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Alcohol Erectile Dysfunction

Alcohol Erectile Dysfunction

About Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which a man is unable to achieve an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. In some cases the man is able to achieve an erection but unable to maintain it long enough to complete the sex act. Most men experience erectile difficulties at some point in their lives, but this is different from ED. According to the Mayo Clinic, those with ED will fail to achieve an erection at least 25 percent of the time. ED has several causes and alcohol consumption can be one of them.

5 Ways Alcohol Can Wreck Your Sex Life

Temporary erectile dysfunction. Researchers have found that too much alcohol affects both your brain and your penis. In one University of Washington study, sober men were able to achieve an erection more quickly than intoxicated men — and some men are unable to have an erection at all after drinking.

That’s because pre-sex boozing decreases blood flow to your penis, reduces the intensity of your orgasm, and can dampen your level of excitement (in other words, even if you are able to have sex, it may not be nearly as pleasurable as it would be without the excess alcohol).

Long-term erectile dysfunction. The risk for long-term erectile dysfunction has been linked to chronic heavy use of alcohol. In fact, studies show that men who are dependent on alcohol have a 60 to 70 percent chance of suffering from sexual problems. The most common of these are erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and loss of sexual desire.

Ruined relationships. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol use beyond moderation is associated with relationship problems that include conflict, infidelity, economic insecurity, and divorce. In addition, 90 percent of all sexual assaults involve alcohol consumption.

The sexual repercussions of smoking. If you are someone who tends to light up while drinking, you could be further increasing your risk for ED. For men under the age of 40, smoking is the biggest cause of erectile dysfunction — and studies show that men who smoke more than 10 cigarettes daily are at an increased risk for erectile dysfunction.

STDs. Another big risk when combining sex and alcohol? Getting exposed to a sexually transmitted disease. Studies show that almost 50 percent of unplanned sexual encounters involve alcohol, and 60 percent of STDs are transmitted when alcohol is involved. Young adults who use alcohol are seven times more likely to have unprotected sex.

Lifestyle factors

Research suggests that lifestyle improvements can improve your erectile function. In a study of Australian men age 35 to 80, nearly a third reported erectile problems over a five-year period. These problems spontaneously improved in 29 percent of the men, suggesting that factors that can be controlled, like lifestyle, were behind the ED reversal.

Enhance heart health

Poor cardiovascular health reduces your body’s ability to deliver blood needed to produce erections. In a study published in 2004, researchers followed male participants for 25 years. The researchers found that heart disease risk factors predicted which men were most at risk of future ED. Numerous studies have strongly tied four major cardiovascular risk factors to ED:

  • Smoking. Not smoking, or quitting if you do smoke, prevents ED.
  • Alcohol. Reduce alcohol consumption. Heavy drinkers experience ED more often.
  • Weight. One study found that in overweight men with ED, losing weight helped to improve erectile function in about a third of the study participants.
  • Exercise. Studies show that physical activity, especially when combined with a healthy diet, can improve erectile function.

Avoiding these risk factors may help improve erectile function and reverse ED.

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