Cigarettes Can Make You Impotent: How Smoking Affect Your Sexual Health

Smoking and its associated hazards are known to everybody. However, do you know that it can even drag to the point of impotence? According to recent studies, cigarettes can cause erectile dysfunction, particularly among young folks. Smoking not only poses a threat to your heart but also to your sex life. With the constant rush in the modern lifestyle, chances of experiencing erection dysfunction are very common. However, if one can at least try to decrease the factors contributing to it, it is worth trying. Quitting smoking can become a key to overcoming this very common condition and improving sexual health. However, a question that persists among people is how long after quitting smoking does erectile dysfunction improve? Well, that might vary due to many factors. 

Now, if a person wants to manage the condition, then it is necessary to know what causes it. Before getting into the detailed process as to how smoking is injurious to sex, let’s know what a condition like erectile dysfunction is. 

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is also called impotence. This is a medical condition where a person struggles to get and keep an erection firm enough to engage in sexual intercourse. This is a disease that is characterised by the inability to achieve and sustain an erection. In these cases, the erection is not strong enough for a fulfilling engagement. This is experienced by men of all ages and affects their relationship with their partner, their relationship with others and their general lifestyle.

Erectile Dysfunction can affect a person’s self-esteem. It may also cause relationship problems and contribute to increased stress levels. Moreover, this can also be an indication of an underlying health issue, such as heart disease or diabetes. Therefore, it is important to seek medical evaluation if you are experiencing symptoms.

How does smoking cause erectile dysfunction?

According to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, ED is more likely in those who smoked compared with those who never did. In younger people with ED, cigarette smoking may be a link to look at. But why is smoking responsible for bad sex? In the beginning, it might seem that there is no relationship between the two. However, smoking not only has respiratory and cardiovascular health risks associated with it. It also is responsible for affecting sexual health and conjugal life.

Over time, smoking can narrow the vessels that supply blood. This can eventually result in restricted blood circulation to many areas of the body, including the penis. As we know, an erection occurs when the penis becomes engorged with blood and is ready for sexual activity. However, with poor circulation of blood in the body, this is less likely to occur. Thus, erectile dysfunction becomes a common sexual health problem among smokers.

How does nicotine affect sexual health?

The reason has to do with the consequences nicotine has on our blood flow. It is known to us that male erections rely on blood to fill up the tissue and capillaries that run throughout the penis. In case an arousal is triggered, signals are sent to relax and fill the corpora cavernosa, which gradually results in trapping the corresponding blood used until the climax. 

Nicotine has been proven to restrict blood flow. Moreover, other than constricting the size of veins and arteries, it also restricts the lining of the blood vessels within the penis itself. Since nitric acid is responsible for the penis relaxing and trapping blood, a reduction in nitric oxide in the bloodstream due to nicotine can lead to erectile dysfunction resulting from smoking.

What are some ways to cope with ED?

Most people will experience cravings and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal once they quit smoking. There are many treatment and support options. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) supplies low doses of nicotine to ease cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. There are some other types of medication used to help smokers kick the habit. Involving other better alternatives to smoking, like replacing addiction with healthy habits like regular exercising, can help. 

How long can it take to improve conditions?

Quitting smoking brings many improvements in overall health. However, it is hard to say how long after quitting smoking, ED will improve. Research also suggests that within 2-12 weeks of quitting smoking, circulation improves, which could help or even eliminate symptoms of ED; in a study published by Andrologia, 50% of the subjects with ED who quit smoking reported improvements in erectile function at six months. Moreover, exercises for ed can help improve the condition as well.


Quitting smoking can become a key to overcoming this very common condition and improving sexual health. However, it is hard to say how long after quitting smoking, ED will improve. 


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