Does smoking affect my sexual performance?

Not only is quitting smoking one of the most important things you can do for your cardiovascular health, it can also be of benefit to your sexual health. Nicotine in cigarettes affects hormonal balance, including testosterone, and can decrease sexual desire and cause impotence (the inability to maintain an erection). If you smoke (or use any form of smokeless tobacco) and wish to quit, speak with your physician about how you can get started or try again if you have tried unsuccessfully to quit in the past.
Men who are smokers have a higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction, which limits sexual pleasure.
Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Before cigarettes kill you for good, they will first kill your sex life. Cigarettes can be just as fatal to your sex life due to the components found in the smoke itself, and especially the active ingredient nicotine and its effects on blood flow. In fact, smokers are about twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction than non-smokers. The World Health Organization estimates that about 1.5 billion people throughout the world smoke cigarettes, with more than 46 million of these in the U.S. alone. No surprise then that nearly 40 million Americans identify themselves as being stuck in sexless marriages -- how many of these people are smokers?
Robert S. Kaufmann, MD
Internal Medicine
It can definitely make it more difficult for men to have an erection because it is a circulatory organ. Secondly it also affects your stamina and strength because if you have lung disease from tobacco it is going to make sexual activity more difficult.
Ian Kerner, PhD
Sexual Health
In men and women, smoking leads to a loss of sexual desire and arousal. It also damages the arteries affecting blood flow to the genitals.
When most people think of the health hazards of smoking, they naturally think of consequences like lung cancer. But smoking does a lot of other bad things to your body, some of which are directly related to things that guys care a lot about: their sexuality and fertility.

Smoking makes it harder to get and maintain an erection because it releases adrenaline and other stimulating compounds that clamp down on the flow of blood to the penis. Less blood means weaker erections and erections more likely to fail. (Maybe that's why people often smoke after making love -- doing so beforehand can put a damper on things.) In studies of erectile dysfunction, smoking consistently ranks as one of the biggest modifiable risk factors.

Smoking may also hurt a man's ability to father children. Several studies show that men who smoke have lower sperm counts, on average, and their sperm are somewhat more likely to be abnormally shaped. Both of these factors lower a man's fertility; so if you're trying to have kids, try to kick the habit first.

Esthetically, how would you like to make love to an ashtray? Smokers have a distinct smell that non-smokers can pick up at a distance. It is not pleasant and certainly not erotic in general. So, along with all the other really good reasons already published on why smoking is not conducive to sexual health, do your partner a favor and quit.

Smoking definitely has a negative impact on your sexual performance. For years, studies have shown that smoking cigarettes causes erectile dysfunction due to poor blood flow to the penis. Not only does smoking cause impotence, but the severity of the problem is directly correlated with the number of cigarettes smoked. Also, impaired performance eventually leads to diminished desire and when these two are combined your overall satisfaction is likely to suffer. Men aren’t the only ones affected as women have adverse sexual effects from smoking as well. Besides performance, smoking also increases your chances of infertility in both men and women. If you’ve been waiting for a better reason than your health to quit smoking, then maybe a better sex life will do the trick.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Smoking can have the same effect on your sexual performance as having your mom walk in on you. Smoking in men has been linked to erectile dysfunction and lower-than-normal levels of the male sex hormone testosterone. Some studies have even found a connection between smoking and low sex drive.

If you are a woman, you aren't off the hook. Smoking can change the hormone levels in your body, leading to problems with your menstrual cycle, difficulty getting pregnant and an increased risk of miscarriage.

Your best bet for a better, healthier sex life: Stop smoking.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Smoking can have a big, bad effect on your sexual performance. If you're a guy who smokes, your risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) is about twice that of guys who don't smoke. And the more you smoke, the greater the risk. Not only does smoking cause ED, it can also cause infertility. Men who smoke have low sperm counts. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.