Smoking and erectile dysfunction in young men
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the persistent inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficiently enough to permit satisfactory sexual performance. BMI’s Healthcare Consultant Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Specialist in Infertility at BMI The Priory Hospital, Mr Baghdadi explains how smoking can cause erectile dysfunction in young males.
How common is erectile dysfunction in young males?
Erectile dysfunction is particularly common in men over the age of 40, but it can occur in younger men also. Erectile dysfunction in men under the age of 40 was once thought to be entirely psychogenic. Although psychogenic erectile dysfunction is more prevalent in the younger population, a study found at least 15%-20% of these men have an organic cause. The major organic causes can be subdivided into vascular, neurologic, and endocrine – 14.8% under the age of 40 had organic erectile dysfunction.
How does smoking impact an erection?
Cigarettes can contain up to around 41,000 chemicals, some of which that can cause ED, such as, acetone, arsenic and carbon monoxide. Male smokers have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction due to the damage these chemicals can do to their blood vessels, narrowing the arteries and causing poor blood supply to the penis. Nicotine has a direct effect on the blood vessels that carry blood to the penis, by reducing the blood flow and this makes getting and maintaining an erection difficult. It is advised to avoid all types of tobacco and nicotine to reduce your chances of erectile dysfunction, including vaping. In some cases, passive smoking can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Are the effects of smoking on impotence temporary or permanent? How long can it take to pass?
If men stop smoking then the condition can improve along with their overall vascular health. The rate in which they may see this improvement will vary, based on the individual, age, the severity of your erectile dysfunction prior to quitting smoking, and other major health problems will affect this.
Can other factors cause erectile dysfunction in young males?
Other factors that can cause erectile dysfunction include medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. Obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and usage of illegal drugs can also increase the risk. The best way to prevent erectile dysfunction is to reduce your chances sooner rather than later. Altering your lifestyle, fitness and diet in a healthy way will lower these chances. It would be good to keep in mind that these factors can also increase the risk and the possibility of this developing into erectile dysfunction later in life.
Men who cycle for more than three hours per week can be advised to stop cycling for a small period of time to improve erectile dysfunction. It is recommended to ensure you cycle in the correct position with a properly fitted seat.
Getting advice and help for erectile dysfunction
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. As well as this, erectile dysfunction can be a sign of other developing health issues, so it’s important that if you persistently struggle with getting and maintaining an erection that you go to your GP. They will be able to investigate what the cause is and offer you a confirmed diagnosis as well as any advice.
To find out more from BMI Healthcare read their 10 tips to prevent male impotence,