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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Linked to Sexual Dysfunction in Both Men and Women

Dec 01, 2015

Overall, the consulted studies included 1,275 participants.

The researchers found that men with OSA had an 82% increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). And women with OSA were twice as likely to have sexual dysfunction as those without the condition.

Many OSA patients use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. This treatment includes a mask connected to a special machine designed to keep the airway open. The researchers found that CPAP therapy could help men with OSA and ED. It might help women with OSA and sexual problems as well, they noted.

They also explained that OSA might interfere with the production of sex hormones like testosterone and reduce the body’s levels of nitric oxide, an important compound for sexual function. Metabolic syndrome - a group of conditions that includes insulin resistance, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity – could be involved, too.

 “Our results suggest that it is important to recognize the adverse effects of OSA on the sexual function,” the authors concluded.


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Resources

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Liu, Luhao, MD, et al.

“Sexual Dysfunction in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”

(Full-text. First published online: September 22, 2015)

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsm.12983/full

MedlinePlus

“Obstructive sleep apnea – adults”

(Updated: February 2, 2015)

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000811.htm

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