Does Alcoholism Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Does Alcoholism Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Though alcoholism and erectile dysfunction (ED) are two distinct conditions, they are often linked. Alcoholism can cause ED, and ED can be a symptom of alcoholism.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease characterized by an impaired ability to control drinking. It is often characterized by cravings for alcohol, inability to limit drinking, building up a tolerance to alcohol, and physical or psychological problems when alcohol is not consumed.

Erectile dysfunction is the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including psychological problems, such as anxiety or depression; physical problems, such as diabetes or heart disease; and excessive alcohol consumption.

Though it is not clear how exactly alcoholism causes ED, it is believed that the chronic inflammation caused by alcohol damages the nerves and blood vessels involved in erections. This damage can lead to ED. Additionally, heavy drinking can lead to problems with hormones that are necessary for erections, such as testosterone.

If you think you may be struggling with alcoholism, it is important to seek help from a medical professional. Alcoholism is a serious disease that can cause many health problems, including ED. If you are struggling with ED, talk to your doctor about potential causes and treatment options.

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Medically Reviewed By:

Robert Gerchalk

Robert is our health care professional reviewer of this website. He worked for many years in mental health and substance abuse facilities in Florida, as well as in home health (medical and psychiatric), and took care of people with medical and addictions problems at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

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