Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your sexual health.
Smoking is bad for your health in a number of ways. For example, smoking can raise the risk of getting bladder cancer by up to 60%. So it’s perhaps no surprise that smoking is also bad for your sexual health. Keep reading to learn about how smoking is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED), and what to know about smoking cessation and ED medications.
Smoking and ED
Men’s sexual health is largely dependent on adequate blood flow. The more easily blood can flow through the body, the more easily it can reach the penis and make it erect. To improve blood flow and improve ED outcomes, men that smoke should consider quitting.
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it shrinks your blood vessels. This is why nicotine is bad for your heart; smoking strains the cardiovascular system, making your heart work harder to deliver blood throughout your body. Nicotine is such an effective vasoconstrictor that even men who have never smoked can see sexual function decline by up to 23% from just one dose of nicotine in a laboratory setting.
Unsurprisingly, among the many other benefits, quitting smoking has been shown in multiple studies to reduce and in some cases eliminate ED. However, quitting is no easy task. That’s where Chantix comes in.
Chantix and ED
How does Chantix work? Nicotine works by latching onto specific receptors in the brain, producing dopamine, which creates a pleasure sensation. When a user takes Chantix, the medication attaches to the receptors usually occupied by nicotine. This takes much of the reward out of smoking and reduces nicotine cravings, making it easier to quit.
What are the side effects? The trade-off, like any medication, is that there are side effects to taking Chantix, including ED as a rare, but possible symptom. Approximately 0.1% of users report sexually-related side effects, which can also include decreased libido. The exact reason for this side effect is unclear. Chantix does not appear to impact the cardiovascular system, so one of the debates is whether this is tied to emotional health or body chemistry.
Can I take Chantix and Viagra together? There are currently no reported interactions between Chantix and Viagra, which means generally a doctor will consider prescribing you both.
Smoking Cessation And Sexual Health
Any doctor will tell you that smoking cessation is one of the best things you can do for your health, sexual or otherwise. However, nicotine addictions are hard to beat, and many people need assistance with quitting. Chantix can support men to quit smoking, most likely without affecting their sex life.
If you live with ED and are a smoker that wants to quit, consider talking to a doctor to see if Chantix and Viagra are appropriate for you. Both Chantix and ED medications like Viagra are available at online retailer eDrugstore.com, where men can also get a free, private, completely virtual consultation with a doctor as well.
Dan is a long-time freelance writer focusing on technology, science, health, and medicine, with a lifelong interest in physics, biology, and medicine. His work has taken a particular focus on scientific studies “beyond the headlines,” reading the study to more closely examine the results.