Attention Smokers and Nicotine Users!
Nicotine is found in tobacco products, and the more modern form of nicotine intake is from vaping, or an electronic cigarette. If you are a smoker, tobacco chewer, or vaper, you make want to listen up! We could start this off like an anti-smoking campaign, but let’s make that quick and cut to the chase….yes, smoking is not good for you, stop smoking. Tobacco chewing and vaping also have negative effects on your body. We are doctors, so we do care about your overall health, but our primary focus here as a men’s sexual health specialist, is your penile function.
So, how exactly do nicotine products effect your sexual health, as a man?
We have known for some time now that smoking causes lung and heart damage, leading to cardiovascular problems and erectile dysfunction. What you may not know though is that it is not just the inhaling of tobacco smoke that could affect your sexual health. Nicotine itself is the common culprit found in tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. Nicotine is a very potent vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows the blood vessels. The blood vessels we are focusing on are found in your penis.
Let’s put this into perspective!
During an erection the arteries in your penis open up to let more blood flow into the corpora cavernosa area of the penis. The veins within the penis close up at this time, allowing the penis to expand and hold the erection. When the inflow of blood from the arteries stops, upon ejaculation, the veins open up allowing the penis to become soft again. Vasoconstrictors damage the lining of blood vessels. This impairs the ability of vessels to relax and allow more blood flow in and affects the veins that help maintain the erection that close off to stop the blood flow out.
In layman’s terms, nicotine makes the blood vessels inside your penis malfunction so they cannot perform to maximum capacity. Nicotine use reduces the size of erection and effects the ability to achieve and maintain an erection, known as erectile dysfunction!
In a published study by Addiction Behavior, 42 smokers were hooked up to penile sensors. Some of the participants were given candy to consume, and others were given high nicotine cigarettes. The study uncovered that in the participants given the high nicotine cigarettes, they had a significant reduction in penile erection after only two cigarettes!
Sorry guys, but all of you who are making the change to vapes to reduce the health risks associated with tobacco use, and still keep your nicotine, are not excluded from this health issue regarding your penis. The only advantage electronic cigarette smokers have is that the nicotine levels in electronic cigarette liquids can be reduced and even eliminated. Electronic cigarette liquid with a zero nicotine level would be your only alternative to avoid the vasoconstrictor that affects your erectile function.
If you are a nicotine user who is noticing a reduction in your libido and penile function, we highly advise you to eliminate or reduce your nicotine intake!
For more information on the effects of nicotine on your penile function, contact the Kansas City Men’s Clinic. The Kansas City Men’s Clinic is a group of men’s sexual health doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of male sexual dysfunctions, like erectile dysfunction, Peyronie’s disease, low testosterone, and premature ejaculation. For help in resolving your sexual disorders we invite you to schedule an appointment with the Kansas City Men’s Clinic today by calling (816) 897-7777 or schedule online.