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Smoking can take the breath out of your sex life

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26.MAY.06

Nothing is more devastating to a man’s self esteem than his inability to complete the sex act simply because he just cannot “rise” to the occasion.

Take Greg’s case for example.

Greg celebrated his 45th birthday last December. He had a blast of a party. The boys ate and drank to their hearts content. There were girls galore. Cigarettes and alcohol were in abundance and it was the talk at the bar for weeks after as the boys compared notes of their conquests. Greg had stayed strangely quiet during all this.{{more}}

Shortly after his celebration, Greg began experiencing some shortness of breath and decided to visit his doctor. Truth is he had noticed it a while now but had ignored it. Now it was getting too regular and he was concerned.

His doctor’s face was drawn and troubled after doing the usual routine checks – blood pressure, breathing and blood sugar – and ordered some other tests.

It was about 7 a.m. and Greg’s phone rang. Normally he’d ignore it at this time of the day but this morning he picked it up.

“Hi Greg, this is Dr. Tim, I have your results. Could you come and see me at 10 o’clock?”

“Sure Doc,” he answered as an uneasy feeling flittered across his stomach. He immediately went to the bathroom.

It was at this doctor’s visit that Greg realized the smoking habit he started in his early 20s had affected more than his heart, his whole life. Put simply his love life.

His doctor explained how smoking affects the arteries of the heart along with other blood vessels, shrinking them and lessening the blood flow to his vital organs.

“Any organ in your body that needs a rich supply of blood will be slowly killed off if you don’t stop smoking,” Doctor Tim told Greg. “And it can be a slow and painful death.”

Greg’s face grew grim. There was silence in the room as neither doctor nor patient spoke for what seemed an eternity. In the silence Doctor Tim could hear Greg’s breathing get shallower and quicker, as he lowered his eyes to the floor.

“Doc I wanted to talk to you about something else,” Greg said with his gaze still on the floor. “What’s it Greg,” Dr. Tim said. “Talk to me; I will do whatever I can to help you.” Greg blushed somewhat as he lifted his eyes searching Dr. Tim’s face, his eyes narrowed to a slit then he blurted out, “Doc I have been having some problems with the ‘little boy’,” looking to his groin area. “He not rising as he used to and sometimes when she is hot and ready to go I just can’t rise to the occasion. I am scared I might lose my woman and all I’d have this thing for is to pass water.”

By now, Greg was too embarrassed to look at Dr. Tim who could see that he regretted he had asked the question.

Dr. Tim moved from behind his desk and pulled up a chair next to Greg. He laid his hand on Greg’s shoulder. “Greg I am glad you trust me enough to ask about that.

“In medicine we call it Erectile Dysfunction and it’s something that happens to quite a number of adult men but it does not mean that all is over.”

Greg lifted his head for the first time and looked at Dr. Tim. “Tell me Doc, you mean I could get back my manhood?”

“Well let’s explore this matter a little more,” Dr. Tim said.

“Doc how does this thing happen, just tell me. I don’t want any big words and just tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

“Okay Tim, lets talk.”

Dr. Tim went behind his desk, pulled a chart and sat back down.

“Greg,” Dr. Tim began, “Sexual function is based on three things. They are desire, arousal, and climax or orgasm.”

For most men, desire is sparked by seeing a good looking female body. Better looking, more intense the desire.

In the natural course of things desire manifests itself in arousal or erection of th penis.

This occurs when in a complex operation, blood is allowed to rush into to penis filling it up and making it stand up right.

Erectile Dysfunction Defined

But sometimes, this complex process fails. That’s what is called Erectile Dysfunction.

Impotence, or penile erectile dysfunction, is the repeated inability to have or maintain an erection.

The condition affects roughly 1 in 10 men between the ages of 21 and 75.

Some of the things that cause ED are high cholesterol levels, drugs used to treat high blood pressure, and diabetes; however, there is strong evidence to demonstrate that the effects of all physical factors are made worse by smoking.

“Greg, as I told you about your heart, smoking affects the blood vessels which deliver blood to the major organs of the body and sadly, this applies to your penis as well.”

“Doc, I don’t understand how smoking can do this to me,” Greg said.

Dr. Tim then opened the document he had picked up from his desk. “Let me show you this medical report,” he said. “This is a new study just released and it shows that from surveys done, men who smoke are at greater risk for erectile dysfunction than men who do not smoke.

“But nobody ever told me that,” Greg protested. “True,” Dr. Tim said, “but these are the facts,” as he pointed to the report.

Evidence suggests that cigarette smoking significantly increases other risk factors for impotence. A study of 1,290 men who had received treatment for impotence in Massachusetts, USA and another

performed in Australia, showed that

smokers were twice as likely to become impotent as non-smokers – 56 percent compared with 21 percent.

Cigarette smoking was also associated with a significantly greater likelihood of complete impotence in men with high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease and arthritis. Smoking does not therefore simply add to other risk factors, it actually makes them worse.

Pulling the Brakes on Smoking

“Greg, I must get to my next patient, but before I do, let’s talk about how you could improve your situation and not just die sexually,” Dr. Tim said. “But only you can make this happen.”

“Think about it, Greg, do you want to live the rest of your life being afraid to touch another woman because you are not sure if you could satisfy her?” Greg groaned.

“Okay I take that you don’t. Well one way to improve erectile dysfunction is to make some simple lifestyle changes.

“Adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and reducing stress, may be all that is needed to find relief.

“Is that too hard for you to do Greg?”

Don’t let a few cigarettes cut short your sex life. Smoking can kill you long before you are buried. Are those cigarettes worth it?

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