Can Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Can Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Problems with erections – Drinking large amounts of alcohol can make it hard to get or keep an erection. This is called erectile dysfunction (ED). Alcohol interferes with the messengers in the brain that tell the penis to fill with blood. It can also happen because alcohol can reduce the production of testosterone.

Can alcohol cause permanent erectile dysfunction?

5 Ways Alcohol Can Wreck Your Sex Life – For men, heavy drinking can lead to: 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.

Will my erectile dysfunction go away if I stop drinking alcohol?

Abstract – Background: There is a compelling evidence for the relation between alcohol use and erectile dysfunction (ED), however the impact of alcohol abstinence on improvement of ED is explored sparsely. Aim: This study aimed to determine the impact of alcohol abstinence on ED. The association between total duration of drinking, the quantity of alcohol consumed, sociodemographic, clinical variables and ED were also studied. Methods: One hundred and four subjects with alcohol use disorder and complaints of ED meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria were recruited into the study after taking written informed consent. The subjects were assessed at baseline and after 3 months of abstinence from alcohol with IIEF-5 and a specially designed pro forma. Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to assess the change in ED after 3 months of abstinence. Chi square test was done to assess the associations and binary logistic regression was done to determine the significance of variables after 3 months of abstinence. Outcomes: Improvement in ED after 3 months of abstinence from alcohol and its association between socio demographic and clinical variables were assessed. Results: Of the 104 subjects studied, 88.5% (92) showed improvement in ED after 3 months of abstinence from alcohol. Wilcoxon signed rank test showed that the improvement in ED after 3 months of abstinence was significant. (Z = 8.708, P <,001). Significant association was found between age, alcoholic liver disease, total duration of drinking, and number of standard drinks per day with ED after 3 months of abstinence. Clinical implications: Information that ED will improve with abstinence from alcohol can be used in deaddiction treatment to provide a motivation for change. Strength and limitations: This study aims to fill the gap in literature as only a few studies have examined the impact of abstinence from alcohol on ED. The main limitations of this study are short follow up period and since this study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital it could have given rise to Berksonian bias. Conclusion: Results indicate that ED shows improvement with abstinence from alcohol. Absence of alcoholic liver disease, younger age, shorter duration of drinking, lesser number of standard drinks per day had a significant influence in the improvement of ED with alcohol abstinence and this information can be beneficial in treatment to provide an impetus for change. Karunakaran A., Michael J.P. The Impact of Abstinence From Alcohol on Erectile Dysfunction: A Prospective Follow up in Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder. J Sex Med 2022;19:581-589. Keywords: Abstinence; Alcohol Induced; Alcohol Use Disorder; Impotence; India. Copyright © 2022 International Society for Sexual Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Will viagra work with alcohol?

The bottom line. It’s best to avoid consuming alcohol while taking ED medications like Viagra : Not only can alcohol counteract the medication’s effects, but it can also worsen side effects, like flushing and headaches.

Why can’t he stay hard after drinking?

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

  1. How many times have you had a drink or two to get in the mood? Alcohol has a reputation as a sexual performance enabler and enhancer.
  2. Unfortunately, this has led many of us to overindulge, leading to the only thing worse than a hangover: whiskey dick.
  3. Whiskey dick” is a real thing; it is better known as alcohol-related erectile dysfunction (ED).
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Essentially, whiskey dick is the inability to get a sufficient erection after consuming alcohol. You might not be able to get an erection at all or get one that’s weaker or doesn’t last as long as you like. How many drinks does that take? It’s not an easy question to answer.

Alcohol tolerance varies widely, depending on your body chemistry and factors such as how much you drink and how often, and so does the body’s reaction to it—including any side effects in sexual function. Alcohol acts as a depressant on the central nervous system (CNS)—meaning, it has a sedating effect on the brain and body.

Think of alcohol’s typical effects: the pleasant effects like relaxation and a feeling of warmth. Alcohol also comes with some negative effects, though, like lack of inhibition, a decline in motor skills, and—you guessed it—whiskey dick ( Mathew, 2021 ).

  • During sexual arousal, the brain sends messages to the penis, telling it to become erect, The intoxicating effects of alcohol may slow the signals between the brain and body, resulting in ED.
  • Drinking alcohol causes dehydration, which lowers blood volume and reduces circulation. Since erections rely on healthy blood flow, this may lead to erectile problems,
  • Alcohol may interfere with testosterone production, leading to low testosterone levels and poor erections.
  • Long-term heavy drinking can also affect blood vessel health, which may decrease blood flow to the penis.

Alcohol has an interesting relationship with ED. At low-to-moderate levels (up to 1–2 drinks per day for men), alcohol may actually help erections and protect against ED, This is thought to be due to alcohol’s ability to decrease performance anxiety and increase sexual desire.

However, binge drinking or drinking too much can lead to a loss of penis nerve sensitivity, lower libido, sexual dysfunction, and other effects. So it all depends on how much you drink ( Sivaratnam, 2021 ). The best way to prevent whiskey dick is to avoid heavy drinking. Alcohol consumption can interfere with sexual arousal in both genders.

