and household surfaces. Even if this weren’t enough motivation to quit smoking, men should be aware that tobacco negatively affects fertility. It does this by damaging the DNA in sperm.
How Men Can Finally Kick the Habit
Most smokers who quit require multiple attempts before they achieve success, and the same smoking cessation method won’t necessarily work for everyone. A multi-pronged approach may work best. In addition to talking to a doctor about smoking cessation medications and nicotine replacement products, men might consider the following:
- Support groups
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Distraction techniques for cravings
At Urology Associates, P.C., smoking cessation is commonly recommended for our patients who smoke. Our urology team in Tennessee provides compassionate and discreet medical services at our Men’s Health Clinic. Call us at 888-656-0667.