Erectile Dysfunction | Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Defining the terminology “excessive alcoholism” is difficult as most cases are relative and depends on the tolerance level, co-morbid medical conditions and duration of alcohol intake history. Unsupervised and excessive intake of alcohol can affect a person socially as well as physically.
– Physical consequences: Consumption of excessive quantities of alcohol can lead to toxic effects on the body (both in short term and long term). Most frequently involved organs include brain, nervous system and liver.
– Sexual consequences: Personal life of an alcoholic is significantly affected due to physical, psychological and neurological (ED & Trauma Learn More) consequences of alcohol.
Clinical studies suggested that relationship with an alcoholic partner is challenging.
Erectile Dysfunction & Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with a significant alteration in the sexual activity; the most common issue that is faced by alcoholics is erectile dysfunction ED (ED Screening Learn More) (which may persist even in the sober state). According to a latest study (1), approximately 72% alcoholics experienced at least one episode of sexual dysfunction (ED & Narcotics) in the past 3 months.
Other sexual dysfunctions that are reported in alcoholics are
– 16% report erectile impotence (Impotence Causes Learn More)
– 22% experience ejaculatory incompetence
– Difficulty in achieving orgasm (Male Orgasm Learn More)
– Sexual aversion
Pathophysiology of Erectile Dysfunction With Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Here is how excessive alcohol consumption cause sexual dysfunction
– Changes in Testosterone Secretion
Long term excessive alcohol consumption is associated with hormonal aberrations (most characteristic of which is a decrease in testosterone secretion). Sex is never a joy ride if the partner is inebriated; and excessive alcohol intake may trigger this issue.
– Psychiatric Illness & Alcoholism
Additionally, due to the consumption of excessive alcohol, it is observed that many alcoholics develop psychiatric illnesses (such as depression, stress disorder, anxiety disorder and others). It is a common observation that depressed people twirl towards drinking alcohol in order to seek relief from depression and other psychiatric and social issues; yet it further exacerbates the situation.
– Alcohol is a nervous system depressant that reduces the activity of major neurological responses (including sexual stimulation)
– Alcohol affect the functioning of major organs and systems that may also contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED Treatment Learn More).
Alcohol Affecting Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
Similar to alcoholism, generally erectile dysfunction is obscure and under reported. The percentage of people having both the problems is not known. That’s why treatment cannot be initiated until the problem is detected. Since excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of erectile dysfunction, it is very important to know if ED is caused by alcoholism or another organic issue.
Common Strategies Adopted by Healthcare Professionals to Address ED
– The treatment of erectile dysfunction is clearly related with alcoholism and require the individual to limit the consumption –preferable stop completely.
– Any related depression or psychiatric/ stress (ED & Stress Learn More) related disorder should also be treated in parallel as it may improve the ED and manage the alcoholism at the same time.
– Mechanical aids and drug therapy treatments for ED are likely to work for alcoholic man and do nothing in repairing a damaged relationship. This is why marital therapy is necessary for helping couple in regaining their sexual relationship.
If you or your partner is experiencing difficulties in maintaining a sound sexual life due to excessive alcohol consumption seek the advice of a medical expert for an early evaluation and management of problem.
Arackal, B. S., & Benegal, V. (2007). Prevalence of sexual dysfunction in male subjects with alcohol dependence. Indian journal of psychiatry, 49(2), 109.
When to Seek Medical Advice for ED?
IF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION LASTS LONGER THAN 2 MONTHS OR IS A RECURRING PROBLEM, SEE YOUR DOCTOR FOR A PHYSICAL EXAM OR FOR A REFERRAL TO A DOCTOR WHO SPECIALIZES IN ERECTILE PROBLEMS. YOUR OWN DOCTOR OR A SPECIALIST CAN HELP TO DETERMINE THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OR CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION AND GUIDE YOU TOWARDS FINDING THE RIGHT TYPE OF TREATMENT.
Although you might view erectile dysfunction as a personal or embarrassing problem, it’s important to seek treatment, especially if a physical cause might be developing. In many cases, erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated. Also, see your doctor if the therapy or medication prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction isn’t working for you. Don’t try to combine medications or therapies on your own or deviate from prescribed doses and do not your symptoms as they could be one of Erectile Dysfunction Causes.