Sexual Dysfunction

Lack of Sleep Contributes to a Lack of Sex

Sleep experts believe that the link between lack of sleep and a lack of sex may be due to the body’s levels of the sex hormone, testosterone, which naturally rise while we sleep.

women in bed
woman with aging skin from sleep apnea, OSA

Sleep Apnea And Erectile Dysfunction


5 Facts You Should Know

There is a lot of information about Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and fatigue, high blood pressure, risk of heart disease and stroke. However, one issue that is not as widely talked about is sleep apnea and Erectile Dysfunction (ED).

  1. An impressive amount of continued research finds that having sleep apnea can be a drag on your love life, causing erectile dysfunction in men as well as a loss of libido in women.
  2. An overwhelming amount of past studies in men have shown a spike in erectile dysfunction among men who suffer from sleep apnea. A study done in Germany reported that 70 percent of men seeking sleep apnea treatment also suffered from ED.
  3. In particular, one study suggests that men with erectile dysfunction (ED) should be screened for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). After adjusting for age and other health conditions, they found patients with ED were more than twice as likely to have sleep apnea than their counterparts.
  4. In other studies, doctors assessed patients with ED for evidence of sleep disordered breathing. They found that a whopping 91.3% of men with ED also had OSA.
  5. The researchers have stopped short of recommending ED drugs for men with sleep apnea, but they note that using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to treat sleep apnea can help with erectile dysfunction.
women with sexual dysfunctional

Women, like men, are also likely to find their sexual lives negatively affected by obstructive sleep apnea. Several studies have found strong correlations between obstructive sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction in women. As obstructive sleep apnea grows worse, problems with sexual function — including sensation and desire — become more serious, according to this research. According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, women aged 28 to 64 with sleep apnea were significantly more likely to suffer from loss of libido and sexual dysfunction. Women are particularly at risk for un-diagnosed sleep problems, including sleep-disordered breathing. Women who are experiencing problems with sexual function should have their sleep evaluated. This works in both directions: Women who are being treated for sleep problems — particularly obstructive sleep apnea — should work with their physician to assess the potential effect of their sleep disorder on their sexual health.

In the study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers evaluated the sexual function of 25 premenopausal women (average age, 48) diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea at a university sleep center in Turkey.
All the women were married. They had an average frequency of sexual intercourse of about three times per month.
The women’s sleep apnea was classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the severity of breathing disturbances during sleep.

woman with sleep apnea and loss of libido

The results showed that as the severity of sleep apnea increased, sexual function scores decreased among the women for all measures except pain and enjoyment.

Researchers found women with severe sleep apnea had significantly reduced sexual desire, sensation, lubrication, orgasm, and quality of partner relationships compared with women with mild cases of the sleep disorder — even after accounting for increasing age or illnesses.

Researcher Nalan Köseoðlu, MD, of Dokuz Eylül University Hospital in Izmir, Turkey, and colleagues say up to 93% of women with moderate to severe sleep apnea are unaware of their condition, which may be negatively affecting their sex lives as well as the quality of their sleep.

happy couple after using CPAP machine to cure OSA, sleep apnea

The good news is that treatments for obstructive sleep apnea such as CPAP and APAP therapy, dental appliances, weight loss etc. — are safe and effective and can get you back in the game. Don’t let OSA get in the way of you and your partner enjoying life and all that it can offer, together.

Making the decision to consult a physician is the first important step, one that unfortunately can still be a difficult one for both sexes. Men and women who are struggling with issues related to sexual function should have a sleep evaluation.

Our telemedicine practice makes it easier for people to access care they need to treat sleep apnea and help with loss of sexual libido. Research suggests that people who use our telemedicine platform spend less time at a doctor’s office and less time commuting.

Using our telemedicine platform allows patients to access care in the comfort and privacy of their own home. This may mean that a person does not have to take time off work or arrange childcare.

Schedule Your Appointment today for your initial consult with one of our sleep doctors using our, at home, telemedicine platform.

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*Dr. Vaysbrot
Neurology: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2008
Sleep Medicine: American Board of Medical Specialties, 2011

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