Alcohol is commonly mistaken for an aphrodisiac, but it can have a negative impact on your sex life as it reduces your sexual sensitivity.
As you consume alcohol, your blood alcohol level increases, and as it’s an antidepressant, it can decrease your sexual desire, dampen your mood, and make it more challenging for a man to reach an orgasm or even get an erection. Therefore, excessive alcohol consumption is commonly linked to erectile dysfunction.
Alcohol and Erectile Dysfunction
The process of achieving an erection can be quite complex as it involves your nerves, hormones, brain, and blood vessels which are all parts of your body that are affected by the consumption of alcohol.
If you consume a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, you’ll likely experience changes in your circulation, nervous system, and hormone levels, which make it even more difficult to get an erection.
If you were to suffer from long-term (chronic) overconsumption of alcohol or alcohol addiction, then you’d be at high risk of causing permanent damage to your blood vessels and nerves which can turn into long-term impotence.
Erectile dysfunction is easily one of the most uncomfortable topics that men struggle to discuss and would rather not seek out the help of a doctor due to embarrassment. However, if you are suffering from erectile dysfunction then it’s crucial that you seek out professional help so that the issue can be resolved safely and effectively.
There are certain doctors who specialise in erectile dysfunction so you may find it more beneficial to speak to them after a referral from your regular GP. Remember that whilst erectile dysfunction can be an uncomfortable subject to discuss, it’s a relatively common and treatable condition.
You may require the specialist support of a urologist who are expert in the health of the urinary system and the reproductive system. Depending on the underlying cause, urologists can prescribe medications, therapy sessions, or surgical procedures to treat erectile dysfunction.
In some cases, you may need to see an endocrinologist who specialise in treating the body’s endocrine systems which is what controls the hormones in your body. An endocrinologist can treat your hormone levels if they’re abnormal, for example, low testosterone could be a factor in suffering from erectile dysfunction.
It’s also possible for erectile dysfunction and alcoholism to be caused by depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition in which case you may be referred to a mental health specialist for help in treating erectile dysfunction.
In any doctor’s examination, you’ll likely be asked about your recent and past sexual activity, any sexually transmitted infections, how often you get erections, how long you’ve been suffering from erectile dysfunction, whether you get erections whilst you sleep, and whether you’re able to get an erection when you masturbate.
You should be prepared to discuss your entire medical history so that the most effective treatment can be provided. A urine sample and blood test are also often taken.
How Does Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
If there are any problems during the process of getting an erection involving your hormones, nerves, blood vessels, or brain, then erectile dysfunction may be the reason.
Stimulation of the penis or sexual thoughts activates the parasympathetic nervous system which releases neurotransmitters from nerves in the penis. These are what relax the muscles in the penis, increasing the blood flow by 20 to 40 times.
In addition to erectile dysfunction, alcohol can also impact men and women in a variety of ways including difficulty reaching orgasm, a lower sex drive, and dysfunction of sexual arousal.
Alcohol consumption can also delay ejaculation or lead to vaginal dryness. Whilst moderate amounts of alcohol can increase your sexual desire, larger amounts of alcohol can have a detrimental effect on your sexual arousal.
What Are the Dangers of Drinking?
Drinking alcohol commonly impairs your judgement and lowers your inhibitions which are frequently linked to unprotected sex. This could then result in a sexually transmitted infection (also known as an STI) or an unplanned pregnancy.
Alcohol consumption has also been linked to sexual assault in cases where both the offender and the victim have been under the influence of alcohol making you more vulnerable.
Whilst some men experience erectile dysfunction occasionally, it’s not normal on a regular basis. Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of underlying health problems such as high blood pressure so it’s important to make an appointment with a doctor if you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction regularly and if you’re suffering from alcohol dependence or addiction.
Many people struggle to admit that they have an alcohol addiction and remain in denial about their condition, however, there are some signs to look out for which may indicate that you or a loved one could be suffering from alcohol addiction.
Are you drinking alone and in secrecy? You may be craving alcohol or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you’re not drinking.
Have you lost interest in social activities or in anything that doesn’t involve drinking? Perhaps you’re drinking in the morning or are making drinking a priority over other responsibilities that you have.
You may notice relationships or financial problems which could be attributed to alcohol overconsumption. If you are in need of help for alcohol addiction, private rehab may be the best place to recover from.
Does Alcohol Impact Relationships
In addition to temporary or long-term erectile dysfunction, excessive alcohol consumption is also associated with many relationship problems such as infidelity, conflict, economic insecurity, and divorce.
The potential of contracting a sexually transmitted infection significantly increases when you’ve been drinking alcohol as your judgment becomes impaired and your inhibitions are compromised.
If alcohol is negatively impacting your relationship or your sex life, then it’s a good idea to cut back on your drinking or intentionally plan alcohol-free evenings.
The low-risk drinking guidelines recommend drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol a week for men and for women so it’s essential to stick to these guidelines if you want to make a change to your relationship. If you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and think it may be affecting your life, you can visit alcohol rehab to overcome addiction.Back to all posts