Hoping for an amorous night with your other half? Scientists say you want to AVOID drinking wine
Women hoping for an amorous night with their other half might want to avoid having a glass of wine first.
Women who drink alcohol are 74 per cent more likely to have issues in the bedroom which make sex less satisfying, according to a scientific review.
Researchers analysed seven scientific studies on alcohol and female sexual problems, including a total of 50,225 women aged 18 to 79.
Based on all these studies, they conclude that women who consume alcohol are 74 per cent more likely to suffer ‘sexual dysfunction’ than women who do not consume alcohol.
Sexual dysfunction is defined as any issue which ‘can prevent a satisfactory sexual experience’.
Women who drink alcohol are 74 per cent more likely to have issues in the bedroom which make sex less satisfying, according to a scientific review
Alcohol reduces women’s sensitivity to touch, the review concludes, so having a drink could lower their libido, lead them to be less aroused during sex, and make sexual experiences less intense.
The researchers, led by Gerash University of Medical Sciences in Iran, conclude: ‘Since a healthy sexual function is essential for a good quality of life, policymakers may consider using the results of this meta-analysis as a research priority to raise awareness among women about the detrimental effects of alcohol on their sexual performance.
‘This could reduce alcohol consumption and associated side effects, including sexual dysfunction.’
The effects of too much alcohol on men, who may experience erectile dysfunction or ‘brewer’s droop’ are well known.
But charity Drinkaware, which is funded by the alcohol industry, warns that women may find it more difficult to have an orgasm, or have orgasms which are less intense, after drinking alcohol.
The new review is believed to be the first to look at the relationship between alcohol and sexual problems in women.
Up to 40 per cent of women generally are believed to suffer from sexual dysfunction, which can lead to stress and relationship issues.
The review includes a study carried out in Ghana, on 301 women, which found alcohol was significantly linked to sexual issues in women, where other factors looked at, which were education, age, marital status, smoking and exercise, were not linked to sexual problems.
The suggestion that drinking alcohol could affect women’s sex lives is consistent with previous evidence that a majority of women with alcohol dependency problems have a low libido and difficulty achieving an orgasm.
But the review’s authors say the effect on women’s sexual satisfaction is likely to be long-term, seen when women drink alcohol regularly, and that their findings do not mean that women will have disappointing sex every time they have a drink.
DO YOU DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL? THE 10 QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL YOUR RISK
One screening tool used widely by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the 10-question test is considered to be the gold standard in helping to determine if someone has alcohol abuse problems.
The test has been reproduced here with permission from the WHO.
To complete it, answer each question and note down the corresponding score.
0-7: You are within the sensible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.
Over 8: Indicate harmful or hazardous drinking.
8-15: Medium level of risk. Drinking at your current level puts you at risk of developing problems with your health and life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider cutting down (see below for tips).
16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back on your own may be difficult at this level, as you may be dependent, so you may need professional help from your GP and/or a counsellor.
20 and over: Possible dependence. Your drinking is already causing you problems, and you could very well be dependent. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reduce your drinking. You should seek professional help to ascertain the level of your dependence and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.
Severe dependence may need medically assisted withdrawal, or detox, in a hospital or a specialist clinic. This is due to the likelihood of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours needing specialist treatment.