The Exploring the Link between Sleep Apnea and Erectile Dysfunction
When it comes to sexual performance issues, there may be underlying factors at play. At Clinic for Him, we strive to pinpoint these factors and their impact on overall patient health. While lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can help, did you know that sleep quality can also significantly affect your sex life and contribute to ED?
The Connection between Sleep Apnea and Erectile Dysfunction
If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, it’s possible that you may also be suffering from sleep apnea. Understanding the relationship between sleep disorders and erections requires a grasp of what sleep apnea is and how it affects the body.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing is irregular, leading to interrupted sleep. This may be caused by relaxed throat muscles or respiratory problems associated with the nervous system. People with sleep apnea often wake up frequently during the night, sometimes with choking or gasping. Symptoms can include loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, stopped breathing during sleep, dry mouth, sore throat, high blood pressure, nighttime sweating, mood changes, irritability, limited attention span, waking up in the middle of the night to urinate (nocturia), insomnia, and decreased libido – a particularly significant symptom.
There are 3 types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – physical blockage of the airway due to relaxed throat muscles.
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) – the brain fails to transmit signals to your respiratory system, and is unable to control your breathing.
- Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CompSAS) – having both OSA and CSA
Testosterone is a crucial hormone for male organ growth and sexual characteristics, including libido. During sleep, testosterone levels are restored with the help of oxygen. However, irregular breathing caused by sleep apnea can lead to oxygen deprivation, negatively impacting testosterone levels and, in turn, reducing libido.
Poor sleep caused by sleep apnea can also result in symptoms such as irritability, mood changes, limited attention span, and nocturia, which can put a strain on relationships with partners. Loud snoring can also disturb a partner’s rest, leading to both partners experiencing sleep deprivation and increased likelihood of sexual dysfunction. Furthermore, lack of sleep can cause mood and mental health problems, leading to decreased awareness of a partner’s needs.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Most common risk factors for sleep apnea:
- Excess weight
- Narrowed airway
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Biological sex (males)
- Family history of sleep apnea
Is it Possible to Treat Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Sleep Apnea?
Since sleep plays a crucial role in sexual health, treating sleep apnea may also improve erectile dysfunction. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, reducing sedative use, and sleeping on one’s side may be recommended for those with sleep apnea. More advanced treatments for sleep apnea include the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-PAP) mouthpieces, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), and mandibular advancement devices (MADs).
Among these treatments, the CPAP machine is the most commonly used for cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome, which is the leading cause of sleep apnea worldwide.
What Are Other Effects of Sleep Apnea?
Having sleep apnea can even cause an increased risk of having complications such as:
- Daytime fatigue
- Cardiovascular problems (Hypertension and heart problems)
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Complications w/ medicine and surgery
- Eye problems
- Immune response weakness
- Liver problems
- Sleep-deprived partners and a disrupted intimate relationship
- Erectile dysfunction
Other ED Treatment Options
Here at Clinic for Him, we have an array of non-invasive treatments available such as oral medication, ™ Therapy, PRP™, and ReGen Therapy™.
It is important to note that studies resulted in inconclusive diagnosis’. Although sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction share many common health complications, treating sleep apnea cannot ensure the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
For more information about Clinic for Him’s ED treatments, please read here: