Alcohol abuse and addiction impacts the physical body and the mind. According to Web MD (1), chronic alcohol abuse increases the risk of severe health concerns like anemia, cancer and heart disease.
Although the physical health concerns seem obvious, it also impacts your sexual health and libido. In many cases, individuals who drink heavily lose interest in sexual activities or face challenges with sexual behaviors.
Inability to Perform
The National Institutes on Health (2) report that chronic alcohol abuse among men results in sexual dysfunction. When men abuse alcohol regularly, almost 72 percent will develop at least one sexual dysfunction. In some cases, men develop more than one dysfunction due to the alcohol abuse.
Common sexual dysfunction associated with alcohol abuse among men include:
- Low libido or lack of desire for sexual activities
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature ejaculation
The National Institutes on Health (2) state that the quantity of alcohol directly impacts sexual desire and dysfunction. If you regularly abuse alcohol in very high quantities, then you will have a lower libido and will face other challenges associated with sexual activities.
Impact on Both Genders
Alcohol abuse impacts the sexual health of women as much or more than it impacts the health of men. According to the Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy, Education, and Research (3), women develop sexual dysfunction and low libido when they chronically abuse alcohol.
In many cases, women do not notice that they do not have a desire for sexual activity until they are treating an addiction, says the Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy, Education, and Research (3).
Other challenges associated with female sexual health after alcohol abuse include:
- Low rates of fertility or an inability to get pregnant
- Pain during intercourse
- Orgasmic dysfunction
Alcohol abuse impacts sexual health and vitality. The risks and concerns that arise directly relate to the amount of alcohol you drink and the overall health of your body. Dysfunction occurs when you drink heavily and it often relates to chronic abuse.
Regaining Sexual Health
Recovering from alcohol addiction allows healing and improves your physical health. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (4) states that almost 23.5 million Americans abuse drugs or alcohol each year.
Roughly 23 percent of individuals who seek treatment abuse alcohol and another 18 percent abuse alcohol with another substance, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse (4). By treating an addiction, your health improves and you regain an interest in sexual activities or behaviors.
Web MD (5) recommends regular exercise, a healthy diet and engaging in low-stress activities during addiction recovery. By focusing on your overall health and well-being, your interest in healthy sexual activities will naturally improve over time.
Activities that help improve your health during treatment and recovery include:
- A healthy diet plan
- Regular exercise
- Avoiding alcohol
- Enjoying relaxing activities, such as reading or sitting in a sauna
Reducing stress with a healthy schedule and a treatment program that focuses on meditation or related activities will help reduce temptations. When combined with other treatment options, like counseling and behavioral therapies, you will reach your recovery goals.
Alcohol abuse impacts your health and well-being. Treating an addiction and focusing on recovery goals allows your body to heal and ultimately improves your libido. Recovering from chronic alcohol abuse and regaining an interest in sexual activity is possible with an appropriate and personalized treatment program.
- David Freeman, 12 Health Risks of Chronic Heavy Drinking, Web MD, September 15, 2011, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20615179
- Bijil Simon Arackal and Vivek Benegal, Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction in Male Subjects with Alcohol Dependence, The National Institutes on Health, June 2007
- Women, Sex and Alcoholism, The Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy, Education, and Research, http://www.sextx.com/alcohol.html
- DrugFacts: Treatment Statistics, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, March 2011, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-statistics
- Maintaining Hope and Health During Drug Abuse Recovery, October 5, 2014 Web MD, http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/drug-abuse-recovery-maintaining-hope-and-health?page=2