Urologic conditions such as erectile dysfunction, infertility, and overactive bladder may develop as a result of a number of different factors. Some of the factors related to conditions like these relate to how a person lives from day to day. This is good news, because it affords us the opportunity to reduce the risk of urologic problems by looking at lifestyle modifications. One lifestyle change that is recommended often is that smoking comes to an end.
Before discussing the particular urologic conditions that can be adversely affected by smoking, we want to point out that research points to a number of forms of tobacco use and smoking that are detrimental. Habits such as smokeless tobacco, hooka-smoking, and the use of e-cigarettes are as harmful as cigarettes, according to studies. Furthermore, second-hand smoke also poses a risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking-related disease currently affects more than 16 million people in our country. As this relates to urologic conditions, we see a link between smoking and . . .
The range of physical and psychological factors related to erectile dysfunction includes smoking. Scientists suggest that the connection between the two may be the damage that smoking causes to the blood vessels throughout the body, including the small vessels responsible for supplying the penis. In many cases, erectile dysfunction is diagnosed as a man ages. However, cases that are diagnosed in men of all ages reveal a strong link to smoking.
Smokers are twice as likely to struggle with infertility than non-smokers. For many years now, doctors have discouraged smoking during pregnancy. However, studies have also indicated that smoking may impede a couple’s effort to conceive by harming the genetic value of sperm and eggs. Additionally, smoking may disrupt hormone production, and create an unfriendly uterine environment that increases the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.
On the bright side of research, we see that fertility begins to improve within 2 months after a couple stops smoking and may be completely reversed within 12 months.
Overactive bladder is a type of urinary incontinence that affects more than 30 million Americans. This condition disrupts sleep, sometimes several times a night, and diminishes quality of life due to a need to remain close to a bathroom. Studies have revealed that women who smoke cigarettes are three-times more likely to develop symptoms of overactive bladder than non-smokers. It is believed that this is caused by the toxic chemicals from cigarettes collecting in urine.
Here again, we see that the chemicals in cigarettes collect in urine and irritate the lining of the bladder. In 50- to 60 percent of bladder cancer diagnoses in men, smoking is a related cause. In women, smoking is thought to contribute to approximately 20- to 30 percent of bladder cancer diagnoses.
There is widespread evidence that confirms the extensive dangers of smoking. As a collective, the medical community supports patients in developing lifestyle habits that promote health and longevity. As a practice, we are focused on helping men of all ages sustain vital wellness. For more information on our urology services, call (423) 778-4636.