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Alcohol & ED: What’s The Effect On Your Sex Life?

Can drinking alcohol cause ED? Let’s find out...

Had a little too much to drink?

Things not going to plan in the bedroom?

It's time to put two and two together. Erectile dysfunction and excessive alcohol consumption are inextricably linked. While alcohol has many favourable effects, it can also adversely affect our physical and mental health.

For many men, drinking a lot of alcohol can decrease their sexual desire and make it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection. So, what happens to our bodies when we consume alcohol? And why does it have such an impact on our libido?

Let's find out!

What happens to my body when I drink alcohol?

Alcohol is an excellent social lubricant, but its physical effects are far-reaching. It affects some of our most critical sexual functions, such as arousal, blood flow and nerve sensitivity. If you've ever wondered why you struggle to achieve and maintain an erection after drinking alcohol, here's why:

Impact on the nervous system

Alcohol interferes with the brain's messages to the body. When sexual arousal is experienced, messages are sent from the brain to the penis to tell it to be erect. When intoxicated, the effects of alcohol slow the signal between the body and brain, limiting adequate blood flow and causing ED.

Reduced testosterone

Too much alcohol hinders testosterone production. It also increases cortisol, a major testosterone destroyer. Low testosterone leads to various physical health issues, with erectile dysfunction high on the list.


Alcohol is a diuretic, so it doesn't take much to become dehydrated from alcohol. Dehydration reduces blood volume and impacts circulation - two vital functions for healthy erectile function!

Impact on sexual arousal

Alcohol is a depressant. It can take the excitement out of sexual activity and make it hard to get in the mood.

How long will ED last after drinking?

The effects of heavy drinking can vary. However, erectile dysfunction after drinking should be temporary and last around six hours after your last drink.

In most cases, ED will only last as long as you're intoxicated. Once you're sobered up, you should be good to go. However, sometimes it can take up to 72 hours to resolve. So, you might have to wait a little longer if it's been quite the bender.

Can alcohol cause permanent ED?

In short, yes. Permanent erectile dysfunction can occur in chronic heavy drinkers.

Continued excessive consumption of alcohol can cause high blood pressure and damage blood vessels in the body. With each damaged blood vessel, blood flow to the penis becomes more restricted, making it more and more challenging to obtain an erection.

Studies show men who are heavy alcohol drinkers have a 60-70% chance of suffering some form of sexual dysfunction. These include premature ejaculation, decreased sexual desire, and persistent erectile dysfunction.

Can alcohol withdrawal cause ED?

A hangover is no fun for anyone. The nausea, headaches and irritability are signs that your body is working hard to regulate after being loaded with alcohol.

Anxiety is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal. It's also a major cause of erectile dysfunction. Anxiety fills the body with cortisol which, as mentioned above, destroys testosterone and lowers libido. So, the effects of your recent alcohol intake can sometimes linger until your hangover clears.

…but is there a chance alcohol could *help* my ED?

Good question! Alcohol and ED have a complicated relationship.

Low levels of alcohol are thought to have a positive effect on ED. Confused? Don’t be. Let’s not forget that alcohol has an amazing calming effect. One drink might help you loosen up and reduce performance anxiety. The less anxious you feel, the more fun you’ll have!

The problem is, it doesn’t take much to overdo it. A couple of drinks might help you get in the mood, but getting drunk will have the opposite effect.

If you’re a heavy drinker, you’ll need to stop for a while to give your body a chance to regulate. Once things are…well…looking up, you can change your relationship with alcohol and find a good balance.

In that case, how much alcohol is too much?

It's ok to enjoy the odd drink. We're all adults, after all.

However, when drinking becomes continuously excessive, it becomes a risk to your health. We're not just talking about your sexual health but your mental and physical health as well.

New Zealand’s drinking guidelines state that men should have no more than three standard drinks per day and no more than 15 standard drinks per week. Sticking to these guidelines will help you avoid drinking to the point where your body's processes and sexual performance become affected.

How do I reverse alcohol-induced ED?

It's simple, really.

You can reverse alcohol-induced ED by reducing your alcohol intake.

We make no bones about it; excessive alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on your sexual performance. Once it starts to impact your sex life, your confidence and relationships can suffer as a result. If your alcohol consumption continuously impacts your life and the lives of those around you, it's a good time to cut back.

The positive results happen quickly. Studies show that heavy drinkers can significantly improve erectile dysfunction symptoms after three months of abstaining from alcohol.

Alcohol & your sex life shouldn't be a trade-off

Erectile dysfunction is a common symptom of heavy alcohol intake in men. If you're looking to improve your sex life, limiting your alcohol intake is a great place to start. Plus, with a natural supplement like TESTO, you can get extra support to reignite the flame in the bedroom!

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