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Sleep Apnea and Erectile Dysfunction: The Sex and Sleep Connection

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Not getting enough high-quality shut-eye on the regular due to sleep apnea can negatively affect your energy levels and alertness during the day. But, did you know that sleep apnea may be throwing a wrench in your sex life as well?

As it turns out, there is likely a link between having sleep apnea as a man and finding it more difficult to perform in the bedroom.

Below, we will outline this connection between ED and sleep apnea, go over the potential mechanism causing the association, and suggest ways that you may be able to improve erectile dysfunction concerns when you have sleep apnea.

Is there a connection between sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction?

There are a few studies citing the connection between a higher risk of ED in men with sleep apnea.

One study evaluated 401 men for sleep apnea using a sleep study, and for ED using a questionnaire. The study found that of the men that were found to have sleep apnea, 69% also had ED, while only 34% of the men without sleep apnea had ED.

Another study also found the rate of ED to be higher in men with obstructive sleep apnea. This study noted that ED may even be a sensitive marker for obstructive sleep apnea.

An additional study also confirms the relationship between sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction, suggesting that it may be beneficial to screen for ED in male sleep apnea patients.

What is the reason behind the increased risk of ED with sleep apnea?

The exact mechanism behind the connection between higher rates of ED in male sleep apnea patients may not yet be fully understood.

But, there are a few potential hypotheses.

Firstly, we know that sleep apnea causes the body to stop breathing for a short while until the brain jolts the person awake again, enough to start breathing once more. This causes temporary declines in nocturnal oxygen saturation. 

One study measured this nocturnal oxygen saturation in men with sleep apnea and ED, and found that a lower mean nocturnal oxygen saturation was also independently correlated with ED. The study concludes by saying that this suggests that intermittent nocturnal states of low blood oxygenation specifically contribute to the development of ED and overall sexual dysfunction

Other potential factors tying these two conditions together is the fact that sleep disorders may impact hormone levels, including testosterone. And, that if you are not sleeping well, it is possible that you are tired or in a worse mood often, and not feeling especially amourous.

Ways to help improve ED when you are dealing with sleep apnea

The best way to help get control of your ED, if it is mainly induced by sleep apnea, is to improve your sleep apnea.

Most people treat their sleep apnea by wearing a device called a CPAP machine while they sleep to help keep the airways open during the night.

Additionally, people may find improvements in their sleep apnea by losing weight, if they are overweight.

If you are already taking steps to improve your sleep apnea, but you are still experiencing erectile dysfunction, you may be able to use PDE-5 inhibitor ED medications like Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), or Avanafil (Stendra). This class of medications should not negatively affect your sleep apnea, and a doctor will review your currently prescribed medications and current conditions to make sure these are a good fit for you.

PDE-5 inhibitor medications work for the majority of men who experience ED.

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Here at Strut, we offer the most popular ED medications, Sildenafil (generic Viagra) and Tadalafil (generic Cialis), at affordable prices through our fast and easy-to-use telemedicine platform.

If you are dealing with ED symptoms and want to see if a prescription medication is a good fit for you, simply select the medication you want to try, and complete a free online questionnaire-based consultation in under 15 minutes. Our doctors will review your information and determine if you are a good fit for treatment. If you are, your medication will be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.

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