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- Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:03 am
I am a 30 year old male who has habitually smoked marijuana for the last 11 years. (Average a joint\blunt 3 - 4 times a week). Prior to college no issues with erection problems. While in college I started having problems when I was not high. So whenever I would have sex I would be high or coming down from a high. But my libido was still high. Over the last 2 years, I have noticed significant decrease in libido(non existent) and have started having problems maintaing erection. In addition my morning erections are not firm and are few and far between.
I just recently quit cold Turkey (3 months without it). I have seen my personal physcian and urologist and I am 100% healthy. In addition I work out 2 - 3 times a week, and have been seeing a therapist that has been helping me cope with the anxiety associated with it.
I know I cannot change 11 years worth of damage overnight. But I wanted to know if I am damaged for life??? Is there something that I can do to restore my libido and erection?? How long will it take to get back to normal and have my brain function as it is supposed too? I have been taken cialis every now and that has helped with the mental portiona, but I do not want to be dependent. Any advice would be helpful.
| Dr. K. Eisele
- Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:05 am
First of all, congratulations!!!! I am always happy to hear about people who are able to quit using substances.
Smoking tobacco is not the only kind of smoking that damages tissues. I know that a lot of young people rationalize smoking marijuana by the false belief that marijuana is harmless. As you have found out, it isn't harmless.
Okay, no more preaching. There is a complex mixture of physical and psychological processes at work here. Smoking marijuana and tobacco damage blood vessels and nerves, making the very sensitive erotic zones less sensitive and therefore, less easily aroused. The arousal is not as easy to maintain as before this damage occurred.
The psychological processes themselves are complex. First, you have the propensity of chronic marijuana use to cause depression and anxiety. Both of these conditions are libido- and erection-killers in and of themselves. Add into that the new anxiety and/or depression about the erectile dysfunction you are having, and the libido-killer just became stronger.
The human brain is a wonderful thing and a terrible thing at the same time. On one hand, in the absence of severe mental illness, our brains are well-trained to keep us the least unhappy that we can be. On the other hand, while the brain is so lovingly protecting us, a psychological problem can be created, de novo, without any conscious awareness at all. When a man begins to have problems with erectile dysfunction for whatever reason, he may begin to feel as though he didn't particularly feel like, or even want to have, sex. The wonderful-awful brain then begins to convince you that your problem poses no challenges for you at all--the performance wasn't there because you didn't want it to be there, or, maybe you are more inclined to think something such as, "she/he was a dog anyway--I should probably be glad things didn't work right."
Do you see how easily this could become a vicious cycle?
Back to your other questions, though: is this a permanent problem? The simple answer is that we don't know for sure. Theoretically, if Cialis or the other medications for ED can fix the problem, you have a chance for recovery and resolution of physical symptoms. Success and even partial success of the medication can then help your libido by providing positive reinforcement for success, no matter what the obstacles are--physicl and/or mental.
Good luck to you!