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Alcohol Can Cause ED: The Impact of Alcohol on Erectile Dysfunction

Julian Carter


People out drinking and partying

Alcohol is known to facilitate and improve sexual performance.

However, drinking too much alcohol can have the opposite effect.

Excessive alcohol can damage the blood vessels and contribute to Erectile Dysfunction (ED).

This article will focus on how consuming alcohol can cause ED and its devastating effects. 

How alcohol can cause ED

The frequency and pattern of drinking can affect the risk of getting Erectile Dysfunction

Men who regularly drink alcohol are more prone to experience ED. 

Short-term ED causes

Any sort of alcohol can cause sudden Erectile Dysfunction after consumption.

A 2018 study found that consuming alcohol briefly depresses your central nervous system and delays communication between your brain and penis. 

The penis may become less sensitive as a result.

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it causes dehydration and frequent urination. 

Dehydration can increase the hormone angiotensin’s production, which may narrow the arteries. 

Additionally, it may reduce the blood supply to the penis.

Wondering when temporary ED will go away? Read now: How Long Does Temporary Erectile Dysfunction Last

Long-term ED causes

A review of publications in 2021 shows that regular alcohol use and ED are significantly correlated.

Large amounts of alcohol consumed over an extended period can harm your blood vessels, increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, and harm your nerves. 

Additionally, drinking more alcohol can make it challenging to get an erection.

Alcohol isn’t the only cause of ED! Check out other potential contributing factors. Read now: Most Common Erectile Dysfunction Causes

The impact of alcohol on the nervous system and sexual function

According to a 2020 evaluation, around 16 to 73 percent of heavy drinkers develop autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

The nervous system may be impacted by alcohol intake, which impacts sexual function. 

Alcohol slows down the central nervous system. It may decrease sexual desire and make getting an erection harder.

The signaling process between the brain and the penis can get hampered by alcohol usage. It can worsen ED further.

Learn about the neurological causes of ED. Check out: A Guide To Understanding And Treating Nerve Damage Erectile Dysfunction

Alcohol and testosterone levels

The health and function of male sexual organs depend on the hormone testosterone.

Alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on testosterone level, low testosterone levels can cause ED.

According to studies, alcohol use can affect the production of testosterone. The levels of this hormone can be lowered by alcohol. 

In addition to lowering testosterone levels, heavy drinking can harm the liver. 

It may lead to low libido and problems with sexual performance. Alcohol abuse can result in several health issues.

Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to long-term damage to the nerves and blood vessels involved in the erection process. Avoid or reduce alcohol intake to promote sexual well-being.

Alcohol withdrawal and Erectile Dysfunction

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome appear when a heavy drinker abruptly stops drinking.  

It has been associated with cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure that may make it difficult to get an erection.

Other withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors

Although cutting down on alcohol may induce short-term Erectile Dysfunction symptoms, the long-term effects on your sexual health may be positive.

Ways to overcome ED

Alcohol can cause ED that is why it is good to say no to it.Source: Daria_Kulkova_from_Getty_Images
Say No to drinking for a better sex life

Reducing alcohol consumption is crucial for ED prevention. 

The rare occurrence of ED is common and of no risk to anyone. It may happen if you’ve had alcohol or if you’re anxious.

Stress can cause ED as it prevents the generation of Nitric Oxide, a vital substance in erectile function.

Regular ED exercise will boost testosterone levels and increase blood flow.

Meditation, stress management, or yoga for ED can help improve sexual function.

Doctors may prescribe Erectile Dysfunction pills like Viagra and Cialis for severe cases. 

These medications can boost the flow of blood to the penis. It makes getting and maintaining an erection simpler.

Summing up

Consuming alcohol over a long period might harm your blood vessels and nerves.

Alcohol can cause ED by affecting the body’s ability to produce Nitric Oxide.

It leads to decreasing testosterone levels and damaging blood vessels. 

Modifying one’s lifestyle, reducing alcohol intake and other home remedies for ED can help manage and prevent the condition. Lifestyle changes like exercising and stress reduction.

It’s common to experience ED, especially when you’re intoxicated occasionally.

See a doctor if you frequently struggle to sustain an erection while sober or after consuming small amounts of alcohol.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can alcohol consumption cause Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Yes, excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to the development of Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Alcohol affects the central nervous system, hormone production, and blood flow, which are essential for achieving and maintaining an erection.

How does alcohol specifically cause ED?

Alcohol can impact sexual function in multiple ways. It may interfere with the neurological system’s regular operations, impair the release of hormones like testosterone, and affect blood flow to the penis, making it challenging to obtain or maintain an erection.

Can you reverse alcohol-induced Erectile Dysfunction?

Yes. It might be possible to reverse ED with appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes such as exercising, maintaining weight, limiting alcohol, etc. can help improve ED or overall sexual health. 

Can occasional drinking cause temporary ED?

Yes, even occasional heavy drinking can result in temporary erectile difficulties. Alcohol’s effects on the nervous system and blood flow can impact sexual performance, causing temporary ED or difficulties achieving an erection.

Can you take Erectile Dysfunction pills when drinking alcohol?

It’s generally recommended to avoid drinking alcohol when taking ED medication. If you’re taking Viagra for ED, Viagra and alcohol can affect your body. It may increase the risk of side effects.

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  • Sciencedirect.com
  • Healthline.com
  • Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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