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Erectile Dysfunction & Alcohol: How Related Are They?

UPGUYS > Blog > Sex > Erectile Dysfunction & Alcohol: How Related Are They?
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on March 11, 2022

It's a general belief that in order to loosen up and break the ice, you need alcohol. In movies, you can see that most moves start with a glass of red wine or a couple of shots of tequila. Everyone becomes horny and wild, and, as far as we can imagine, they have the most mind-blowing sex.

But, is that the case in real life, and does alcohol really help with sex? Or, on the contrary, does it negatively impact our sexual performance? 

Drinking a bit of alcohol can indeed help with your charm. But, generally speaking, alcohol is a depressant and not an aphrodisiac. What does it mean? It means if you keep moderation, you can enjoy alcohol and sex. If you don't, alcohol will negatively affect your mood, decrease your sexual desire, ruin your sexual performance, and make it hard for you to erect or orgasm.

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To learn more, keep reading the article. In this article, we talk about:

Generally speaking, alcohol is a depressant and not an aphrodisiac.

As previously mentioned, drinking alcohol in moderation can even help with self-confidence and mood. But, heavy alcohol drinking has opposite effects. But what is moderation when it comes to drinking?

As recorded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate alcohol drinking is the limit of two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women on the days they consume alcohol. 

In one study, the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in relation to chronic alcohol use was investigated. The results suggested that 75% of participants with alcohol issues indicated one or more sexual problems. The most common ones were premature ejaculation, low sexual desire, and of course, erectile dysfunction.

The reason behind that is the liver can break down one alcohol drink (in standard size) an hour for men. Anything more than that starts having negative effects on our organs, including the organs related to sex.

Moderate alcohol drinking (according to CDC) is the limit of two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women on the days they consume alcohol.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Alcohol Abuse

Apart from the destructive effects of alcohol abuse on general health, relationships, and boosting the chances of STD (due to unsafe sex), when it comes to sex life, heavy alcohol drinking triggers erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence:

  1. Temporary erectile dysfunction from alcohol
  2. Permanent erectile dysfunction from alcohol
  3. Doubling up the chances of erectile dysfunction by mixing alcohol with smoking

Saying the phrase "had too much to drink" in bed might sound familiar to many who felt they had to explain why they can't perform as they wish to. 

Drinking too much alcohol interferes with getting erections or maintaining them. It also causes premature ejaculation or, on the contrary, makes ejaculation impossible. If you overdrink on a regular basis, it ends up in erectile dysfunction, formerly known as impotence.

These are some of the most common ways alcohol ruins a good boner:

  1. By decreasing the blood flow to the penis
  2. By having a depressing effect on your nervous system
  3. By dehydrating your body
  4. By lowering testosterone levels
  5. By increasing angiotensin, a hormone linked to erectile dysfunction

Does Quitting Alcohol Reverse Erectile Dysfunction?

Certainly! Quitting excessive alcohol drinking altogether can reverse erectile dysfunction (ED) and impotence caused by it. When your body is free from alcohol and sober, your organs start healing and performing as they used to. 

Many studies have shown that alcohol-induced sexual dysfunction and impotence are, in fact, reversible.

If you need help quitting drinking, ask friends and family for support or go to an alcohol addiction therapist.

Quit drinking. Alcohol-induced erectile dysfunction (formerly known as impotence) is reversible.

Can Erectile Medications Be Used With Alcohol?

Moderation, moderation, moderation. If you drink alcohol in moderation, it doesn't seem to interact with ED medications. However, you need to know that studies in this field are very limited. 

One limited study published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics reported no adverse reactions between some ingredients of ED medications and red wine. But again, we need more facts to get better results.

What's important to remember here, though, is that it is still not a good idea to mix alcohol and erectile dysfunction medications. One of the reasons is that, as mentioned multiple times in this article, drinking too much alcohol is one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction or impotence. The impact of alcohol on sexual performance is so common that most men have experienced it here and there. 

So, in order to avoid the dilemma between choosing sex or alcohol, go with moderation. Keep the limit of your alcohol consumption to one or two, get your charm and confidence, and perform your best when it comes to sexual encounters.

You don't necessarily need to choose between sex and alcohol! Keep things in moderation, instead! Drink one or two standard-sized drinks and have your best sexual performance.

How To Treat Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Alcohol Abuse

For many men, it is possible to reverse erectile dysfunction (ED) caused by heavy alcohol drinking. The most straightforward answer is to stop alcohol consumption, and its negative impacts will mostly go away. 

Apart from drinking, you can make other lifestyle changes to boost your sex life as long as your general health, like quitting smoking, exercising, losing weight, etc. 

Next Step

If you have already made the necessary adjustments to your life by avoiding heaving, drinking, smoking, and making healthier choices, give your body some time to heal and start performing like it used to.

In the meantime, you can talk to your doctor about your problem and seek proper treatment.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common conditions among men. But, most men still find it hard to talk about it, even to their healthcare providers, even though it is more common than they'd think.

Final Words

Drinking too much alcohol can harm each and every organ in the body, including your sex organs. Drinking moderately can indeed be charming and ice-breaking before sexual activities. But, the chances of having problems in the bedroom multiply by heavy alcohol drinking. 

CDC defines heavy alcohol drinking as two standard-sized drinks for men and one standard-sized drink for women in days of consuming alcohol. If you drink more than this limit, your liver cannot break the excessive alcohol, negatively affecting your organs. 

Alcohol dehydrates your body and stops proper blood flow to the penis. It is how it can lead to short-term or long-term erectile dysfunction. It also can cause premature ejaculation.

Quit drinking. Alcohol-induced erectile dysfunction (formerly known as impotence) is reversible. 

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.