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CPAP Device Does Not Interfere With Sex Life, Study Says

Nov 28, 2014

CPAP Device Does Not Interfere With Sex Life, Study SaysUsing a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea doesn’t appear to disrupt patients’ sex lives, researchers have found.

A person with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has a blocked airway passage that causes breathing to stop for several short periods during sleep. These intervals can last for a few seconds to a few minutes. Untreated OSA can lead to heart problems and stroke. The condition has also been linked to erectile dysfunction (ED).

One common treatment for OSA is a CPAP machine. This device helps keep the airway open, making it easier for the person to breathe normally during sleep. Users of a CPAP machine wear a mask and hose connected the device.

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Unfortunately, many patients feel that the mask and hose make them less sexually attractive. The machine can also get in the way of foreplay. For these reasons, some people do not use the machine as they should.

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Researchers from Rosalind Franklin University wanted to know more about the sexual quality of life for compliant CPAP users (those who use their machine more than 4 hours a night for 70% of the time) and noncompliant users (those who use their machine less often). Does the machine really make a difference in people’s sex lives?

Fifty-two men participated in the study. For the most part, the men were in their fifties. Twenty-seven men were compliant CPAP users; the remaining 25 were not. The men completed a standardized assessment tool called the Sexual Life Quality Questionnaire.

After adjusting the data for confounding variables, such as age, body mass index, and the presence of ED, the researchers found that the men’s scores were similar, regardless of whether they were considered compliant or noncompliant.

“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 authors explained.

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In other words, the CPAP machine did not appear to make a difference in the sexual quality of life for these men.

The findings were presented in October at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Austin, Texas. They were also published in abstract form in the journal CHEST.


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Resources

American College of Chest Physicians

“Study shows CPAP use for sleep apnea does not negatively impact sexual quality of life”

(Press release. October 21, 2014)

http://www.chestnet.org/News/Press-Releases/2014/10/Study-shows-CPAP-use-for-sleep-apnea-does-not-negatively-impact-sexual-quality-of-life

CHEST Journal

Alim, Salmon, et al.

“Effect of PAP Compliance on Sexual Quality of Life”

(Abstract presented October 26, 2014 at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Austin, TX)

http://journal.publications.chestnet.org/article.aspx?articleid=1913450&resultClick=1

HealthDay

Preidt, Robert

“Sleep Apnea Gear Doesn't Squelch Sex Life, Study Says”

(October 22, 2014)

http://consumer.healthday.com/pregnancy-information-29/love-sex-and-relationship-health-news-452/sleep-apnea-getup-doesn-t-squelch-sex-life-study-says-692939.html