What has smoking got to do with my Sexual Health?

SmokingFrom today, 1st April 2015, there will be no more smoking on all hospital grounds across Scotland.

This is a welcome development. The annual cost to NHS Scotland of treating smoking related diseases is estimated to be more than £409 million.

Smoking affects almost all areas of health including sexual health.

Here are some ways that smoking affects sexual health of women.

Contraception

Smoking limits your options for contraception. Older ladies who smoke should not use combined hormone methods of contraception (the pill, the patch, and the vaginal ring) as they will be at increased risk of having a  stroke or a heart attack than those who don’t smoke.

The Menstrual Cycle

Smokers who experience prolonged, painful and irregular periods may notice less pain and irregularity when they quit smoking.

Menopause

Smokers tend to have early menopause. Early menopause can in turn predispose a person to some conditions such as Osteoporosis (bones that are weak and prone to breaking).

CANCERS

Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of developing cervical and vulval cancer.

SEXUAL PLEASURE

It is thought that since smoking hardens blood vessels around the clitoris and vagina, it can reduce pleasure from sexual intercourse.

Fertility

The chances of getting pregnant are reduced by up to 40 percent each menstrual cycle in smokers, and the longer a woman smokes, the longer it will take for her to get pregnant. Stopping smoking increases the chances of getting pregnant.

Pregnancy

A woman who smokes may be at increased risk for ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. Women who smoke are more likely to have low birth-weight babies who are less healthy and have an increased risk of death. Stillbirth or the death of the newborn during the first four weeks of life is also more common among women who smoke while pregnant. Having a spouse who smokes is a health risk due to  second hand smoke.

So keep healthy, don’t smoke and enjoy a sexier you!

See your doctor  or pharmacist if you need help with quitting smoking.

~Adaeze Ifezulike, UK Sexual Health Professional of the Year 2015 Finalist.


Register for the 2015 Afrocaribbean Health events here

 

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