Effect of Smoking on Sexual Health

Posted on July 24, 2019 Posted by Rhonda Obrien

Effect of Smoking on Sexual Health

Effect of Smoking on Sexual Health


July 4, 2013


According to World Health Organization, more than 1.5 billion people smoke cigarettes and surprisingly more than 50 million are from United States. No wonder more than 40 million Americans complain that they are stuck in a sexless marriage.  These stats suggest that researchers should find out that of the 40 million who claim to be stuck in a sexless marriage, how many are smokers.

Expert View

According to Dr. Madeleine Castellanos who is a well-known Psychiatrist in New York, smoking will kill a person’s sex life before it kills the person. Cigarettes contain nicotine which affects the blood flow of a person. This can affect the blood flow to the penis which can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Harry Fisher, leading urologist and leader in treatment of Men’s Health issues, is of the view that most people associate smoking with health problems like cancer. Many people don’t know that smoking can affect both fertility and sexuality of men. He further added that smoking could make it different for men to maintain erection because it releases stimulating compounds like adrenaline which clamps down the blood flow to the penis. When less blood reaches the penis, it can result in weaker erection or in some cases, the erection may fail. Dr. Harry Fisher added that in studies conducted to find the causes of erectile dysfunction, smoking is the biggest cause of erectile dysfunction in men. Smoking can also affect a man’s ability to father a child. Studies have shown that smoking can lower the sperm count which can affect a man’s fertility.


Studies have shown that men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes in day have 65 percent more risk of erectile dysfunction when compared to people who don’t smoke.  Studies have also shown that smoking can affect a person’s ability to conceive. In a study conducted by University of Kentucky, it was found that smoking could have a significant negative effect on a person’s ability to conceive. The toxic chemicals in cigarettes can tighten the blood vessels which can lead to erectile dysfunction. Researchers also found that smoking could lead to cancer in the genitals which causes impotency. Smoking can also damage the penile tissues which can affect the penis.

The study also found that people who smoked had sex less than 7 times in a month, whereas people who did not smoke had sex more than 12 times in a month. This difference is significant because most couples who where a part of the study were trying to conceive. Smoking not only reduced a person’s ability to have sex but also impaired the sexual performance of a person.  The sexual satisfaction level of people who smoked was just 5.2 on a scale of 1 to 10, whereas the sexual satisfaction level of non-smokers was 8.7.  This clearly shows that couples sexual frequency and satisfaction level can increase if they quit smoking.

Why Smoking affects Sexual Health

Nicotine is not only a hypertensive agent but is also a vasoconstrictor. It restricts the flow of blood in the arteries by tightening the blood vessels. Since erection depends on the blood flow to the penis, any restriction in supply of blood can lead to erectile dysfunction. Even 2 cigarettes in a day can lead to erectile dysfunction in male smokers.

Smoking and Women

Even though several studies have been conducted to find the effect of smoking on men, little research has been done to find its effect on women. Health experts are of the view that smoking also affects the sexual health of women. During sexual intercourse, the clitoris, labia and the vagina swell up with blood which increases excitement and sensation. If nicotine restricts blood supply to these parts, it will have a negative effect on both sensation and excitement.

Category: Health Problems, Smoking

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