If you smoke or vape you may be wondering if your habit contributes to erectile dysfunction. Smoking has been around for a long time and much is known about how it impacts the body. Vaping is the new kid on the block, so we are only beginning to understand how it effect the body. While there has not been enough time for long term observation and research, we do know that it shares the same key ingredient: nicotine.
By now we know a lot about the effects of smoking and the research is clear that it negatively impacts ED. In fact, smoking is one of the leading risk factors for developing erectile dysfunction. With smoking there is an increased risk of a condition called atherosclerosis, which is a hardening if the arteries. This hardening of the arteries reduces blood flow to the penis which can eventually make it impossible to achieve an erection. ED typically effects older men but smoking can lead to ED even in young otherwise healthy men.
E cigarette use or vaping carries some but not all of the same risks as traditional smoking. So you may think you’re dodging the ED bullet by choosing to vape instead of smoke. As it turns out, this is not the case. One of the main reasons why smoking causes ED is due to the nicotine. Nicotine causes the tissues and vessels in the penis to contact, which restricts the flow of blood reducing erection quality.
In fact, a 2012 study compared the sexual health of smokers and those who recently quit smoking by using a nicotine patch. The benefits of quitting didn’t really show up until they stopped using the nicotine patch. So as long as there is nicotine inside the body, there will likely be a decrease in erectile function.
Fortunately there are options to restore erectile function! The first step is to eliminate the nicotine, so no smoking, vaping or patches. This alone should improve erectile function, though it may take days or weeks for the nicotine to leave your body (hang in there, it’s worth it!).
For long term users there may have been more damage to the vessels and tissues of the penis, so erectile function may not return on its own. For these individuals, Pressure Wave Therapy (ESWT, EPAT, Acoustic Wave) is a proven way to restore erectile function. It rejuvenates the tissues and restores blood vessel function in the penis. It does this by sending acoustic or pressure waves into the tissues to stimulate a healing response. Studies show that pressure wave therapy improves blood flow and even stimulates neovascularization, or the growth of new blood vessels. It is considered the only permanent solution to ED.
Pressure wave therapy for ED treatment is available at Stronglife Physiotherapy, so if you live in the Provo Orem Utah or surrounding areas come in for a free consultation to see if pressure wave is a solution for you.