Bottoms Up: Booze & Your ED

It’s no surprise that environmental and lifestyle factors can worsen your erectile dysfunction, or at the very least create symptoms even for those that don’t suffer with impotence. Alcohol is one of the most common factors to blame, and is known to impair sexual performance both short and long term. From the bar to the bedroom, there are a few things you should know about alcohol’s effect on your body and your erection.

While a few drinks out might help with your confidence or help you relax after a long day, a few too many can have a negative impact when you make it back home. According to Everyday Health, not only can alcohol decrease your overall sexual desire, it can make it more difficult to get erect or to orgasm. So what’s the deal? Erections happen when a man is aroused, allowing the arteries in the penis to open up and increase blood flow down there. Long story short, heavy drinking before sex “decreases blood flow to the penis, reduces the intensity of your orgasm, and can dampen your level of excitement.” Urologist Dr. Ashley Winter tells Thrillist, “Alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate, which is why people’s faces get flushed. It affects the way the blood moves in and out of the penis, which is, obviously, important for erectile function.”

The good news is that a few crazy nights here and there won’t have a long-lasting impact. But if heavy drinking is a constant in your life, you might notice problems even when you’re sober. Alcohol is a depressant and can have serious consequences to both your physical and psychological health, only making your ED worse. Despite the serious consequences, if you think alcohol might be the primary factor of your ED, things can turn around. Cut back on the booze and stay hydrated between each drink to ensure that the alcohol won’t take over.

It’s all about balance here! Alcohol in moderation will likely have little effect on your ability to perform in the bedroom. If you’re cutting back and are still seeing symptoms, see your doctor to find out what the root of the problem could be. Speak to a U.S. licensed physician to see if sildenafil could be right for you in treating your erectile dysfunction or symptoms — it all starts here: