Alcoholism – meaning heavy alcohol abuse – causes difficulties with getting and maintaining strong erections, with more than half of men who abuse alcohol having erectile or other sexual difficulties like low sex drive.
Research shows a strong correlation between alcoholism and impotence.
How Does Alcoholism Affect Erections?
Heavy alcohol use affects the body in several ways:
- Damages blood vessels and nerves
- Damages liver
- Suppresses testosterone secretion
- Increases the female hormone estrogen
- Inhibits reproductive processes
It also affects blood flow to the penis directly, because drinking too much affects smooth muscle cells in the penile wall, preventing the penile blood vessels from closing off and so holding the erection.
For more details on how alcoholism effects erections, see Alcohol and Erectile Dysfunction