Archive for the ‘Smoking’ Category

Smoking While Pregnant Is Not a Joking Matter

November 28, 2015

Nearly everyone knows that smoking causes cancers of the lungs, digestive systems, liver and other organs.  It is worth nothing that tobacco poses many other threats especially to pregnant women.

Pregnant women who smoke place their babies at risk for complications such as premature delivery and increase neonatal mortality.

Nicotine and carbon monoxide from tobacco smoke inhaled by pregnant women are especially harmful to fetuses, constricting the flow of blood and choking off their oxygen supply.  Babies born to mothers who smoke have lower birth weights as a result of their undeveloped bodies, increasing the risk of heart defects, lung damage, and impaired brain development.  Finally, smoking while pregnant increases the changes of miscarriage and still birth.  Yet despite the severe consequences, studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that less than half of smokers who become pregnant quite during pregnancy.

Bottom Line:  If you are pregnant and care about your unborn child, stop smoking.

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Smoking and Bladder Cancer-Now Another Reason To Stop Smoking

October 2, 2013

Just Say "No"

Just Say “No”


Some important facts about bladder cancer include:
• Bladder cancer is the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S.
• More than 72,000 new cases of bladder cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2013.
• Approximately 15,000 people will die from the disease this year alone.
• Bladder cancer is three times more common in men than in women.
• One in 42 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer during their lifetime.

Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of bladder cancer than non-smokers. Smoking tobacco is the most important known risk factor for bladder cancer. Smoking has been shown to be responsible for half of female bladder cancer cases. The increase in the proportion of smoking-attributable bladder cancer cases among women is likely explained by the greater prevalence of smoking among women.
Here’s the good news: As with many other smoking-related cancers, smoking cessation was associated with reduced bladder cancer risk.
Bottom Line: Smoking is certainly implicated as a cause of bladder cancer. By stopping the use of cigarettes, you can decrease the risk of bladder cancer.

Fertility-Steps To Improve Your Chances

August 21, 2013

Common Causes of Infertility in Men

Hoping for a child

Hoping for a child


About 10 percent of reproductive-age couples in the United States will have difficulty getting pregnant. About 30 percent of cases are due to fertility problems in the man, 30 percent to fertility problems in the woman, and the rest to unexplained causes or multiple factors involving both partners.

If you’ve had regular, unprotected sex for more than a year (or six months if you’re over 35) without conceiving, see your doctor. The National Infertility Association says at least half of those who have an infertility evaluation and treatment will be able to have a successful pregnancy.

A reproductive urologist can identify male fertility issues, recommend treatment options, and help couples decide which options to pursue. You also may want to see a genetic counselor. Sometimes, there’s a genetic reason for male infertility that could be passed down to children. A genetic counselor can help couples understand their options for conceiving.

Read on to learn about the common causes of infertility and available treatments. Keep in mind that success rates may vary because one couple can have multiple fertility problems.

Lifestyle factors. Making healthy choices can improve your fertility. You may be at greater risk of having trouble conceiving if you:

Smoking can be deleterious to your fertility

Smoking can be deleterious to your fertility

• Smoke;
• Drink alcohol heavily; Use drugs;
• Take anabolic steroids;
• Take certain medications, including testosterone replacement therapy;
• Have been treated for cancer;
• Have poor nutrition;
• Are significantly over- or underweight;
• Are exposed to toxins, such as pesticides or lead.

If you have any of these risk factors, be sure to tell us about it during your consultation.

Blockages. A small percentage of men have a blockage in their ejaculatory duct that prevents sperm from getting into ejaculate fluid. If your vas deferens or epididymis tubes are blocked or damaged, they can prevent your sperm from getting to your partner’s egg. Infection, injury, congenital defects, or a vasectomy could cause this blockage.
• Possible solutions: Surgery to repair an obstruction or reverse the vasectomy, or surgery to remove sperm for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Varicocele. Varicoceles (enlarged veins, similar to varicose veins, in the scrotum) raise the temperature in the testes, which may affect sperm production.
Possible symptoms: Some men have scrotal pain, and others have no symptoms. (The problem can be detected through a physical exam or ultrasound.)
Possible solutions: Surgery to repair the varicocele, artificial insemination, or IVF.

Sperm making contact with egg

Sperm making contact with egg


Irregular sperm. If you have little to no sperm, poor sperm motility (ability to move), or abnormally shaped sperm, your sperm may not be able to fertilize your partner’s eggs.
Possible solutions: fertility drugs; artificial insemination with donor sperm (or with your own if your count, shape, and motility are not too abnormal), or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

It’s never too early to quit smoking

February 9, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.32.39 PM

Everyone knows that smoking is deleterious to your health. If you are looking for a reason to quite, read the rest of this blog.

