At MAC we have expertise in a wide range of different areas including Men and Women’s Health. One of these areas we have active studies in is Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
It is widely reported that ED impacts 50-55% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 years old. And according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, it also affects about 26 percent of men under the age of 40 (healthine.co.uk, 2020).
Whilst there can be multiple reasons for ED and many cases requiring medical intervention, other factors can impact the chances of ED such as stress, and even excessive alcohol consumption.
Our expert research physician, Dr Liz Jeffery, has warned how alcohol can lead to sexual health problems for men of any age.
“What’s unknown to many is a certain unwelcome effect of drinking. Excessive consumption can lead to sexual health problems for men. Alcohol acts as a depressant and slows the signals from the central nervous system (the brain and spinal column) to the penis.”
Dr Jeffery explains that the signals tell the vessels in the penis and erectile tissue to dilate and relax which increases blood flow and leads to an erection.
“Men need a good blood flow to maintain and sustain an erection, so excessive alcohol consumption can lead to erectile dysfunction as it reduces blood flow to the penis.”
“Long-term excessive alcohol intake can lead to chronic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which can all further intensify erectile dysfunction, causing permanent damage to the delicate nerves and vessels in the penis,” our expert confirms.
There is also a link between mental health and Erectile Dysfunction. Often people with mental illness self-medicate with alcohol, which in turn can worsen their mental health and erectile dysfunction problems.
The good news is positive changes to lifestyle can allow better control of underlying conditions, which in turn can ease symptoms of ED. There are also medications already on the market to treat ED such as Viagra and Cialis.
Dr Liz Jeffery adds ‘There are also new medications undergoing clinical trials, such as those at MAC Clinical Research, which are being explored as potential treatment options for erectile dysfunction, and work differently than the current treatments available’.
At MAC, we have conducted over 20 studies in depressive disorders including erectile dysfunction. We also have over 30 clinical research physicians with expertise in a diverse range of backgrounds. To find out more about our expert team and therapeutic experience, download our brochure.