Smoking: Does it Affect Erectile Dysfunction

Barb HicksSep 24, 2009 | edited Sep 24, 2009 - by @BarbHicks

Viva Viagra! We have all seen the commercials for medication directed at men who suffer with erectile dysfunction, or ED. What these advertisements don't tell you is that there is more to this condition than just the inability to obtain and maintain an erection. For men who smoke and complain of ED, there is a connection to this and vascular disease. More importantly, you could be facing a heart attack within a few years.

Everyone is fully aware of the fact that it has been proven smoking leads to heart disease and cancer. However, it is not widely known that men age 40 to 49 are at a greater risk for these two diseases and men who smoke increase their risk for ED as well.

Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the inability to get or maintain an erect penis, which could lead to a problematic sexual relationship with your significant other. While this condition can have other underlying disease factors such as diabetes and hypertension, smoking only serves to compound the problem.

Smoking and its affect on the vascular system:

In everyone, smoking causes the blood vessels o the vascular system to become narrow. However, in a man, this can affect his ability to obtain an erection. Having an erection is solely dependent upon the health of a man's vascular system.

The penis is made up of two erectile bodies called the corpus cavernosum. These are comprised of blood vessels and smooth muscle. Once this area is filled with blood, an erection occurs. In order to maintain an erection, veins that carry blood away from the penis are shut down. If this process is interrupted in some way, erectile dysfunction is the result.

A study conducted in China in 2000, suggests that the number of cigarettes smoked can have an impact on a man's erection abilities. In addition to this, the dysfunction was even more pronounced in men who had diabetes. This may also be true as well for men who have hypertension, due to the side effects of the medications prescribed for it.

Heart Disease and Erectile Dysfunction:

It is a well known fact among health care professionals that erectile dysfunction is indicative of vascular disease. It is a two to three year warning sign of myocardial infarction (heart attack). Many men who have consulted with their physicians about their ED after a heart attack, had erection problems two to three years before their cardiac event. This warning sign goes largely ignored by their doctors.

Even in the presence of this indicator, erectile dysfunction is still regarded as an issue of recreational activity instead of a predictor of impending heart disease, which already exists when the male patient visits his doctor for help with erection difficulties.

If you are a man with erectile dysfunction and you smoke, Viagra may not be the answer you seek or need. A cardiovascular work up may be in order instead.

About the Author:
Dr. Charles Martin Author Sep 25, 2009

Excellent article. Thank you for pointing out that diabetes is a significant risk factor for ED. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes is now epidemic across the U.S. and in many other developed nations, substantially increasing the risk of developing ED.

We write extensively about related issues at http://dentistryfordiabetics.com/blog, especially the links between elevated blood sugar and gum disease that can interfere with diabetes control and significantly increase risk of serious health events such as heart attack, stroke and blindness.

? Charles Martin, DDS
Founder, Dentistry For Diabetics

edited Sep 25, 2009 - by @DrCharlesMartin28374
Barb Hicks+ Follow
joinedJul 31, 2021

More from @BarbHicks