Does alcohol cause male sexuality problems

How Alcoholism Can Result in Male Sexual Dysfunction

Having a hard time getting it up? Are you releasing your seeds faster than you used to? If this continues to persist for quite some time, then you may be suffering from male sexual dysfunction. This pertains to physical or psychological problems that may prevent you from achieving sexual satisfaction. 

Male sexual dysfunction affects as much as 31% of men, according to a study by Laumann et al. It can occur at any age, though it is more prevalent in older men. 

Sexual performance problems can be brought about by a variety of causes. Some medications can affect sexual function. Anxiety, stress, and guilt can get in the way of a successful sexual activity as well. 

Similarly, some conditions may bring about male sexual disorders as well. These include diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver failure, drug abuse, and of course alcoholism. 

Alcoholism and Sexual Dysfunction

Alcoholism and Sexual Dysfunction 

According to Arackal and Benegal, alcohol’s depressant effects on the system bring about male sexual dysfunction. Alcohol-related diseases, as well as the psychological forces that lead to alcoholism, may contribute to performance difficulties as well.

For one, alcohol can lower testosterone levels. This hormone affects a man’s desire, even his sexual performance. 

Alcohol use can also lead to vagal or autonomic neuropathy. This happens when the nerves that control certain body functions are damaged (in this case, by alcohol). While this can be reversed with abstinence,  the presence of vagal neuropathy may lead to a variety of male sexual dysfunctions, such as ejaculatory problems, impotence, and low libido. 

To make matters worse, alcoholics who are frustrated with their sub-par sexual function have a greater tendency to abuse alcohol even more. This culminates in a cycle that worsens not only sexual performance but alcohol addiction as well.

Alcohol-Related Sexual Problems

1. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) 

Also known as impotence, ED encompasses three symptoms: low sexual desire, difficulty getting an erection, and the inability to main an erection. The statistics are alarming, as per the University of Wisconsin

  • Mild and moderate erectile dysfunction can affect as much as 50% of men aged 50 – and as much as 60% of men aged 60. 
  • Complete erectile dysfunction affects 5% of men aged 40+, and as much as 15% of males aged 70 and above. 

Alcoholism is a major reason behind impotence. A study by Mirone et al has shown that men who drink as much as 3 servings per day reported impotence. Looking at the results, the more alcohol is consumed, the higher the chances are of developing ED. 

Arackal and Benegal, on the other hand, have also seen the same pattern in their study. As much as 33.3% of their participants reported impotence. 19 subjects complained of the inability to achieve an erection, while 13 subjects had difficulty maintaining their erections. 

Impotence in known drinkers may be brought about by low testosterone results, which is just one of the many effects of alcohol on the body. 

Apart from resulting in low self-esteem, embarrassment, anxiety, and stress, impotence can have dire psychological consequences. It can lead to unsatisfactory sex life, and subsequently, relationship problems. For those who wish to start a family, ED renders you ‘unable’ to get your spouse pregnant. 

2. Low Libido 

Also known as low sexual desire, this problem is marked by a consistent lack of desire for sexual intercourse. It widely occurs in alcoholics. Vijayasenan reported that as much as 58% of his study participants reported diminished sexual desire. The same pattern was seen in the study of Arackal and Bengal, with 36 of the respondents admitted to having a low libido. 

Alcohol, which can decrease testosterone in the body, is the driving factor of low libido in most men. With that being said, the obvious answer to increasing one’s libido – and improving sexual function – is to cut down on alcohol consumption for good. 

3. Premature Ejaculation 

Premature ejaculation is a problem for most men, especially in full-blown alcoholics. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 1 in 3 men suffer from the aforementioned condition. 

Premature ejaculation is characterized by a seminal emission that occurs earlier than expected. It is the working diagnosis if you experience the following frequently, if not always:

  • Ejaculation within one minute of penetration
  • Inability to delay ejaculation
  • The feeling of frustration and distress, which often ends up in the avoidance of sexual intimacy 

As per Arackal and Bengal’s study, premature ejaculation was reported by 36 out of 96 drinkers. The figure is smaller in Vijayasenan’s study, where it was only 4% who suffered from the said disorder. 

4. Ejaculatory Incompetence

One type of ejaculatory incompetence is anejaculation, also known as a dry orgasm. As the name suggests, it refers to a man’s inability to release semen – although he can achieve orgasm. This disorder is an uncommon cause of infertility, however, it is very treatable.

Ejaculatory incompetence is quite a common occurrence in alcoholics, with 22% of Vijayasenan’s respondents suffering from the said problem. 

5. Delayed Orgasm

Also known as anorgasmia, this disorder is earmarked by a delay in attaining orgasm despite sufficient sexual activity. It can be particularly frustrating, not only for the man but for his partner as well. As much as 14.58% of Arackal and Bengal’s alcoholic respondents reported this kind of sexual dysfunction. 

6. Sexual Aversion Disorder 

Also known as hypoactive sexual desire, sexual aversion involves the persistent avoidance of sexual contact with a partner. More than just a lack of sexual desire, the thought of sexual contact can elicit disgust, fear, and revulsion in the affected male. 

Men with sexual aversion disorder usually experience dizziness, anxiety, faintness, heart palpitations, breathing problems, and nausea at the thought of having sex. Not only can this lead to distress, but it can also result in interpersonal problems.

It might not be that common in alcoholics, but it occurs in the said population. According to the study of Arackal and Bengal, sexual aversion occurred in about 4% of its respondents. 

In Conclusion

While sexual problems brought about by alcohol use may be alarming, it can be treated. By sobering up through any type of program, you can get your manhood up and running once again. 

Latest posts by Raychel Ria Agramon, BSN, RN, MPM (see all)

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