June 14, 2012

CPAP Improves Sex Lives?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — More than 100 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a sleep-related breathing disorder that occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway, causing the body to stop breathing during sleep. OSA disrupts sleep and can increase the risk of other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.

1 in 4 men have OSA which can result in various side effects including sexual dysfunction. Research has shown that erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in non-diabetic men with obstructive sleep apnea under the age of 60.
But, those men are seeing another potential benefit from continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP: improved sexual function and satisfaction.

A new study out of Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda, MD., revealed that sexual dysfunction can actually be improved in men with OSA. Researchers assessed the erectile dysfunction and libido of 92 men who were newly diagnosed with OSA and starting CPAP therapy. Nearly half of the men in the study reported the presence of ED.
The results show that CPAP improved the sexual function and satisfaction in the majority of men in the study regardless of their level of erectile function reported at the very start. Those with ED had more robust improvements and even many without ED reported improved sexual function and satisfaction.

The study's primary investigator, Joseph Dombrowsky, MD., was quoted as saying, “We were surprised at how prevalent ED is in a relatively young population of men with sleep apnea. The average age was 45, but we were similarly surprised at how robust a clinically significant response the men had with CPAP therapy."

CPAP is the most common and effective treatment for OSA. The steady flow of air from a CPAP machine keeps the airway open and restores normal oxygen levels during sleep. This helps maintain a steady, healthy level of breathing through the night.

SOURCE: SLEEP 2012, the 26th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS)