If I Stop Drinking Will My Ed Go Away: Alcohol And Erectile Dysfunction

If I Stop Drinking Will My Ed Go Away

If I Stop Drinking Will My Ed Go Away? Many guys wonder about this, so you’re not alone. A lot of us enjoy having a drink to have a good time, celebrate, relax, or even set the mood in the bedroom. Having a cocktail or two might make you feel more confident and boost your desire for intimacy in the moment. But if you drink too much, it can make things difficult in the bedroom and affect your sexual performance.

You might have heard of “whiskey dick,” which is when alcohol causes temporary erectile dysfunction (ED). If you’ve experienced this or deal with ED even after a night with very little alcohol, you’re not the only one.

Now, you might be wondering if alcoholism and ED are connected. You might be thinking, “If I stop drinking, will my ED go away?” We’ll explore if ED can still happen after quitting alcohol and other ways to deal with alcohol-related erectile dysfunction.

Does Drinking Too Much Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

To keep it simple – yes, drinking too much alcohol can cause erectile dysfunction. If you’ve had a night out with your partner and later faced frustration at the end of what was supposed to be a romantic night, your alcohol intake could be the reason.

While research shows that alcohol is linked to riskier sexual behavior and that drinkers are more likely to have sex, alcohol isn’t good for a man’s sexual performance. To understand the connection between alcoholism and ED, it helps to know how erections work.

Erections usually start with mental or physical stimulation, triggering a process involving your nervous and cardiovascular systems. When you feel sexually stimulated, nerves in your penis release chemicals that make blood vessels relax, increasing blood flow to the erectile tissue.

However, alcohol messes with this process. It acts as a depressant, slowing down your nervous system and making it harder to get and maintain an erection. It’s also a diuretic, causing you to pee more and leading to dehydration, reducing blood volume. Dehydration releases a hormone that narrows blood vessels, making erections more difficult.

In short, heavy alcohol intake increases the chances of temporary erectile dysfunction, and alcohol abuse can affect your health and sex life. But usually, whiskey dick isn’t a sign of long-term erectile dysfunction.

If you’re experiencing ED after heavy drinking too often, you might be wondering if it will go away if you stop drinking.

How Long Does It Take for ED to Go Away After Quitting Drinking?

So, you’ve decided to quit drinking to see if your erectile dysfunction improves.

While everyone’s body is different and experiences alcohol withdrawal symptoms differently, some studies show positive results on ED after quitting alcohol. In a small study of 100 people quitting alcohol, over 88% saw an improvement in erectile function after three months, with 61% experiencing no erectile dysfunction.

But keep in mind, this study had a small number of participants and was limited to a rehabilitation clinic, which might have influenced the results. Detoxing from alcohol can take about a week, but some may experience withdrawal symptoms for longer.

What if You Still Have ED After Quitting Alcohol?

Alcohol isn’t the only cause of erectile dysfunction, so you might still experience ED even after quitting drinking.

ED can be caused by various factors like physical health issues (heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking), mental health problems (depression, stress, anxiety), certain medications (antidepressants, high blood pressure meds), and lifestyle habits.

The best way to figure out what’s causing your erectile dysfunction is to talk to a healthcare provider about your symptoms, how often you experience ED, any health conditions you have, and the medications you’re taking.

How to Improve Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Alcohol?

If you’re facing erectile dysfunction (ED) because of alcohol, there are simple ways to treat it. You can try reducing your alcohol intake or even stop drinking alcohol completely. Besides that, here are some other natural methods to lessen erectile dysfunction:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being too heavy can affect your ability to have a strong erection for sex. Eating healthy and exercising to keep a good body weight might lower your risk of ED.

  • Keep an Eye on Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can make you more likely to have ED. Drinking alcohol can also raise your blood pressure. Your healthcare provider might suggest eating less salt, cutting down on alcohol, exercising more, or finding ways to relax to help lower your blood pressure.

  • Eat a Healthy Diet

While no single food can magically cure ED, having a diet full of vegetables, whole grains, good fats, lean protein, and other healthy foods might reduce ED.

  • Consider Therapy

If you’re using alcohol to deal with performance anxiety in bed, it might actually be making ED worse. Mental health issues are often linked to ED, so talking to a mental health professional, either online or in person, could really help improve your sex life.

These natural methods, along with many others, could make a positive difference in your sexual health. There are also proven treatments available, usually in the form of medications.

The most common medications for erectile dysfunction are oral drugs called PDE5 inhibitors. They work by increasing blood flow to the tissue in your penis. Some examples of PDE5 inhibitors are sildenafil (found in Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), vardenafil (Levitra®), and avanafil (Stendra®).


Although alcohol is sometimes thought to boost sexual desire, drinking too much can seriously affect your sexual performance and even lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). If you’ve noticed ED happening too often after a night of heavy drinking, you might be wondering if quitting alcohol will make it go away.

Stopping drinking could indeed improve or even stop your erectile dysfunction, especially if it usually happens after consuming a lot of alcohol or if you have a problem with alcohol. However, keep in mind that ED has various causes, ranging from lifestyle habits (like excessive drinking or smoking) to physical and mental health issues.

While giving up alcohol can positively impact your sex life, the best way to figure out what’s causing your erectile dysfunction is to talk to a healthcare provider. They can help identify potential causes and recommend the right treatment for your specific situation.

Written by Amy Fischer

Amy, a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Nutrition Lab, brings a wealth of expertise to nutrition, health content, and product testing. With a journalism degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master's in clinical nutrition from NYU, she's a versatile expert. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping, Amy worked as a cardiac transplant dietitian at a prominent NYC hospital and contributed to clinical nutrition textbooks. Her background also includes PR and marketing work with food startups.

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