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How Smoking Negatively Affects Your Sex Life and Fertility

Posted 1st Oct 2016 to Vaping News


How smoking takes the fun out of a shag



Smoking has a habit of wrecking nearly everything in your body - and your private parts are not immune from its effects. Both men and women will experience some level of sexual dysfunction if they smoke, but the good news is that once you quit, you’ll get that spring back in your step almost immediately.

The mechanics of smoking and sexual dysfunction


Men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day have a 60% higher incidence of erectile dysfunction. There are a few mechanisms at work here - decreased blood flow to the sexual organs - which can also affect women - and the potential for smoking to damage the smooth muscle on the interior of the penis, as well as penile tissues. But the largest factor is blood flow - since so much of male sexual function depends on proper blood flow, when it slows down - everything else does too.


Both men and women will have a harder time exercising if they smoke. This extends into the bedroom, resulting in a reduced sexual satisfaction level due to performance issues for both genders.


Trying to have a baby? Quit smoking first


Panayiotis M. Zavos, PhD is director of the Andrology Institute of America and a professor of reproductive physiology and andrology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. While studying infertility rates, his research group found that smoking had a direct, significant effect on fertility. But it didn’t stop there - the smokers in his group had almost half as much sex as the non-smokers. That’s a lot of sex to miss out on. Plus, the sexual satisfaction rates of the couples with a smoking man versus the couples with a nonsmoking man were much lower; 8.7 versus 5.2 on a scale of one to 10.


On the female side, the lining of the uterus improves if you quit smoking. Additionally, you will find it easier to conceive through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and you will reduce the chance of a miscarriage. It’s safe to say that both genders should ditch smoking if they want to have children.


Sexual health in women and smoking


While reduced blood flow does contribute to a lack of arousal in female smokers, there is not much evidence to prove that it affects women other than with fertility. However, a number of studies have proven that women are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke - 10 times higher -  if smoking while on hormonal contraception, such as the pill or an IUD. Additionally, female smokers are at higher risk of cervical cancer.


How fast will my sexual health recover after quitting?


Blood flow starts improving almost immediately after quitting smoking. When you are at the point where you can go for a brisk walk without being winded, you’ll probably be back to around normal for sexual performance. If you are a woman trying to conceive, you should ideally be off the cigs for a month before becoming pregnant. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, and can reduce the blood flow from the placenta to the baby - it takes roughly a month to get it entirely out of your system.


Healthy sexual activity is good for your heart, relieves stress, and can even improve your immune system - as well as being lots of fun! The sooner you quit, the sooner you can enjoy more of it.


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