The stressful and competitive life today has pushed many people to pursue different activities to destress themselves and smoking tops them all.
Smoking can cause numerous issues like chronic heart disease, respiratory issues, lung cancer, bronchitis, and the list goes on.
Apart from these issues, smoking can also hurt your sex life. It can disrupt your performance in bed and draw a wedge between your partner and you.
In this article, you will be reading about how smoking affects your sex life, what issues can you face due to smoking, and how can you get rid of these issues.
An Overview On Smoking And Sexual Health
Tobacco and products made from it can be very dangerous to your health. No part of the body remains untouched from the harms of tobacco.
The cigarettes contain substances like acetone, tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide, all of which could cause complications, some of which might leave long-term effects on your body.
A study by CDC established a link between smoking cigarettes and the adverse health conditions it can cause. They laid out the following conditions-
- Heart disease
- Chronic lung disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD
However, the list does not end here. Smoking can impact sexual health in both men and women. It can cause hormonal alterations, low libido, infertility, and lower stamina in their bodies.
On one hand, problems like erectile dysfunction, low testosterone count, low sperm motility, damaged DNA in sperm, etc. are found in men.
On the other hand, issues with conception, early menopause, PMS, cervical cancer, lowered vaginal lubrication, etc. can be experienced by the women.
Therefore, quitting smoking as soon as you could, may help you in reversing the side effects it causes to your body.
Effects Of Smoking On Men’s Sexual Health
Erectile dysfunction is when men find it challenging to get or maintain a hard erection during sexual intercourse.
A study proved that smoking could increase men’s risk of erectile dysfunction in men and worsen the pre-existing condition.
The same study also mentioned that the condition might arise in men of any age and with comorbidities.
For getting or maintaining hard erections, the blood flow to the penis must be maintained, but smoking could decrease the presence of nitric oxide in the body.
Nitric oxide is responsible for the smooth flow of blood in the blood vessels, and the reduction hinders the blood supply, which could ruin erectile function through the vascular mechanisms.
This contributes to the risk of developing ED in men who are regular smokers
Presently, infertility is one of the most common concerns in young men. Smoking not only acts as a catalyst in such conditions but also increases the risk of infertility.
A study conducted on semen analysis of smoking men concluded that the semen parameters like semen volume, sperm count, and sperm motility were below average.
It could also cause damage to the DNA of the sperm and cause difficulty in conceiving a baby.
It was found in a meta-analysis that there was a decline in the density of sperms by 13% to 17% in men who were regular smokers when compared to non-smokers.
Low Sex Drive
Consistent smoking could result in a decreased testosterone count, the chief sex hormone in a male body.
The study has shown that smoking cigarettes could increase the presence of carbon monoxide in the body, which could hinder testosterone production.
The decline in testosterone production in the body leads to the decline in the sex drive of smoking males.
Another study stated that smoking plays a vital role while evaluating the testosterone count in males and could also hide the borderline hypogonadism in men.
Lack of Stamina
Another side effect of smoking is degraded lung function and shortness of breath which result in decreased endurance for physical activities.
Breathlessness also impacts your stamina and performance in bed. This makes you embarrassed and leaves your partner and yourself unsatisfied.
Moreover, foul breath and tainted teeth could also be a turn-off for a bed partner.
Effects Of Smoking On Women’s Sexual Health
Development of Premenstrual Syndrome
Women who are regular smokers could experience a higher risk of premenstrual syndrome like bloating, backaches, sore breasts, and acne issues in comparison to non-smoker women.
A review of multiple studies showed that women who were in their early adulthood could have a substantial risk of developing moderate to severe PMS.
Cigarette smoking can have many adverse effects on health and one of the most common ones in women is early menopause.
A meta-analysis of 11 studies suggests that it is an important and independent risk for early menopause
Smoker women experience irregular periods more often too besides experiencing early menopause when compared to non-smoker women.
The research concluded that due to the increased risk of early menopause, the span of reproductive life of smoking women is also compromised.
Lowered Genital Arousal
A study was conducted where 25 sexually active women who were least exposed to nicotine were given 6 mg of nicotine gum and were shown an erotic film.
The outcome of the study showed that nicotine created a flow of biochemical and vascular events which could have led to the disruption in the normal sexual arousal of women.
Another study showed that smoking could degrade the estrogen level in women which is the chief sex hormone of women.
This could also lead to lowering the sexual response in female genitalia as well as reducing the lubrication in the vagina.
Similar to men, women who smoke also face issues with fertility. It could increase the rate of loss of healthy eggs and raise the risk of infertility.
In some women, estrogen production is affected in the ovarian cells due to the smoke of cigarettes.
This low estrogen production in the body could lead to lower production of eggs and result in genetic abnormalities and lower chances of pregnancy.
As per this government study, smoking can also affect a healthy pregnancy and increase the risk of miscarriages and premature labor.
How To Get Help?
Smoking is a hazardous habit and is capable of causing a lot of harm to your body. Therefore, you must quit smoking as soon as you can.
You could get help from online forums, your health expert, or talking therapies too. Though it will take time yet with dedication you can quit smoking.
Practicing yoga or aerobics could also be beneficial for you if you’re trying to quit smoking as they can help with the nicotine withdrawal symptoms too, as per this study.
Research suggested that quitting smoking might reverse the signs of erectile dysfunction in men. Additionally, you could consult a doctor to provide you with medication to cure ED.
On experiencing any of the above medical conditions, a person must visit their doctor and get themselves treated to avoid further complications in their lives.
Thus to conclude, smoking could create disruptions in the sexual life of both men and women.
Smoking hurts the sexual life of smokers and this might lead to complications in their relationships, over time.
As you are aware that smoking will not only affect your sexual health but will also hamper your overall bodily functions, therefore trying to quit is the best option.
Refer to the experts and professionals for help.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
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- About the Author
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Otella has an experience of around eight years of writing about health and nutrition-related topics. She is a full-time mother and a housewife, and the time she has left after doing her mother and household duties is spent writing for Working for Health as a full-time writer. Her life goal is to raise both her boys into a gentleman, and at the same time, she wants to educate people on how to keep themselves fit by tweaking their daily diet.