Smoking harms sexual and reproductive health12 Mar 2019
Smoking affects virtually every organ of the body. Some organs have immediate negative effects while some suffer long-term ongoing damage. This gradual process of damage leads to compromised functioning of the affected systems, which not only includes the heart, lungs, blood vessels but even the reproductive organs as well.
Let’s understand what are the harmful effects of smoking on reproductive organs and how it harms the sexual health.
- Smokers are twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction than non-smokers: Smoking damages the blood vessels and the circulation to the sexual organs due to toxins, including carbon monoxide, found in cigarette smoke. Smoking is closely associated with atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries are narrowed down due to the deposition of fats decreasing the blood flow. This interruption of the blood flow to the penis significantly affects the ability to achieve or sustain erection leading to erectile dysfunction.
- Affects sexual desire: Few studies suggest that smoking is linked to lower sex drive in men.
- Affects the sperm quality and quantity: Smoking negatively affects sperm health. It was found that men who smoke have lower sperm count than non-smokers, and their semen contains a higher proportion of malformed sperms. Besides this, the smoke toxins even affect the motility of the sperms. Thus, smoking increases the risk of infertility. Stopping smoking can reverse the condition and reduce the risks of developing sperm defects.
- Amplifies the effects of other causes: Many diseases such as diabetes and heart ailments cause sexual dysfunction. Smoking compounds the effects of these diseases and contributes to sexual dysfunction further. A study among diabetic men reported that smokers were significantly more likely to have poor sexual performance.
Quitting smoking is an important step towards restoring a healthy sex life. Kicking the habit along with restoring a healthy lifestyle can dramatically improve the sexual performance and overall health of an individual. More often than not, the inability to quit smoking is considered a psychological problem but we must not forget that it is as much a physical ailment as it is a psychological dependency. The chemicals that a cigarette contains makes it difficult for smokers to quit. Quitting smoking suddenly without aid may be associated with withdrawal symptoms, like headaches, irritability, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating, etc. which makes quitting all the tougher.
One of the medically-approved aids to quit smoking is through Nicotine Replacement Therapy(NRT). This therapy has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), US FDA and is also a part of the essential medicines list for WHO. NRT supports a quitter’s willpower and helps reduce tobacco dependency. NRT provides small and sustained quantities of nicotine to the brain, which one normally gets from a cigarette, but in a lower quantity than cigarettes, and without exposing the body to other harmful & cancerous chemicals associated with smoking. These small quantities of nicotine can help a smoker overcome the urge to smoke, and also prevent the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting, which in turn can help them quit the habit. In fact, using NRT has been proven to double your chances of quitting.
Nicotex is the No. 1 brand in the NRT category in India. So, start your journey to quit smoking today with Nicotex!