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Smoking and Sex

Smoking is a risk factor for numerous physical ailments. Male sexuality is no exception to this notion. Fortunately, fewer and fewer people currently smoke as compared 50 years ago.

However, according to the CDC- Centers for Disease Control in 2014, nearly 17 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (16.8%) currently* smoked cigarettes. Men are more likely to be current cigarette smokers than women.

  • Nearly 19 of every 100 adult men (18.8%)
  • Nearly 15 of every 100 adult women (14.8%)

The earlier in life a person starts smoking, the more adverse effects it may have on their health during their lifetime. This makes smoking particularly relevant among young people, because this is the period when many men and women begin a habit, often to deal with stress associated with home or school, that can last for decades to come. Smoking can interfere with many aspects of a man’s sexual health. From the initial attraction stage, to later interfering with sexual performance. This article discusses some of the ways that the habit of smoking can harm a man’s sexual health.

Smoking is a Potential Cause of Impotence

Research demonstrates that men smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day have a greatly increased risk of erectile dysfunction, compared to their peers who do not smoke. This substantial level of risk needs to be recognized and dealt with by those who smoke on a regular basis. Smoking 20 cigarettes a day, is the same as being a pack a day smoker. According to researchers at the University of Kentucky, smoking can have a significant and negative effect on the ability to conceive. The toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke have the potential to damage blood vessels leading to erectile dysfunction. Smoking may also lead to cancer or other diseases which may affect a man’s genitals which can cause impotence. Smoking also has the potential to damage penile tissues which impact the ability of a man’s penis to function normally.

Research Has Shown that Smoking Can Decrease Sexual Desire and Satisfaction

Desire can be viewed as a man’s interest to engage in sexual intercourse. It is often more commonly described as sexual libido. When men have a decrease in libido, they are less interested in initiating sex or responding to their partner initiating a sexual encounter. Satisfaction refers to a man’s feelings during and after sex. One of the basic questions is whether a man’s expectations are met, and if he is satisfied both during and after sex. Research uses both desire and satisfaction to assess how men feel about their sex lives. The problem of decreased desire or satisfaction can arise from the impact smoking has on the ability of a man to perform sexually. Once a man has physical problems, their desire to have sex may decrease as a result because of inability to perform as well as they would like and/or expect. The same occurs with satisfaction.  When having sex, a man may not be able to perform normally (such as maintaining an erection for the regular amount of time) so he will not be satisfied with the experience. If he is satisfying his partner less than before as a result of any abnormalities linked to smoking, this may also cause lower satisfaction. For younger men, such changes in sexual performance related to smoking can make desire and satisfaction much lower than their peers.

Smoking May Damage Smooth Muscle Inside the Penis

If the muscles inside he penis become damaged, this can adversely affect erectile function. If smoking damages penis muscle tissue, the ability to engage in normally satisfying sex may be severely affected. Again, such a problem may lead to a lower libido.

Smoking May Also Affect Penis Size

According to some research, this may be more of a problem for men who start smoking when they are younger. Smoking over an extended period of time may result of damage to blood vessels and penile tissue.  Smaller penis size, especially if a man was used to having a larger penis size before, can have numerous psychological effects on a man’s well-being further exacerbating the underlying physical problem. Decreased penis size during sex can cause emotional distress and even depression in some men.

Smoking Can Make Other Erectile Dysfunction Risk Factors Worse

For example, a person with high blood pressure is already at risk of having erectile dysfunction. Smoking can greatly increase the risk of having erectile dysfunction.

With all of the ways that smoking can impact male sexual performance and function, the question is what can be done to stop this harm. The best way to stop this harm is not to smoke at all. If a man is already a smoker, they should try to quit smoking. There is no secret way to quit smoking, and it can be very difficult. However, it is important for people who smoke to understand that they have a habit that has the potential to seriously harm their health. People should try to quit smoking to help improve both the short and long term effects it can have on their health. After recognizing that smoking is a problem, people should work with their healthcare providers to develop a personalized approach for stopping their smoking habit. Smoking and Sex just don’t mix.

For more information on men’s sexual health, contact your local American Male Medical Clinic today.

Disclaimer – Nothing in this article is to be considered Medical Advice or an offer of treatment. Only licensed medical doctors are allowed to make medical recommendations or offer medical treatment. Please make an appointment to see an American Male Medical doctor to discuss any health issues or concerns you may have.