Sleep apnea causes a lack of sleep and disruption of oxygen flow, but it doesn't mean it will disrupt your mojo, according to a study published in the Oct. 21 issue of CHEST.
If you have ever heard someone snore, stop snoring, then gasp and choke before continuing their nasal nighttime lullaby, you have heard someone having an apneic episode. Sleep apnea causes sleep deprivation and oxygen starvation which can lead to hypertension, heart disease, mood swings, memory issues and increases the risk of a driver falling asleep behind the wheel, according to the National Sleep Foundation. More than 18 million American adults have some form of sleep apnea, whether central or obstructive.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is fairly common in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Anywhere from 24 to 64 percent of Americans suffer from ED and OSA, according to the study. Though consistent use of a positive airway pressure (PAP) device can help alleviate ED issues, some patients are self-conscious about the mask and the hose, which can reduce compliance. Patients may also feel that the PAP interferes with foreplay, according to the study.
The study used 52 participants who were screened by standardized questionnaires about their sexual life quality, compliance of PAP use, BMI, possible depression, presence of ED and use of phosphodiesterase (drugs like Viagra).
"This study found that SQOL scores were similar between the compliant vs. noncompliant group," Dr. Mark J. Rosen, medical director of the American College of Chest Physicians, told Science Daily.
"It appears that PAP compliance does not affect sexual quality of life in patients with sleep apnea," the study concluded. "Despite the unsexy presence of PAP device in the bedroom, patients not compliant with CPAP do not have a better sexual quality of life than patients compliant with CPAP."
The findings were presented on Oct. 26 at the CHEST 2014, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Austin, Texas.