Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is caused by various physical and psychological factors. One of them is cigarette smoking. Generally, smoking affects and damages the blood vessels throughout the body. Hence it is quite obvious that smoking can affect the blood vessels of penis too, eventually leading to ED. If one quits smoking, his general health would improve and thereby his sexual health and performance are also likely to improve.
Cigarette smoking is a well known risk for general and cardiovascular health. It damages the blood vessels throughout the body affecting various organs like heart, lung, brain, kidneys, etc. The chemicals circulating in the body due to smoking also affect the blood vessels supplying the penis. During an erection, the sexual arousal in brain stimulates the nerve signals towards the penis, leading to blood vessel dilatation and increased blood flow to the penis, thereby causing a firm erection. Smoking targets these blood vessels in the penis, damages them and therefore adversely affects an erection leading to ED. Both smoking and ED have been associated with atherosclerosis (plaque build-up within the arterial walls which compromises the lumen of the artery).
Considerable medical research has been done to show the effects of smoking in erectile dysfunction. A population based study published in American Journal of Epidemiology (2005) concluded that ED is twice more likely in smokers compared to non-smokers. ED tends to occurs more in older age group, but it is also common in younger men who smoke cigarettes. Heavy smoking increases the risk for ED proportionately. Just like quitting smoking has general health benefits, it also helps to recover from ED.
Consult a Doctor or Men’s health specialist: ED is a common health problem which may require a medical consultation. The sooner one seeks help; the better is the treatment outcome. You can take a erectile dysfunction medication like Generic Viagra
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. However, if smoking is discovered to be a risk factor, quitting smoking is an inevitable advice. Some people might have tried to quit smoking and remained unsuccessful. In such cases, following steps are recommended to help quit smoking:
• Enlist all the reasons you wish to quit smoking and also the reasons why previous attempts to quit smoking were unsuccessful.
• Keep yourself motivated and determined to quit smoking. Discard all the cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters and matches from your home, office and vehicle.
• Pay attention and avoid the smoking triggers, such as drinking coffee or alcohol.
• Receive assistance, guidance and support from friends and family who care for your health. Often addictions need such support for successful deaddiction.
• Consult a doctor regarding medications to be taken which help in smoking cessation. Nicotine chewing gums may help in smoking deaddiction.
• Switch to new alternatives to smoking; during cigarette cravings, divert your attention to positive activities such as exercise or hobbies which keeps your hands and mind preoccupied.
• Stay mentally prepared for cravings as well as setbacks.
• Spend more time in areas where smoking is prohibited.
• Undertake relaxing activities like yoga, meditation and exercise to reduce stress.
• Keep reminding yourself about the benefits of smoking cessation, including improved sexual health.
Conclusion: Smoking is a well known risk factor for cardiovascular health. It has also been implicated in occurrence of erectile dysfunction, by virtue of its damaging effects on penile blood vessels. Hence it is emphasized to quit smoking to overcome ED. various tips and recommendations have been provided for cessation of smoking in order to achieve better general health and improved sexual function.
Pourmand, G., Alidaee, M. R., Rasuli, S., Maleki, A., & Mehrsai, A. (2004, December). Do cigarette smokers with erectile dysfunction benefit from stopping?: A prospective study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15610111