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Alcohol can have nasty effects on Singaporeans’ ability to get an erection. For some, the effects are temporary after having drinks, but for frequent drinkers, their alcohol-induced erectile dysfunction can be chronic.

It might seem only natural to take a lady to a bar for some nice cocktails to wind down a hectic evening. The spirited environment of bars and clubs around town can set the mood for the evening.

But beware!

Singaporeans who have issues getting an erection might be worsening their ED by drinking alcohol before sex.

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough and for an adequate time to perform sexual activity. The erection of a penis is a complex process involving multiple systems; the brain, nerves, hormones, and blood vessels.

There are two types of alcohol-included erectile dysfunction: a temporary one and a chronic one caused by long-term imbibing of alcohol.

A small amount of alcohol intake may decrease performance anxiety before sex. However, regular intake of two or more drinks in a single sitting before sex not only decreases sex drive but also causes erectile dysfunction.

Alcohol and the body

Alcohol consumption has harmful effects on the body, including the reproductive system. Uncontrolled alcohol intake before sex can make it difficult to get or keep an erection. A cross-sectional study suggests chronic and long-term alcohol consumption can lead to permanent erectile dysfunction, making it difficult to erect a penis.

According to US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol consumption above two drinks makes it difficult for the liver to metabolise and remove from the body. Ultimately, the toxins circulate in the blood and build up in different organs, including sex organs, and their functioning is compromised.

In fact, if you drank alcohol before slept, you might end up with insomnia.

Why do people drink alcohol before sex?

People consume alcohol to increase their libido, have a passionate sexual experience, and avoid performance anxiety. A key reason why people drink alcohol before bed involves the belief that they will perform better in these areas:

To avoid performance anxiety

Globally hundreds and thousands of people face performance anxiety before sex. An underlying fear of not performing well in bed can cause mental stress in individuals. So, many people prefer pre-sex alcohol consumption to get rid of that fear and anxiety and be calm mentally and physically.

Performance anxiety is a problem that has an alternative solution.

To perform better in bed

Some people face decreased libido and a lack of sexual sensitivity. A small amount of alcohol before sex is thought to increase libido. So, drinking alcohol is thought to increase sexual pleasure and a better sex experience. A study suggests a small amount of alcohol intake increases sex drive in women but not men. Although this concept is controversial, multiple studies confirm that alcohol may decrease the level of circulating testosterone in males.

To overcome mental inhibitions

Similarly, people with mental inhibitions like shame, fear, anxieties and stigma find it easy to drink alcohol and have sex.

How alcohol affects your ability to get an erection?

Overindulging in alcohol leads to alcohol-induced erectile dysfunction that may be temporary, in which a person either is unable to get an erection or gets an erection that is weaker than usual. Alcohol affects sexual activity in the following ways.

Depressed Central Nervous System (CNS):

Alcohol consumption leads to decreased sensitivity of the penis. It affects the transmission between the brain and the penis. A 2018 study confirms that drinking alcohol depresses your neurotransmitters and hormones involved in sex drive.

Diuretic effects:

Alcohol has diuretic effects, which increase the frequency of urination. Frequent urination leads to dehydration and decreased bodily fluids, affecting blood circulation toward sex organs. Dehydration triggers the body’s angiotensin hormone, which decreases blood flow toward the penis, leading to erectile dysfunction.

Decreased sex hormones:

Alcohol drinking before sex may alter the level of sex hormones in the body. A study suggests that alcohol consumption leads to decreased levels of testosterone in the body, decreasing the libido in men.

Long-term Effects of alcohol on erectile dysfunction:

A regular alcohol addict may experience negative effects on health for good. A sudden intake of alcohol may cause temporary erectile dysfunction, which is corrected automatically as the effects of alcohol subsides.

However, long-term alcohol addiction may cause permanent erectile dysfunction. Long-term effects are manifested in two ways.

1: Down-regulation of the autonomic nervous system

Chronic alcohol addiction to heavy alcohol consumption badly affects your autonomic nervous system, which controls autonomic function in the body, including unconscious activities. The most common side-effect of chronic addiction to alcohol is erectile dysfunction, which may be long-term.

2: Damaged blood vessels

Mild alcohol consumption does not lead to cardiovascular disease. However, heavy alcohol intake for a long period may lead to erectile dysfunction caused by damaged blood vessels and cardiomyopathy. A study suggests that alcohol consumption leads to damaged blood vessels and high blood pressure, a risk factor for sexual dysfunctions.

Abnormal blood pressure leads to decreased blood circulation toward the penis, making it difficult to erect the penis adequately.

Other side-effects on sexual health

Alcohol not only contributes to erectile dysfunction but also has some other negative effects on sexual health as:

  • Delayed ejaculation or orgasm
  • Low sex drive
  • Vaginal dryness in women
  • Shrinkage of penis

Conclusion

Alcohol intake leads to erectile dysfunction through altered neurotransmitter activity in the brain, decreased hormonal levels, and damaged blood vessels.

It’s therefore important to ensure that you aren’t drinking too much alcohol as it can lead to disruption to your sexual activity, particularly if you drink frequently over a long period.

If you have erectile dysfunction, there are many ways to solve it including different clinics, methods and solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can alcohol consumption lead to erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Yes, excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to erectile dysfunction. Alcohol is a depressant that can affect the central nervous system and blood flow, potentially leading to difficulties achieving or maintaining an erection.

Q: How does alcohol contribute to erectile dysfunction?

Alcohol can have a negative impact on both physical and psychological factors that contribute to healthy erections. It can affect blood vessel dilation, hormone levels, and the nervous system, all of which play a role in achieving and sustaining an erection.

Q: Is there a specific amount of alcohol that causes erectile dysfunction?

There is no specific threshold for alcohol consumption that directly causes erectile dysfunction, as individual responses vary. However, heavy and chronic alcohol use is more likely to contribute to sexual health issues.

Q: Can occasional or moderate alcohol consumption lead to erectile dysfunction?

Even occasional or moderate alcohol consumption can potentially contribute to temporary erectile difficulties, particularly in situations of intoxication. However, the risk may be lower compared to heavy and chronic alcohol use.

Q: Can quitting alcohol improve erectile function?

Yes, quitting or reducing alcohol consumption can improve erectile function over time, especially if alcohol was a contributing factor to the issue. Making positive lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthier diet and exercising regularly, can further support sexual health.

Q: Are there other health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption?

Yes, excessive alcohol consumption is associated with a range of health risks, including liver disease, cardiovascular issues, mental health problems, and an increased risk of accidents.

Q: Is there a safe level of alcohol consumption for maintaining sexual health?

While occasional and moderate alcohol consumption may have minimal impact on sexual health for some individuals, it’s important to be mindful of overall health and well-being. Moderation is key, and individuals should be aware of their own limits and how alcohol affects their body.

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The percentage of men in Singapore aged 30 and above who experience some degree of erectile dysfunction.

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erectile dysfunction clinic singapore

Getting ED treatment is easy with telemedicine.