Erectile dysfunction and alcohol

Erectile dysfunction and alcohol

Erectile dysfunction and alcohol

We’ve all heard of whisky dick and probably even experienced it. There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to have sex… but all those beers you knocked back earlier are impairing you from getting hard. 

It is confusing for men, considering alcohol is also a sexual enabler and can get us in the mood also. 

So we know alcohol consumption can cause erectile dysfunction from first-hand experience, but how? 

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and Alcohol

Alcohol-related erectile dysfunction is the inability to maintain or get an erection after alcohol consumption. 

Alcohol causes ED as it acts as a depressant on the central nervous system. This sedative effect is what makes us feel good after a few drinks. We feel more laid back, relaxed and warm. But adversely, it also impairs our cognitive skills, lack of inhibition and often, inability to achieve an erection.  

How Does Alcohol Cause ED?

Alcohol consumption impairs circulation and nerve sensitivity, which are crucial for sexual arousal and erections. During sexual arousal, the brain sends signals to the penis, which causes it to become erect. When we are under the influence of alcohol, these messages are severely impaired or don’t function at all.

An erection can occur by increased blood flow to the penis. Dehydration from alcohol causes blood volume to decline, reducing circulation to all parts of the body.

Alcohol can also increase angiotensin levels, a type of hormone related to ED. Angiotensin causes blood vessels to constrict and an increase in blood pressure, which is not helpful when trying to achieve an erection. 

Whilst you might be able to get hard after a few, alcohol consumption can also cause delayed ejaculation or even inability to. Delayed ejaculation is taking longer than 30 minutes to ejaculate with sexual stimulation. 

How much is too much?

One way to stop erectile dysfunction from alcohol is to practice moderate consumption. 

According to the Australian Government Department of Health, a healthy adult should consume no more than 4 standard drinks on one occasion. To reduce the risks associated with alcohol consumption, they advise an adult should consume no more than 10 standard drinks a week. 

It’s hard to say how many drinks will cause erectile dysfunction as everyone metabolises alcohol differently. There are plenty of other factors which impact how much drinking will impair you, such as how much/when you last ate, body composition, how fast you drank, your tolerance and how much water you consumed. 

Long term erectile dysfunction from alcohol

The inability to get hard following consumption should only last until your body metabolises the alcohol. Once you sober up, you shouldn’t be experiencing erectile dysfunction from alcohol. 

Chronic drinking, however, can be a cause of erectile dysfunction. Studies have shown men who are heavy drinkers have a 60-70% chance of experiencing sexual issues. The main sexual issues experienced from heavy drinking are erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation or loss of libido. 

Don’t let alcohol get the best of your sex life. Practising drinking in moderation is key. 

Are you experiencing erectile dysfunction without alcohol consumption?

If you are becoming more frustrated being unable to maintain an erection during sex, it might be time to look at some treatment options. 

Infrequent erectile dysfunction is normal. On occasion, not being able to get hard is due to stress, anxiety, lack of confidence with a new partner or relationship issues. However, if you are experiencing this all too often, we can help with non-surgical erectile dysfunction treatments. 

At CALIBRE Clinics, we advise Low-Intensity Shock Wave Therapy (LISWT) as an effective and lasting ‘cure’ for ED. It involves low-intensity shockwaves which are delivered to the penile tissue. It requires no anesthetic and only takes 5-10 minutes per session. 

We also offer Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) procedure to regenerate penile tissue for men to enjoy long term healthy erectile function. Natural tissue and skin rejuvenation therapy’s activate stem cells and release growth factors. If you want to know more about our erectile dysfunction treatment options, get in contact with our team. 

How to prevent erectile dysfunction from alcohol consumption

  • Eat before you drink
  • Set a limit on the number of drinks
  • Drink water in between 
  • Drink slowly 

If you are unable to get hard after drinking, your body is most likely telling you something. It is a good time to reflect on how much alcohol you regularly consume and how you can cut back whilst still enjoying social situations. 

Dr Jayson Oates
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