3 Surprising Ways Vaping May Be Causing You ED

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I'm Dr. Anne Truong, MD

Dr. Anne Truong is a highly respected physician, best-selling author and internationally sought-after speaker on the topics of regenerative cell medicine, pain management, and applications for aesthetics and sexuality.

The Surprising Ways Vaping May Be Causing Your ED

E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, especially among the younger generations. However, there is still a lot of confusion about the potential health risks associated with vaping. One of the biggest concerns is the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED).

So what is the big deal with vaping, and does it have any impact on your sex life? While the evidence can’t be considered conclusive enough for a definitive answer, we can look at the studies we have now so you can make an informed decision about the risks. Let’s look at three ways vaping may rob you of a healthy erection.

The Effects of Vaping on Your Erection: What is the Evidence?

Episode Video

Vaping Can Harm the Lining of the Blood Vessels

The blood vessels in your penis is an intricate system connected to several other factors that lead to a healthy erection. So when the blood vessels become damaged, you know there’s an issue waiting to happen.

Recent studies have shown that vaping can lead to inflammation and damage to the body’s blood vessels. This damage may lead to cardiovascular disease and decreased blood flow. Reduced blood flow means less blood is available when you try to sustain an erection.

Multiple other studies conclude that vaping and e-cigarettes lead to an increase in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress means more free radicals (unstable molecules that lead to cancer) in the body. It also means there is a risk that the lining of the blood vessels can become damaged.

man smoking with black background

Additives in Vape Can Decrease Nitric Oxide

One of the biggest draws to e-cigarettes is the flavor. There is a wide variety of flavors, and each one works together with the nicotine to keep you coming back for more. The problem is that research suggests that the additives that create the experience behind vaping may just be linked to ED.

Specifically, we know that vaping additives lead to a decrease in nitric oxide availability in the body. Nitric oxide is a chemical that works with the blood vessels and muscles in the penis to help them relax and receive enough blood to become erect. Naturally, with a decrease in nitric oxide, you’re also looking at a decline in sexual performance.

Vaping Can Stimulate the Sympathetic Nervous System

Picture yourself in the jungle running from an angry male gorilla at the height of the mating season. What do you picture? Zig zagging through the trees, jumping over rocks, dodging snakes? What I’m sure you don’t see yourself doing is lying down and having sex.

Jokes aside, a similar effect is being triggered when you vape. Vaping has been proven to activate the sympathetic nervous system, the system in the body that turns on when you’re stressed. You may know it as “fight or flight.

When fight or flight is activated, the last thing your brain wants to think about is sex. It would prefer to focus on increased vision, heightened senses, and increased blood flow to muscles that have more to do with running away than having sex.

The system in the body you would instead want to stimulate would be the parasympathetic nervous system. That is the network of nerves that relax the body after a period of stress and are vital for being able to perform sexually. Vaping seems to hinder this effect.

man in white sweater holding black smartphone

Final Thoughts

While it is true that the medical community needs more studies for conclusive evidence of the effects of vaping, we have enough evidence at the moment to speculate on vaping’s impact on ED. Not to mention that it may cause other problems like cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Anything that leads to inflammation and harm to the blood vessels is something you want to avoid, especially if you’re facing ED. Considering all the information we have, the potential risks seem to vastly outweigh the rewards. Quitting (or never starting) vaping and e-cigarettes may be another step in your journey to recovery.

Additional Resources

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