If you are a man who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and problems with sexual function, the results of a new study could be welcome news. Investigators found that use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in men with OSA can improve sexual function and libido, and is especially beneficial in men with erectile dysfunction.
Several studies have noted a relationship between erectile dysfunction and sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea. OSA occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the flow of air, causing individuals to stop breathing during sleep.
The most effective treatment for OSA is CPAP, which utilizes a machine that helps keep the airways open and maintains normal oxygen levels during sleep. But CPAP may help with more than sleep.
At the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies held in Boston June 9 to 13, Joseph W. Dombrowsky, MD, from Walter Reed Military Medical Center, presented the results of a prospective analysis of 92 men (average age, 45.8 years) newly diagnosed with OSA and who had started CPAP therapy. At the beginning of the six-month study, nearly half (45.6%) of the men had erectile dysfunction and 27.2% had decreased libido.
Although use of CPCP improved sexual function for men with and without erectile dysfunction, the improvement was best among those with erectile dysfunction. Results of this study suggest men who suffer with OSA who are not using CPAP should discuss the possibility of starting therapy, especially if they are experiencing erectile dysfunction or lack of libido.
Read more in our Erectile Dysfunction Health Center.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Men using CPAP see improvement in sexual function, satisfaction. 2012 Jun 13