Alcohol causes dehydration, and it depresses your central nervous system. Just as with men, these effects can reduce circulation and nerve sensitivity associated with arousal. Some studies show that women have decreased arousal, sexual desire, and sexual satisfaction, especially with heavy alcohol use ( George, 2019 ).

For most, whiskey dick will last only as long as it takes for you to sober up. After that, you should be able to get back to normal erections. However, chronic heavy drinking may also be one cause of true ED. Drinking too much alcohol can also increase your chances of developing high blood pressure (hypertension), damaging blood vessels throughout the body.

That can impede blood flow to your brain, heart, and penis, raising your risk of stroke, heart disease, and ED ( Day, 2019 ). If you experience whiskey dick, your body may be telling you to take a look at how much you’re drinking. The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that to reduce your risk of serious health problems, it’s best to drink only in moderation.

  1. Day, E., & Rudd, J. (2019). Alcohol use disorders and the heart. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 114 (9), 1670–1678. doi: 10.1111/add.14703. Retrieved from
  2. George W.H. (2019). Alcohol and sexual health behavior: What we know and how we know it. Journal of Sex Research, 56 (4-5), 409–424. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2019.1588213. Retrieved from
  3. Mathew F, Goyal A. (2021). Ethanol. In: StatPearls, Retrieved from
  4. Sivaratnam, L., Selimin, D.S., Abd Ghani, S.R., Nawi, H.M., & Nawi, A.M. (2021). Behavior-related erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 18 (1), 121–143. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.09.009. Retrieved from
  5. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDA/HHS). (2020). Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.9th Edition. Retrieved from
  6. Wang, X.M., Bai, Y.J., Yang, Y.B., Li, J.H., Tang, Y., & Han, P. (2018). Alcohol intake and risk of erectile dysfunction: a dose-response meta-analysis of observational studies. International Journal of Impotence Research, 30 (6), 342–351. doi: 10.1038/s41443-018-0022-x. Retrieved from

Dr. Chimene Richa is a board-certified Ophthalmologist and Senior Medical Writer/Reviewer at Ro.

Is erectile dysfunction curable?

What else should you know about ED? – Erectile dysfunction is very common and so are the misconceptions surrounding it. For instance, erectile dysfunction is not necessarily a result of aging and is often the result of an underlying physical health problem.

  • It’s also important to know that drinking alcohol won’t help you maintain an erection.
  • In fact, excessive alcohol use can be a cause of erectile dysfunction.
  • Having erectile dysfunction isn’t something you just have to live with.
  • Almost all cases of erectile dysfunction are treatable, and treatment can lead to better overall physical and emotional health for nearly every patient as well as improve intimacy for couples.
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We understand your concerns and can answer your questions about male sexual issues. We’ve heard it all before, and we can find the answers—and the treatment—that is personally best for you.

Will testosterone return to normal after quitting drinking?

From minutes to days: alcohol’s short-term effects on testosterone – What happens to testosterone levels in the minutes and hours after you have a drink? As we mentioned earlier, the answer depends somewhat on how much you drink. Looking at the results of several studies, we can piece together the following timeline: 30 minutes – In one study, healthy male participants showed a decrease in testosterone levels within 30 minutes of a heavy dose of alcohol,

  • Researchers found that after the participants stopped drinking, their testosterone levels quickly returned to normal.
  • However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that continuing to heavily consume won’t have an effect.72 hours – This study also compared the short-term effects of alcohol intake in healthy male volunteers and in men who were chronic alcoholics,

In the study, both sets of participants were given the equivalent of a pint of whiskey per day, over a period of thirty days. The results? Even in the male participants who were not chronic drinkers, testosterone levels began to drop within 72 hours.30 days – After 30 days in the same study, the healthy participants’ testosterone levels had dropped below the normal range and were similar to the levels of the men who were chronic alcoholics.

How much alcohol does it take to get erectile dysfunction?

The relationship between alcohol and ED was complex from the data: consuming 1–7 drinks/week appeared to confer the lowest risk (OR=0.73; P=0.101) but it was not statistically significant, and only 8 or more drinks/week was significant (OR=0.85; P=0.007).

What happens when a man stops drinking alcohol?

What happens when you quit drinking – timeline – This timeline is a broad estimate of what will happen and when after a dependent drinker has their last alcoholic drink. Everyone is likely to experience slight variations on this.

Period since last drink Symptoms/outcomes you may see
Two to 12 hours Onset of withdrawal symptoms which may include hand tremors, retching, excessive sweating, restlessness and anxiety.
12 to 24 hours Withdrawal symptoms continue. Alcohol cravings, reduced energy and feeling low or depressed are common. Sleep is likely to be disturbed.
12 to 72 hours This is the danger period for the most severe withdrawal symptoms such as dangerously raised heart rate, increased blood pressure and seizures.
48 to 72 hours For most people, this is the point at which withdrawal symptoms begin to recede or become more manageable.
3 to 7 days Withdrawal symptoms will, on the whole, stop for most people. In a few cases, the symptoms will worsen and can develop into the medical emergency delirium tremens (DTs), involving disorientation, confusion and profuse sweating. This is why heavy drinkers should only stop drinking with medical supervision.
1 week Sleep patterns are likely to improve, though it can take up to a month or longer for some people.
1 to 2 weeks Between the one and two week mark is the point at which a clinical detox period usually comes to a close.
2 weeks You may start to notice weight loss due to removing alcohol calories. Those whose livers have not been badly damaged by drinking but have become ‘fatty’ can start showing signs of recovery.
3 to 4 weeks Blood pressure may reduce to healthier levels if drinking was causing an increase.
1 month Your skin may start to look better.
3 months More energy and a general sense of better health.
1 year A few people will find some degree of the sense of low energy, anxiety, sleeping troubles and/or alcohol cravings present at the beginning of withdrawal continues for much longer than is usual. At the 12-month mark, almost everyone will leave these behind and begin to enjoy all the benefits of being drink-free.

