Smoking has Several Urologic Consequences
The discussion regarding the dangers of smoking has gone on for many years now. However, the prevalence of this common addiction remains high. There is no question that the chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products are addictive. There is also no question that they can harm the body in more ways than one. As we discover the reach of these toxic chemicals, the sense of urgency in helping smokers overcome their habit increases.
The fact that smoking significantly increases the risk of death is not a secret. What may easily be missed along the way, though, is the adverse effects that smoking can have on the body. Besides the lungs, the heart, and the mouth, smoking is a great risk to the urological system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease that can be attributed to smoking.
Urological conditions related to smoking include:
Studies suggest that smoking doubles the risk for infertility. There are several reasons why. First, smoking damages both sperm and eggs. The chemicals from cigarettes and even from smokeless tobacco are absorbed by tissue throughout the body, including the uterus. The adverse effect on uterine tissue correlates to an increased risk of both infertility and miscarriage.
Couples who are in the family planning phase are encouraged to replace smoking with healthier habits. Doing so improves the chances of conception within 2 months and can significantly improve fertility within one year.
Smoking is one of several factors that have been associated with a man’s risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Studies indicate that smoking can quickly begin to damage blood vessels in the body. Because erection relies on blood circulation into the penis, a moderate degree of damage to the circulatory system may translate into erectile dysfunction.
More than 30 million Americans suffer from the strong and sudden urge to urinate. This type of urinary incontinence is referred to as overactive bladder. While there are several potential factors related to this condition, smoking has been identified as a significant cause. This could be associated with the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the urine of smokers. Overactive bladder largely affects women, and those who smoke have three times the risk of those who do not.
Like overactive bladder symptoms, bladder cancer may be preceded by an accumulation of toxins in the urine. Research suggests that smoking is an instigating cause of bladder cancer in up to 60% of cases diagnosed in men. Furthermore, as much as 30% of the bladder cancer diagnosed in women relates to a smoking habit.
UT Urology provides comprehensive care for the treatment of urologic conditions. To learn more, call (423) 778-8765.