Connection Between Smoking and Erectile Dysfunction: What It Is and How to Reverse It
Barret - Nov 08 2021
While it’s true that penis-havers of any age or background can experience ED, it is more likely to occur if you’re a smoker.
But why is that? Let’s take it back a step.
There are a ton of factors that may contribute to ED, including stress, hormones, lifestyle choices, and age. However, there’s a lot to be said about circulation.
Erections rely on steady blood flow to the penis. Penile arteries expand, fill with blood, and boom — that’s an erection.
So it only makes sense that lifestyle choices and diseases that impact blood flow can lead to ED. These include lack of exercise, high blood pressure, diabetes, clogged blood vessels, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Oh, and smoking, of course.
What’s Wrong With Cigarettes
We all know about the damage smoking can do to your lungs, but we often overlook its impact on circulatory health.
Cigarettes are full of chemicals that enter the bloodstream when inhaled, causing your blood vessels to become swollen and inflamed. On top of that, both smoking and ED are linked to atherosclerosis: plaque build-up in the arteries.
When these things occur, it’s much more difficult for your blood to get where it needs to go. Doesn’t exactly sound like the best recipe for an erection now, does it?
How Many Cigarettes a Day Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Never picking up a cigarette certainly doesn’t absolve you from experiencing erectile dysfunction, but it does reduce your risk factor. Still, one study showed that 12% of men who’ve never smoked struggled with erectile issues.
But on the other hand, men who smoked over 20 cigarettes every day were 60% more likely to experience ED than non-smokers.
Have you ever been in the bedroom, ready to embrace the heat of the moment when you just...can’t?
You aren’t the only one. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is far from rare, and a one-off occurrence doesn’t necessarily mean you have ED. Performance issues from time to time are entirely normal. Still, chronic ED can be a sign of another health problem.
And a common culprit? Smoking.
Yep, that’s right. There is definitely a connection between cigarettes and erectile dysfunction. And it’s not just an older person thing. If you’re young and otherwise healthy, it’s time to look at your lifestyle habits. Even 20-year-olds can experience ED! So if you’re looking for a reason to quit smoking, this might be the push you need.
All About Smoking and Erectile Dysfunction
Truth be told, there isn’t really a “safe” number of daily cigarettes that will prevent you from developing erectile dysfunction. Heart complications are an inherent risk of smoking which means ED is always a possibility.
Still, if you’re trying to find a happy medium between preventing ED and keeping your smoking habit, limit the number of cigarettes you have per day. Complete elimination may not be a possibility for everyone, so aim for reduction instead.
Can Smoking-Induced Erectile Dysfunction Be Cured?
Luckily, there are a variety of ways to treat erectile dysfunction.
If your ED is cigarette-related, the best place to start is by quitting smoking. If this isn’t a possibility for you, reducing your cigarette use never hurts either.
As with all erectile dysfunction, dropping bad habits in exchange for healthier ones can be beneficial. Focusing on a balanced, whole food diet, getting regular exercise, addressing sleep and mental health issues, and cutting back on alcohol may help you get the blood flowing down there. Meanwhile, suitable sex postitions is also helpful to relieve erectile dysfunction.
Lifestyle changes aren’t always enough, though. Or you might want to keep those habits (who doesn’t?).
In that case, medications may be an option. Chat with your doctor about common ED treatments such as supplemental testosterone, urethral suppositories, or oral medications. So when will you achieve noticeable results? Cardiovascular improvements can appear as soon as 2 to 12 weeks after smoking your last cigarette, which may help reduce ED symptoms.
There’s a good chance you’ll regain erectile function within six months, and by the one-year mark, your improvements should be even greater.
However, this isn’t a guarantee. The older you are when you quit smoking, the lower your chances are of regaining significant erectile function. So if you can kick the habit before you reach your middle ages, you may be able to reverse more of the damage.
Quitting smoking may not completely cure your ED, but it can reduce the severity. And guess what? Great sex is still possible with erectile dysfunction!
Smoking may seem to increase your sex appeal, but truthfully, it can have adverse effects in the bedroom. Cigarettes can cause cardiovascular damage and may lead to erectile dysfunction.
Luckily, there are treatments available, and great sex is possible even with ED. But your best bet? Kick the habit if you can as soon as you can!