How Nicotine Affects Erectile Dysfunction
Imagine what it would feel like to be with your partner and not have the ability to perform. What if this impairment was strictly due to a choice you were making every day? If you are a smoker this is a choice you make daily and all too soon impotence could be your reality. Male smokers are 50% more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than nonsmokers. This is not often discussed; however is one of the most common side effects of smoking. There are many ways in which cigarettes can contribute to difficulty maintaining an erection.
Nicotine and Constriction Of Blood Vessels
Nicotine is a drug that acts like a vasoconstrictor. This means that it causes the arteries and blood vessels to constrict impeding blood flow throughout the body, including the genitals. In order to achieve an erection the male genitalia must have enough blood flow to fill the arteries and vessels causing the penis to swell. If the blood flow is kept from filling the arteries and vessels an erection will not possible.
Testosterone and Nicotine
Hormone levels including testosterone are lowered as a result of nicotine use. These lower levels affect a man’s ability to get aroused and maintain an erection. Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, having low testosterone levels may interfere with a man’s sexual desires.
Nicotine and Increased Fatty Acids
Studies have also shown that smoking causes an increase in fatty acids in the vessels. These fatty acids cause a build up that can lead to clogged arteries. This build up can result in impotence due to the lack of blood flow to the arteries and vessels in the penis. Not only can these fatty acids affect sexual performance they can also lead to a heart attack, stroke, and possible death.
The Effect on Sperm
Not only does nicotine contribute to erectile dysfunction it also can cause male smokers to have a lower sperm count, abnormally shaped sperm, lethargic sperm as well as an overall decrease in the amount of ejaculation produced. These negative effects on the sperm can impede a man’s ability to have children.
Smoking and Sexual Attractiveness
Besides nicotine’s role in contributing to erectile dysfunction smoking also tends to make you less attractive to potential mates. Cigarette smoke causes bad breath, yellowed teeth and fingers, and foul odor on clothing and body.
The choice to quit smoking is a difficult one. For many the path to freedom from tobacco is too tough and they never succeed in attaining their goal. There are tools to help you quit and in the end it is well worth any discomfort you may experience during the quitting process. The ability to be passionate with the one you love isn’t a gift that should be taken for granted. If you are a smoker who has faced these types of repercussions it’s never too late to make a new decision. Get your life back. Put the spring back in your step.
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