How smoking cigarettes affect men’s penis, sex

How smoking cigarettes affect men’s penis, sex

Smoking damages blood circulation in many ways, leading to a host of related health problems including heart disease, heart attack and stroke. It may also affect the penis.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the persistent inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient enough to permit satisfactory sexual performance.

For some men, erectile dysfunction can be an awkward subject to talk about in general, whether that’s with a partner or a doctor. However, the sooner you acknowledge the issue and speak to someone, the sooner you’ll be able to find a solution or treatment best for you.

Does smoking affect male fertility?

Smoking can decrease male fertility. It harms sperm quality, affects erectile function, and even passively impacts fertility in partners with ovaries. Let’s take a closer look at how smoking affects each factor individually.

Smoking and sperm quality

Good quality semen and healthy sperm depend on several parameters, including sperm count (total number of sperm), sperm motility (forward movement of sperm towards an egg), and sperm morphology (sperm shape).

A 2016 meta-analysis on the effects of smoking on fertility found that smoking and tobacco exposure can decrease sperm counts and impair both motility and morphology. This may make it less likely that sperm will be able to reach an egg and fertilize it.

Smoking also leads to a scenario called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress means that your body has too many harmful molecules called free radicals. This damages sperm’s genetic material (DNA damage) so that they don’t function normally, potentially reducing the likelihood of fertilization

Smoking and erections

Smoking is also linked to the inability to achieve or maintain an erection for satisfying sex. Any amount of tobacco exposure is a risk factor for ED, although heavy smoking has the most severe impact.

Oxidative stress from smoking also exacerbates underlying health conditions like clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) and diabetes, which may worsen or contribute to ED.

Tips for quitting smoking

Your sperm quality may improve when you quit smoking, and your likelihood of conception or successful fertility treatments increases. But it’s not always easy to quit. Luckily, there are a few things you can do that may help make quitting easier.

  • Get help

It can be difficult to stop smoking on your own. But the good news is, you don’t have to—your healthcare provider is a good resource for advice and support. Therapy (behavioural counselling) is often a helpful step in the quitting process.

If you want to talk to people who have been through or are going through the same change, support groups are available in person and online. Or you may decide that your friends, family, and loved ones are the people you can lean on.

Ways to boost male fertility

Besides quitting smoking, there are some different strategies that can positively impact fertility, including:

  • Staying active

Staying physically active can improve semen quality and may promote higher sperm counts.

  • Eating healthy foods

Eating a nutritious and balanced diet that includes a lot of vegetables and fruits is also linked to better semen parameters.

  • Drinking less alcohol

Having a drink now and then isn’t typically bad for fertility, but excessive drinking can worsen semen quality and decrease fertility.

  • Losing weight

Reducing excess weight may improve semen quality and fertility, though the data is inconclusive.

Source: Pulse

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