The damaging effects of alcoholism are widely known – cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, stroke, high blood pressure, steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, pancreas issues and elevated risks for developing cancer are just a few of the effects. One negative affect that isn’t talked about as often is how alcoholism can disrupt one’s sex life. According to Everyday Health, alcohol is a depressant and can dampen one’s mood and decrease one’s sexual desire.  

In a 2014 study titled “Sexual Dysfunction in Patients with Alcohol and Opioid Dependence”, researchers from India found that rates of sexual dysfunction were much higher for patients in the alcohol-dependent population than patients who were healthy or were social drinkers. The most common forms of sexual dysfunction found among patients were erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, retarded ejaculation, and decreased sexual desire among men. Women who were alcohol-dependent experienced dyspareunia, otherwise known as painful intercourse on the external surface of the vagina or deeper in the pelvis upon pressure of the cervix, and vaginal dryness.

Another study conducted in 2007 by researchers from India found that of 100 male subjects diagnosed with alcohol dependence and assessed for sexual dysfunction, 72% had one or more forms of it. The researchers determined that the amount of alcohol consumed was an indicator of the level of sexual dysfunction consumers would experience.

Live Strong, a website dedicated to providing information on health, fitness, and nutrition, explains the physical effects of sexual dysfunction that heavy alcohol usage has on the body. It explains that during an erection, blood vessels typically close, preventing backflow so the penis stays erect. Overconsumption of alcohol may cause two things: the blood vessels may expand but be prevented from closing so if the penis does become erect it does not stay so for long, or the heavy alcohol consumption may damage the blood vessels causing hypertension and even heart disease, both of which contribute to erectile dysfunction.

If you have alcoholism and are ready to seek treatment, call us today at 888-316-3665. New Vista Behavioral Health is a mental health and addiction recovery treatment center that is also home to several other world-renowned facilities throughout California. We pride ourselves on being there for our clients from day one, and will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. Call us for a consultation.


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