English: Breckenridge, Colorado liquor store.

English: Breckenridge, Colorado liquor store. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of physical and psychological problems. Does drinking alcohol cause erectile dysfunction? This article gives you an overview of the connection between alcohol consumption and the development of sexual health problems.

How Does Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Excessive alcohol consumption causes erectile dysfunction in two ways:

Affects Mood – A glass or two of your favorite adult beverage may put you in the mood, but more than that can lead to sexual dysfunction. This is because alcohol depresses the nervous system and may cause feelings of anxiety. When a man feels anxious or depressed, he is less likely to be able to perform sexually.

Circulation Problems – Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to circulation problems in a man’s sexual organs. If you achieve sexual arousal when you’ve been drinking, the alcohol dilates the vessels in your penis but they will not close once you’ve achieved erection. When your blood vessels stay open, your penis quickly returns to its relaxed state, making sexual intercourse difficult if not impossible.

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

This is a common question among men suffering from erectile dysfunction. More than a couple of drinks per night can lead to lasting sexual problems for men. This is especially true if you plan to “get romantic” on a night when you’re drinking.

It’s also important to remember that alcohol is a long-term toxin and if consumed in excess, can lead to problems with erectile dysfunction even when you’re not consuming alcohol.

How Can I Cut Down on My Alcohol Use?

If you want to reduce the effects of alcohol on your system but don’t want to quit cold turkey, there are a few ways you can cut down on your alcohol use:

Set a Goal – When you set a goal for yourself, you have a better chance of achieving it. Write down how many drinks you plan to drink each day and stick with it.

Measure Your Drinks – When it comes to beer, one standard drink is 12 ounces. A glass of wine shouldn’t exceed 5 ounces. When it comes to hard liquor, stick to 1.5 ounce servings.

Count Your Drinks – Don’t just knock ‘em back. Make a mental note of how many drinks you’re having so you can stick to your goal.

Space Your Drinks – Everything in moderation. If you’re experiencing sexual health problems, remember to space your drinks and drink non-alcoholic beverages in between.

Don’t Forget to Eat – The effects of alcohol are always more noticeable on an empty stomach so don’t forget to snack during and in between drinks.

Do I Need Professional Help?

Not everybody who drinks is an alcoholic. However, some men develop a problem with their drinking without meaning to. You might need professional help if:

You often drink to get drunk.

You’ve had blackouts.

You have physical or mental withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink.

You drink alone or purposefully hide you drinking from others.

Your drinking has caused problems in your personal or professional relationships.

A couple of beers or cocktails with friends once in the while shouldn’t cause sexual side effects but if you drink in excess, try cutting back. It may be all you need to do to improve your love life! If ED problems persist, book an appointment with your doctor to address other possible underlying causes.
About the Author:

Jaime A. Heidel is a professional freelance writer with a passion for health and wellness. She writes for several natural health websites including www.menshealthnet.org.