Sleep Apnea As A Cause For Erectile Dysfunction?

Believe it or not, there are tons of studies showing a strong link between obstructive sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction (ED). It’s not too surprising, since obstructive sleep apnea causes a stress response that upsets the relative balance that’s needed for proper sexual functioning. This applies to women as well as men.

Arousal is activated by the parasympathetic part of the involuntary nervous system. This is the rest and relaxation half of the autonomic nervous system. Orgasm is activated by the sympathetic nervous system, or the fight or flight half of your autonomic nervous system. It makes sense that if there’s too much physiologic stress from chronic long-term sleep deprivation, then by suppressing the parasympathetic nervous system, arousal won’t happen too readily.

A recent study out of Turkey showed that people with severe obstructive sleep apnea have a higher likelihood of having ED, and that treating this condition can significantly improve this condition, as well as obstructive sleep apnea. These results are not too revolutionary, but taken along with various past studies showing similar findings, it makes me wonder if everyone with ED should at least be screened.

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One thought on “Sleep Apnea As A Cause For Erectile Dysfunction?

  1. Yes I agree everyone with ED should be screened. I started having ED problems long before I got diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. By the time I got diagnosed I was having almost complete ED.

    Amazingly only after 1 or 2 nights on CPAP the ED vastly improved. It was like a miracle. Also nocturnal erections (during REM) returned which had also stopped before treatment.