Is it true that substances of abuse (smoking, alcohol and drugs) can cause erectile dysfunction?

Saturday 17 March 2018   Autore: Prof. A. Natali

Topic: Diagnostics in andrology

The so-called substances of abuse (smoking, alcohol and drugs) are not aphrodisiacs

Substances of abuse, such as alcohol, opioids, cocaine and cannabis derivatives, are used by many young people for their alleged "aphrodisiac" properties. Instead, it is known that, beyond the subjective effects, most of them negatively influence the sexual response. Alcohol has direct toxic effects on the gonads (testes and ovaries), on the liver (increased testosterone catabolism and its transformation into estrogens) and inhibits the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG). Opioids inhibit the HPG axis and increase prolactin levels which in turn interfere with male and female sexual responses. Cocaine has acute stimulating effects especially for its dopaminergic properties but in the long run causes erectile dysfunction due mainly to increased prolactin. Cannabis derivatives, at high doses, could inhibit the HPG axis and reduce fertility. Smoking causes damage to the microcirculation of the penis. Such knowledge is not widespread among the subjects at risk and should be more widely disclosed for deterrent purposes.

MEDIA:

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Substances of abuse


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