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Alcohol And Erectile Dysfunction

Alcohol And Erectile Dysfunction

Materials and methods

One hundred male subjects, consecutively admitted to the Deaddiction Centre of the National Institute of Mental Health And NeuroSciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India, with a diagnosis of Alcohol Dependence Syndrome With Simple Withdrawal Symptoms (F10.30, ICD-10 criteria) [WHO][13] were recruited for the study. All subjects gave informed consent for taking part in the study. Subjects were initially assessed on the schedules for clinical assessment in neuropsychiatry (SCAN)[14] by a trained psychiatrist (VB). All patients were subjected to detailed clinical and biochemical examinations including blood glucose and liver enzymes. Patients with significantly high levels of liver enzymes or physical findings suggestive of hepatic cirrhosis were referred for ultrasound assessment of the abdomen.

Psychological factors

Psychological factors, such as performance anxiety, can lead to ED. Addressing psychological roots of ED can help reverse the condition. Relationship problems, anxiety, and depression lead the list.

  • Healthy relationships

Erections sufficient for sex depend on arousal and desire, whether you take ED medications or not. Strife and dissatisfaction in an intimate relationship can have a negative impact on libido, arousal, and ultimately, erectile function. Relationship counseling is an option.

  • Address mental health issues

Anxiety, stress, and depression can lead to ED. In a small study, 31 men newly diagnosed with ED either took tadalafil (Cialis) only, or took tadalafil while also following an eight-week stress management program. At the end of the study, the group who participated in the stress management program saw more improvement in erectile function than the group who took only tadalafil.

Alcohol: Effects on Sexual Performance

Where alcohol may succeed as an aphrodisiac in getting people “in the mood” it may fail in execution. During an erection, the penis fills with blood then the vessels close, preventing backflow, so that the penis remains erect. In the short term, overconsumption of alcohol causes the blood vessels in the penis to expand, allowing for more blood flow, but prevents those vessels from closing. As a result, the penis may become erect but not remain so, as there is nothing to prevent backflow.

In the long term, overconsumption of alcohol actually damages the blood vessels and contributes to hypertension and even heart disease, both contributing factors to erectile dysfunction. In healthy men, moderate alcohol consumption should not cause erectile dysfunction.

Medical causes

Some medical causes of ED are difficult to reverse, including:

Low blood flow. For some people, ED is caused by blocked arteries to the pelvic area. That’s because once you’re aroused, you need sufficient blood flow to inflate the spongy erectile tissues in the penis that create an erection.

Nerve damage. In men who have their prostate glands removed because of cancer, even careful “nerve sparing” surgery won’t entirely prevent ED. Even with gradual improvement after surgery, many men often need to use ED medications to have sex.

Parkinson’s disease. Up to 70 to 80 percent of men with Parkinson’s have ED as well as low libido, premature or delayed ejaculation, and inability to have orgasms.

Peyronie’s disease. This condition causes extreme curving of the penis that can make intercourse painful or impossible.

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