(Article medically reviewed by Dr. Zac Hyde M.D)
Does smoking cause penile atrophy?
Yes, it does.
For example, cigarettes have been proven to have a negative impact on what scientists call Penile Hemodynamics.
This is according to a paper out of the Boston University School of Medicine.
In plain speak, Penile Hemodynamics means blood flow to the nether regions.
And this blood flow was not only reduced during sex in this study. It was also reduced in smokers during the night-time repair process.
This repair process is called Nocturnal Penile Tumescence by the lab coats. But it’s known to you as those raging boners that come on at midnight while you’re asleep.
And this is a very important point….
Because those night time boners arrive for a very good reason. Nutrient rich blood is sent down to your boy while you’re immobilized during sleep.
And this blood is used to repair damaged tissue that occurred over the previous 24 hours.
This is a rebuilding and repair process that is vital for a penile health. But in smokers, half the work crew never shows up.
And this continues, night after night.
The blood that funds these nocturnal boners contains the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, that keep your penis healthy and fit.
It also contains the hormones and growth factors that prevent penile atrophy.
So if you’re a smoker and have noticed a little shrinkage lately, you know what you need to do.
Now here’s David with more…
Does Smoking Cause Penile Atrophy?
With a death toll of around half a million people per year, smoking cigarettes is among the most dangerous habits you can have.
Of course, this is nothing new.
The risks associated with smoking have been well-documented (and well broadcasted) for over 30 years.
Unfortunately, the sheer addictiveness of the substance often causes men of all ages to suffer relapses, even years after they’ve quit.
But if the prospect of an early death from cancer or emphysema isn’t enough to get you to crush those Camels forever, perhaps the potential end to your sex life will do the trick.
You see, smoking cigarettes is directly associated with various degrees of erectile dysfunction.
When prolonged, this condition can lead to a sexually debilitating condition known as penile atrophy.
Erections: A Refresher Course
We find out pretty early in life that our penises can grow.
But while we rightfully associate erections with sexual arousal, we often don’t think about the many bodily processes involved in making them happen.
For instance, once we are stimulated, our brain begins to send messages to local nerves in our groin.
This encourages the many small vessels in our penile tissues, called corpora cavernosa, to relax.
Next, our arteries begin to supply oxygen-rich blood to those vessels, which causes them to expand and stiffen, causing an erection.
However, according to a Boston University School of Medicine study, smoking inhibits this process in multiple ways (source).
It starts by damaging your blood vessels, constricting them and keeping them from properly supplying that oxygen-rich blood your corpora cavernosa need.
In some cases, these vessels become completely blocked with plaque, preventing flow entirely.
But there’s more…
You see, smoking also damages your heart, leading to high blood pressure and other blood-flow-related issues.
This can increase the chances of atherosclerosis, that aforementioned plaque build-up, at multiple points in our circulatory system.
By placing these plaque barriers around our body, smoking can stop blood from getting to our penile tissues whether we’re stimulated or not.
How ED Leads to Penile Atrophy
That Boston University School of Medicine study?
It also discovered that men who smoked saw a marked decrease in the size of their penises.
This is a direct result of what we’ve described above.
The penile tissues are essentially cut off from the body’s circulating blood supply, which eventually causes the penile tissues to begin to weaken.
And as erections become harder and harder to achieve, these tissues start to lose elastin, the stretchy material that allows them to grow.
This all culminates in a chronic condition known as penile atrophy.
This is where disuse and lack of blood supply cause the penis to shrink and become almost useless.
Once atrophy sets in, it can be extremely difficult to reverse in even the best of cases.
In fact, even long-time atrophy sufferers who turn to surgery don’t always regain their size or their ability to achieve a satisfactory erection.
Tips to Quit Smoking
It’s easy to assume that ED and penile atrophy from smoking is an “old timer’s” problem.
However, research actually shows that smoking can start damaging penile blood vessels in people as young as 20 years old.
And this doesn’t all just result in a loss of erection quality – most men also experience issues with sexual desire, a reduction in sperm count, and a loss of semen volume.
Fortunately, there are more options than ever for quitting smoking – and many of them are entirely natural.
This is good news, as the side effects of prescription medications like Chantix can be very risky, especially for older men.
Below, I’ll outline a few techniques you can use to put your smoking days behind you for good and get back those rock-hard erections of your youth.
- Start Avoiding Triggers – Some men smoke when they have their coffee, others when they enjoy a beer. Still others like a cigar or cigarette after a round of golf with their buddies. One thing you can do to start reducing your cravings is to cut these activities out of your life for several weeks to a month. Once you’re smoke-free, you can start reintroducing them with more confidence that you won’t relapse.
- Get Some Exercise – Few smokers find themselves craving a cigarette after an intense bike ride or run through the city. In fact, thanks to the endorphins and dopamine you’ll get from this physical exertion, you can cut your nicotine dependence altogether while healing your heart and lungs.
- Try Acupuncture – Eastern medicine is finally starting to get its due over here in the West, and that includes traditional healing methods like acupuncture. This pressure-point-based therapy has been shown to drastically reduce cravings with no side effects or risks. You can even get a small needle attached to your ear so that you can stifle the urge wherever you go.
- Explore Hypnotherapy – According to recent studies, hypnotherapy may be effective at preventing roughly 25% of smokers from returning to their unhealthy ways. Though this might seem less than impressive on its own, it could provide you with the extra edge you need to help you quit.
- Supplement Your Smoking Cessation – Rather than dive into dangerous pharmaceuticals, why not see what Mother Nature has to offer? Specifically, I’m talking about St. John’s Wort, a proven anti-depressant, and Ginseng, which has been shown to increase your dopamine levels. While they don’t treat your addiction per se, they can reduce your withdrawal symptoms, making the road to quitting a little bit smoother.
Does Smoking Cause and Penile Atrophy-Conclusion:
Smoking and penile atrophy are directly related to one another.
Every time we take a puff, we are doing serious damage to our arteries, hearts, and penile tissues.
Over time, this can prevent blood from reaching our penis, leading to ED and – eventually – disuse and atrophy.
The worst part?
It doesn’t always take decades for this damage to occur. It’s merely a roll of the dice.
If you’re still smoking and noticing weaker erections or a reduction in your sex drive, it’s time to give up the tobacco for good.
Fortunately, there are many new, perfectly natural ways for you to make the quitting process easier and more effective.
However you do it, just make sure you do it now. With smoking, there is always a point where the damage becomes irreversible.