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Alcohol and ED: How Drinking Can Hurt Your Sex Life
According to the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, between 20 and 30 million men in the United States experience the effects of erectile dysfunction, or ED.
The researchers at the McKinley Health Center also claim that in many cases, ED is caused by physical conditions that cannot be prevented, such as vascular conditions, hormone deficiencies, and abnormal nerve functions–often caused by old age.
However, one of the most common physical reasons that men experience ED is preventable: alcoholism.
Characteristics of Alcoholism
In order to understand how alcohol and ED are related, it is crucial to understand alcoholism itself. Alcoholism is a disease that involves a person having a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol–one in which they can’t control the amount of alcohol that they drink or their behavior while they are drinking.
Also, alcoholics are typically unable to stop their drinking habits even if they are severely disrupting their jobs, families, or relationships–specifically, their sex lives.
Alcoholism’s Psychological Effect on ED
Alcohol can cause ED through both psychological and physical ways.
First of all, studies have shown strong connections between alcohol abuse and depression, and a man’s mood has a significant effect on his sexual function.
Feelings of depression, stress, or anxiety can contribute to a man’s inability to form and/or maintain an erection, and if he is consistently feeling depressed and drinking, he will definitely notice signs of ED.
Alcoholism’s Physical Effect on ED
Alcohol also contributes to erectile dysfunction by physically having both short term and long term consequences for a man’s sexual function.
In regards to alcohol’s temporary effects on a man’s sex life, an overdose in alcohol can make it a lot more challenging to keep an erection because of its effects on the body’s blood vessels. Under normal circumstances during an erection, the blood vessels in the penis are full because they close up and prevent backflow; this allows the penis to remain hard and upright.
However, an alcohol overdose makes the penis’ blood vessels expand, causing more blood flow, which stops those vessels from closing up. As a result, that man will be able to get an erection, but with those blood vessels unable to close, he will not be able to keep it for very long.
In the long run, alcohol will have an even more serious effect on the body’s sexual function. If you frequently drink an excessive amount of alcohol, the blood vessels throughout your body will suffer a lot of damage.
Experts say that this can result in hypertension and heart disease, both of which are common contributors to ED. Eliminating alcohol or at least reducing the amount that you drink can therefore help you hold on to a healthy, regular sexual function.
Maintain a Healthy Sex Life by Drinking Less Alcohol
If you cut back on your alcohol consumption, you can prevent erectile dysfunction and preserve your sex life for years to come.