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Sleep Apnea and ED

Sleep Apnea and ED

The bottom line of this article is that sleep apnea can have a direct effect on your sexual performance. More specifically, males can have issues with erectile dysfunction (ED). Obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA) refers to pauses in an individual’s sleep pattern that lasts more than 10 seconds. These pauses or stops are called apneas. There could be a number of reasons as to why sleep apnea occurs; weight gain, high blood pressure, and stress are just a few things that can cause sleep apnea. There is now reason to believe that another cause is ED.

Why does sleep apnea cause erectile dysfunction?

The exact connection between sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction are not known. Men who have obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction. In one of the largest studies, patients with ED were more than twice more likely to have OSA.

Hormones

One possibility is sleep deprivation leads to low testosterone. One study found sleep deprivation lead to daytime testosterone levels decreasing by 10 to 15 percent. It appears normal testosterone production requires sleep. Lack of sleep can also increase the production of cortisone, the stress hormone, which hampers testosterone production.

It might not just be the lack of sleep, but also the lack of oxygen. Oxygen is an important part of healthy erections, and even if you maintain testosterone levels with OSA you might still suffer from ED. Chronically low oxygen levels at night negatively affect the vascular system and a healthy vascular system has a significant influence on the health of your penis.

Can I Treat ED with CPAP?

Yes, there is evidence that treating sleep apnea with CPAP can improve your sex life. Studies have shown that those who apply CPAP therapy experience an improvement in erections and enjoy a more satisfying sex life. In fact, men with CPAP have reported better erections even if they don’t suffer from ED.

Identifying sleep apnea is tricky because it happens while you sleep. Some common sleep apnea symptoms including constant daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, and migraines. If you think you suffer from sleep apnea, tell your physician and order a home sleep test.

 

 

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