Up to 30 million American are affected by erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction, also referred to as impotence, is defined as the persistent inability to achieve and maintain a penial erection to engage in satisfactory sexual intercourse.
While men of any age can experience erectile dysfunction, it is often associated with older men because the ability to achieve erections are dependent on the function of the blood vessels. Smoking can contribute to ED, either by affecting the cardiovascular health or the health and function of the blood vessels.
How Does Smoking Affect Erectile Dysfunction?
Smoking affects the body’s ability to produce nitric oxide, which directly influences how much the blood vessels can dilate. Dilatation of the blood vessels is what allows for sufficient blood flow through all the necessary channels in the body, so when the blood vessels are damaged, they are not able to receive the adequate amount of blood flow to the penial region. Smoking also narrows the arteries, which reduces pressure and blood flow to the penis.
These effects may happen slowly over time, so many people don’t realize that their smoking may be contributing to sexual function.
Common Signs of Erectile Dysfunction
There are many signs associated with erectile dysfunction, but the most common signs are as followed:
- It is difficult to achieve an erection.
- If you do achieve an erection, you are not able to maintain it.
- You have a reduced interest in sex
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it is important to talk with your doctor or a specialist, especially if symptoms have lasted for two or more months. A professional can determine if these are signs of ED or another condition that may require treatment.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
At Progressive Men’s Health, we offer non-invasive treatment options for men with ED. We focus on the use of shockwave therapy to combat erectile dysfunction and help restore function to the penis.