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Is Smoking Bad For Your Sex Life?

By Stacy Lloyd HERWriter
 
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It is that time again. The time for making New Year’s resolutions. For many people, a popular resolution is to finally quit smoking. And as it turns out, throwing out that pack of cigarettes may be good for your sex life as well as your lungs.

Several studies have found a link between smoking and difficulties achieving an erection. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor. That means it tightens blood vessels and restricts blood flow. In a study published in Addiction Behavior, it showed that just two cigarettes could cause softer erections in male smokers.

Those results have been backed up by other studies done on impotence over the past 20 years. The research showed 40 percent of the men dealing with impotence smoked, as opposed to 28 percent of the general male population. It’s not 100 percent, but it shows a relationship between smoking and male impotence.

Women who smoke may also have cause for concern. There is evidence that smoking can interfere with the ability to have an orgasm. As mentioned, nicotine restricts blood flow. During sexual arousal in women, the clitoris, labia and vagina swell up with blood circulation, similar to the erection of a man's penis. Since nicotine restricts blood flow, it may also negatively affect that sex sensation in women.

For female smokers who take birth control pills, the news is even worse. Women who smoke have a greatly increased risk of heart disease. For instance, women between 30 and 39 years of age who smoke and take the pill are 10 times more likely to have a stroke or a fatal heart attack as nonsmokers.

No one can say with absolute certainty if your sex life will improve if you quit smoking. There are way too many factors beyond genital sensation that influence your sex life. However by quitting smoking, you lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. Both of these tend to have negative effects on one's life in general as well as one’s sex life. So if you stop smoking, it could add to your life and make it more sexy in the future.

Other than having better sex life, quitting smoking comes with many other health benefits.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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