A new study suggests that men who use electronic cigarettes or vape are twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
American researchers found that those using the device had a 24% higher risk of developing impotence when compared to non-smokers.
The study didn’t prove the connection, but experts believe that vaping nicotine can cause a decrease in blood flow to the penis through reducing blood vessel dilation.
Research has shown that even fluids without nicotine can contain chemicals which may lower the testosterone level in your body.
The team, from New York’s Grossman School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University, said men should be warned about the potential impact vaping could have on their love life — as England gets ready to become the first country in the world to prescribe e-cigarettes to help smokers quit.
One in five Americans and the UK suffer from impotence. It is more prevalent in older men, and over 50% of those suffering are over fifty.
A new study has shown that vapes and e-cigarette users are twice as likely to experience problems in getting or keeping erection.
Due to nicotine and other chemicals found in tobacco products that can damage the blood vessels connecting to the penis, traditional smoking is a long-standing cause of erectile disorder.
While vaping is generally considered healthier than traditional smoking scientists have recently been exploring a possible relation between the sexual health problems and e-cigarette products.
According to Dr Omar El Shahawyl (lead author), the results of the most recent study showed that vapers are more susceptible to erection difficulties than those who do not smoke, regardless of previous smoking habits.
‘Our analyses accounted for the cigarette smoking history of participants, including those who were never cigarette smokers to begin with, so it is possible that daily e-cigarette vaping may be associated with higher odds of erectile dysfunction regardless of one’s smoking history,’ he said.
Vaping is a healthy alternative to smoking and Dr Shahawyl says more research is needed to determine the potential effects on men’s sexual health.
‘We need to fully investigate the relationship between vaping products and erectile dysfunction, and potential implications for men’s sexual health,’ he said.
“Our findings highlight the need for further research to contextualize the use of e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking.
This research was done based upon a survey. The original 13,711 participants were later reduced to 11,207 people with no previous cardiovascular disease diagnosis.
Erectile dysfunction was twice as common in both the large and small sample sizes. It rose to 2.2% in those who had used e-cigarettes, rising to 2.4 in those without heart disease.
Nearly half the participants had been cigarette smokers in their past, 21% were current smokers of cigarettes, and 14% used vapes or e-cigarettes.
The total number of men who reported experiencing erectile problems was 10%.
A limitation to the study was its self-reporting nature. This means that results might be biased by males lying about the questionnaire.
They also didn’t state whether vaping or e-cigarettes pose an increased risk for erectile dysfunction compared to traditional smoking.
The researchers, who published their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine said they next plan to examine if different types of electronic nicotine delivery devices have differing affects on erectile dysfunction and if it can be reversed by stopping.
Reacting to the study consultant uro-andrologist Giulio Garaffa of private health clinic International Andrology in London said the study’s findings made sense.
He said that the idea of using e-cigarettes negatively impacting men’s ability to get sexual pleasure does have some foundation.
Dr Garaffa however stated that any harm caused by vapes or e-cigarettes is likely to be reversed and will not cause as much damage to traditional cigarettes due to the lack of carbon monoxide and tar.
He said that Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which has an instant, brief-term effect on the penis. This may decrease blood flow and impact negatively your ability to get an erection.
“With the passage of time, nicotine’s vasoconstrictor effects diminish with no lasting damage to erections.
“Instead of that, chemicals inhaled from tobacco smokers can cause long term damage the vessels of cardiocirculatory systems, thus leading to long term worsening and compounding the short-term effects nicotine.
However, he said it was the responsibility of every clinician to advise patients on the risks of vaping.
Dr Garaffa also urged all patients to contact a health professional if they are suffering from erectile dysfunction as it can be a warning sign of a cardiovascular disease.
It was revealed last month that England will be the first country to offer e-cigarettes for smokers.
Even though there is overwhelming evidence about the risks associated with vaping, this medical regulator wants to make it possible for the NHS to offer the service.
E-cigarette manufacturers will have the opportunity to submit ecigarettes to Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for the same approval process as with other medications.
They could be approved as medical products and may then be prescribed on an individual basis by physicians to patients who wish to stop smoking.
Currently, the NHS advises that vaping can help smokers – though it is not available on prescription.
E-cig devices typically cost around £20 to £30, plus more for replacement cartridges.
Even though the World Health Organization declared last year they are “undoubtedly harmful”, the controversial move is still being made.
Presently, 3million Britons vape, which is more than three times the 700,000. This figure was almost a decade ago.