Alcohol and Erectile Dysfunction, Delicate Balancing Act

Alcohol intake is one of the major risk factors for erectile dysfunction (outdated term – “impotence”). The main component of any alcoholic beverage – ethanol – provides a destructive effect over the cavernous bodies of the penis, necessary to achieve an erection.

Many men believe that a small amount of alcohol before sex does not affect the erectile function. Moreover, according to a widespread opinion, alcohol helps men feel more confident.

If men experience issues with achieving an erection, they believe that alcohol-induced impotence is reversible, and there are no reasons to worry. In fact, even small amounts of alcohol can cause irreversible changes in the male reproductive system.

To determine the relationship between the erectile dysfunction and alcohol, we should take a closer look at how ethanol affects male sexual health. The main negative effect of alcohol on erectile function is associated with the unobstructed penetration of ethanol into cells through membranes.

This leads to a fast destruction of the most vulnerable parts of DNA and the further destruction of the cellular structure. Thus, in addition to the erectile dysfunction, alcohol also causes other sexual health problems:

  • decreased libido
  • deterioration of spermatogenesis
  • difficulties with achieving an orgasm

Alcohol abuse causes a decrease in the level of male sex hormones in men. Reduction in the concentration of androgens (especially testosterone) reduces sexual appetite and, as a result, problems in interpersonal relationships.

Formation of alcohol impotence depends on:

  • type of alcoholic beverage
  • duration of use
  • the amount of alcohol consumed during the day

A common misconception is that low-alcohol drinks are not dangerous to health. A myth is spread among men that beer does not have a negative impact on health. Most men do not see a connection between the beer drinking and impotence. In fact, among the variety of alcohol-containing drinks, beer causes impotence in more than wine or vodka.

The problem is not just beer impotence. Chronic beer consumption makes causes gynecomastia (breast enlargement) in men. Yet the most common adverse effect of drinking this alcohol-containing drink is the beer belly.

From the physiologic point of view, beer belly is a weakness of the abdominal muscles, their lower tone. The formation of a beer belly leads to deterioration of intestinal motility, constipation, formation of fatty deposits in the waist area, pathological displacement of abdominal organs (liver, kidney, stomach, intestine) and chest organs (heart and diaphragm).

To treat alcohol-induced impotence, it is not enough to take medications for erectile dysfunction improvement, like Viagra, Cialis or Levitra. To eliminate violations of sexual problems, men should give up alcohol, smoking and other bad habits on his own initiative. Physicians recommend that men with erectile dysfunction regularly engage in physical activity and keep to a low calorie diet plan.

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