The Effects Of Smoking On Female Sexuality
Given the fact that according to many authors, female sexual disorders have a particularly multifactorial aetiophysiopathology in which socio-cultural elements are mixed with merely physiological factors and the male erectile deficit is obviously more conspicuous and in any case not maskable, in general the other half of the universe is neglected at all levels, as Harte points out in 2014: “The connection between tobacco use (and cessation) and female sexual function is still too little investigated”. Still, Harte and Meston’s The Inhibitory Effects of Nicotine on Physiological Sexual Arousal in Nonsmoking Women: Results from a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-Over Trial make one of the very few works on the matter available to us.
In this interesting study the two authors of the Texan University of Austin administer nicotine in chewing gum to a group of women and evaluate their genital arousal, through vaginal plethysmography, measuring the changes in the amplitude of the vaginal pulsations, the local detector parameter vessel congestion, in its turn conventionally considered to be a specific indicator of sexual excitation, based on numerous cited studies, which consider that the hemodynamic processes of female sexual arousal are similar to those of men, taking into account that isoforms of nitric oxide are present in the genital epithelium of both sexes, in the penis in one case and in the vagina and in the clitoris in the other.
The results that can be seen in the relative table are quite clear, so much so that the two researchers state that they are: “the first empirical evidence that isolated nicotine significantly reduces physiological sexual arousal in healthy, young, nonsmoking women”.
In 2016, Ylmaz and colleagues write a brief review (Relationship between Smoking and Female Sexual Dysfunction) reiterating that the number of women’s studies is scarce and not even concordant, but the authors reiterate the concepts expressed a little higher up: reporting numerous work of other colleagues, they espouse the theory of vascular disorders caused by smoking: “smoking can negatively affect genital lubrication and the frequency of orgasms as a result of the cerebro and cardiovascular diseases they produce, due to the reduced blood flow in the genital vessels and to the endothelial dysfunction, also unfortunate consequence of smoking”.
Among the few other studies that link smoking and sexual problems in women we can mention “Prevalence and risk factors for female sexual dysfunction in Turkish women” by Oksuz et al, where we can find a connection with a rather high statistical value (OR 2.5 CI 95 %), although in this case smoking was only one of the many variables examined.