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Smoking cigarettes and impotence
- Erectile dysfunction (ed), also called impotence, can be caused by a wide range of physical and psychological factors.
- Among them is cigarette smoking.
- It’s not surprising since smoking can damage your blood vessels, and ed is often a result of poor arterial blood supply to the penis. Fortunately, if you quit smoking, your vascular health is likely to improve, as well as your sexual health and performance.
Smoking and changes in blood vessels
You’ve probably heard a lot about the health risks of smoking. That’s because cigarette smoking can damage just about every part of your body. The chemicals in cigarette smoke injure the lining of your blood vessels and affect the way they function. Those chemicals can also harm your heart, brain, kidneys, and various other tissues throughout the body.
The risk of smoking to your erectile health is specifically due to the effects of cigarette chemicals on the blood vessels in the penis. An erection results when the arteries in the penis expand and fill with blood after receiving signals from nerves in the penis. The nerves are responding to sexual arousal signals from the brain. Even if the nervous system is operating at full strength, an erection might not be physically possible if the blood vessels are unhealthy due to smoking.