Can long term smoking cause impotence?

Everybody knows the dangers that smoking can cause, strokes, cancer, heart disease and many more. But did you know that smoking is a major contributor to Erectile dysfunction too? If you have never paid any attention to your cigarette packets then you may have missed the one picture of the heartbroken looking man lying naked on his bed curled up in the fetal position, which is a really drama queen type depiction of someone with Erectile dysfunction. I suppose they had to make it as eye catching as the women in the hospital bed because of cancer, or that women with smoke coming out of her supposedly blind eyes. Drama!


Anyway, the science bit – A cigarette can contain over 40,000 chemicals, including but not limited to acetone, carbon monoxide and arsenic. These chemicals damage the lining of your blood vessels and make them less effective at doing their jobs properly, one of which is taking all that lovely blood to your penis so that it can stand to attention, ready for action. With a reduced circulation, those blood vessels are going to get through slower and sometimes not at all leading to not being able to maintain or even get an erection. All this depends on if you even want to get an erection as smoking can also affect your libido by lowering your sex drive. If you do want it and manage to have it, bad news…Fertility can also be affected!

So now that you are officially freaked out I suppose you want to know, Will your impotence resolve itself, if you stop smoking? Good news!

After quitting smoking, your circulation will start to improve within 2 to 12 weeks depending on how long you have been smoking and how much damage has already been done. Not only that but your blood pressure improves and your risk of having a heart attack goes dramatically down.

If you struggle to quit smoking here are some things that can help:

  • Remove all objects connected to it from your place, no lighters or ashtrays stashed in cupboards, no pack of fags as a back up.
  • Learn what triggers your urges, a meal, hot drink or adverts are the usual culprits, find a distraction straightaway.
  • Take advantage of smoking cessation products, patches, gum and nicotine free vaping are all used to great effect.
  • Don’t give up if you have a set back. If you smoke a cigarette just start again the next day without beating yourself up. You’ll get there!