Lifelong smokers die an average of 10 years younger than nonsmokers. The good news is that smokers who manage to quite by age 35 can add that decade back onto their life expectancy. Even kicking the habit before age 60 can add 6 more years of life.

Bottom Line: Don’t start smoking, but if you already have, the benefits of quitting are enormous.

10 Actions Steps To Prevent Impotence

August 28, 2012


1. Recognize the Normal Signs of Aging. Remember, it may take longer to obtain an erection at age 60 than at age 20. More genital stimulation and foreplay are required as a man ages.
2. Beware of Medications that can Cause Impotence. There are literally hundreds of medications associated with the side effects of impotence. These common medications include tranquilizers, medication for high blood pressure and ulcers.
3. Avoid Tobacco. Tobacco it is a performance-zapper because its effect on blood vessels can decrease blood flow to the penis.
4. Drink Alcohol in Moderation.1-2 drinks per day may relax you and even protect your heart. More than 2 drinks per day may impact your sexual performance.
5. Timing can be Everything. Sexual performance is influenced by body rhythms. Hormonal levels can vary at different times of the day. It is important to find that time of day or evening that is best both mentally and physically for you and your partner.
6. Accept Occasional Failure. One episode of impotence-even if it last for weeks- does not mean that a man is permanently impotent. Stress and fatigue, and anticipation of failure, can paralyze your sex life. Accept occasional impotence as something that happens to every man at different times in his life.
7. See your Physician at least Once a Year. If you are more than 50 years of age, the cause of your erectile dysfunction is usually physical and not due to psychological or emotional reasons. You need to be sure there are not more serious, life-threatening conditions lurking behind the sexual problem.
8. Balanced Nutrition is important for Sexual Function. The American Heart Association states that a low-fat, a low-cholesterol diet prevents heart disease and arteriosclerosis which also affects a man’s erection.
9. Excess Stress. Excessive, long-term stress is “counter erotic” and affects both a man and his partner’s capability to have a happy sexual relationship.
10.Get Help. Persistent, chronic impotence needs medical attention before it interferes with relationships. Not treating erectile dysfunction may result in more severe illnesses including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Bottom line: If you or your loved one is suffering from erectile dysfunction see your physician because help is available and no one needs to “suffer the tragedy of the bedroom.” If you want to keep it up, get a checkup!

Lighting Up A Cigarette Can Put The Fire Out of Your Sex Life

April 2, 2011

Smokers will often report that the zing has gone of his thing.  The desire goes out the window and so do the firmness of the erections.  By stopping smoking and beginning an exercise program, you can turn back the clock….the sex clock!

Being able to dump the cigarettes is a real accomplishment — especially when you consider how smoking can become intertwined with the intimacy of a relationship. Researchers at the University of Arizona began to study couples where at least one member of the relationship smoked.

Smoking has a direct, negative effect on the sexuality of a man on every level,” says Panayiotis M. Zavos, PhD, director of the Andrology Institute of America and professor of reproductive physiology and andrology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

From their work with couples being treated for infertility, Zavos and his fellow researchers have found that men’s smoking had a significant and negative effect on the ability to conceive. But they also turned up a surprise: Smoking significantly diminished a man’s sexual desire and satisfaction — even for young men in their 20s and 30s.

The smokers reported having sex less than six times a month, whereas the nonsmoking men were having sex nearly twice as often. This difference is especially significant considering that these couples were actively trying to conceive.

Smoking and sex drive

When diminished desire is combined with impaired performance, overall satisfaction is likely to suffer. When asked to rate their satisfaction with the sex they were having on a scale of 1 to 10, nonsmoking couples averaged 8.7, while couples with male smokers fared far worse with an average of only 5.2. Professor Zavos states, “that nearly any man’s sexual satisfaction and frequency [of having sex] would increase if he stopped smoking.”

Other experts agree that smoking can impair sexual performance. Smoking causes damage to smooth muscle inside the penis that interferes with erectile functioning, says Richard Milsten, MD, co-author of The Sexual Male and a urologist for more than 30 years in Woodbury, N.J.

Bottom Line: If your sex life has gone into the tank and you are a smoker, you might try a treatment that will not only jump start your sex life, but will add life to your years.

Excerpted from WebMD: http://men.webmd.com/features/want-better-sex

Charlotte E. Grayson Mathis, MD