Can erectile dysfunction be temporary?

Erection dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common male sexual health conditions. When caused by chronic illness or other medical conditions, ED may be a chronic problem. However, in many cases, it’s temporary. Keep reading to find out what may lead to temporary ED. We’ll also look at potential treatment options and how to talk to your doctor about this condition.

Does Viagra keep you hard after coming?

You can still lose your erection after orgasm – Viagra doesn’t stop your erection going down after you ejaculate, so you’ll likely lose your erection after you do. If you are having trouble orgasming too early then you may need separate treatment for premature ejaculation.

You can get more than one erection while on Viagra. If you ejaculate and there’s still some time left for your Viagra to work, you could still be able to get another erection. You may have to wait a short time between one erection and the next, as you would do normally after ejaculating. You will also need to be sexually aroused.

For more information, see our page on How Long Viagra Lasts,

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Can you reverse erectile dysfunction?

– In many cases, yes, erectile dysfunction can be reversed. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found a remission rate of 29 percent after 5 years. It is important to note that even when ED cannot be cured, the right treatment can reduce or eliminate symptoms. Doctors have identified two types of ED:

Primary ED occurs when a man has never been able to have or sustain an erection. This is rare. Secondary ED occurs in people who once had regular erectile function. This is the most common type.

Secondary ED can be reversed and is often temporary. Primary ED may require more intensive and medical-based treatments. ED is usually treatable with medication or surgery. However, a person may be able to treat the underlying cause and reverse symptoms with no medication.

The best treatment may depend on the person. Some find that traditional treatments, such as surgery or medication, do not work. These men may have success using a penis pump, which draws blood into the penis and induces an erection. Methods for reversing ED fall into three categories: Short-term treatments These help with achieving or maintaining erections but do not address the underlying cause of ED.

For example, sildenafil (Viagra) increases blood flow to the penis, which can provide short-term relief from ED. It may help people with conditions such as diabetes and atherosclerosis to get erections. Addressing the underlying cause Primary treatments address the issue that is causing ED. Can Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction Share on Pinterest Psychological treatments may help to reduce anxiety and increase self-confidence. The cause of ED may be psychological, and the condition itself may lead to anxiety, Psychological treatments can reduce anxiety, increase self-confidence, and improve relationships with sexual partners.

How long does it take to reverse erectile dysfunction?

– Erectile dysfunction can often improve with proper treatment. A 2014 study following 810 men found that 29 percent of the men with erectile dysfunction had improved symptoms after 5 years. The following are potential treatment options for temporary ED:

Taking medications. Oral medications are often the first-line treatment for ED. Quitting smoking. Smoking can cause damage to your blood vessels and reduce blow flow to your penis. Reducing alcohol consumption. Heavy alcohol consumption can cause ED. In these cases, ED may get better if you lower how much you drink. Improving diet. Research has found that 79 percent of people with ED have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25. Eating a healthy diet may help you lose weight and improve ED. Exercising. One review published in 2018 found that 160 minutes of weekly exercise for 6 months helped decrease ED caused by cardiovascular disease, lack of physical activity, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and obesity. Taking supplements. Some supplements, such as Panax ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, yohimbe, and L-arginine, may help with symptoms of ED. However, the efficacy of many of these supplements is still debatable. Always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Destressing. Stress and anxiety increase levels of hormones that can make it more difficult for the blood vessels and muscles in your penis to relax. Symptoms of ED often resolve when the cause of stress is addressed. Trying talk therapy. Undergoing sex therapy, psychotherapy, or relationship therapy may help you deal with ED caused by psychological factors. Undergoing testosterone replacement therapy. You may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy if your erectile dysfunction is caused by a hormonal imbalance.

Can erectile dysfunction be temporary?

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is a common sexual condition that affects around 30 million men in the United States. If you have ED, you might find it difficult to get an erection consistently or to sustain an erection for long enough to have satisfying, pleasurable sex.

  • Although many cases of erectile dysfunction are long-term in nature, others are temporary and may occur as a result of problems such as sexual performance anxiety, alcohol consumption or use of certain types of medication.
  • Below, we’ve talked about what temporary erectile dysfunction is, as well as the factors that may cause it to affect your sexual performance.

We’ve also explained how you can treat temporary erectile dysfunction with medication, lifestyle and habit changes, therapeutic approaches and more.