How can sleep apnea affect desire for sexual activity?

Science is increasingly focusing its attention on the hormone testosterone -- which is affected by sleep and in turn affects sexual function -- as an important factor in the sexual problems associated with sleeplessness. Among sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) often is particularly -- and incorrectly -- associated as somehow a “men’s issue,” which likely accounts for the difference in the amount of attention that has been paid to its effects on men’s sexual function versus women’s. Numerous studies have shown that sleep apnea, untreated, can have serious consequences for men’s sexual function. One study showed that men with erectile dysfunction are more than twice as likely to have OSA than those without -- and the more serious the erectile dysfunction, the more likely it is that the man also has sleep apnea.
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Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is interrupted during sleep or you breathe shallowly while sleeping. It is not only a risk factor for heart attack; it can also affect sexual activity. Interrupted sleep causes fatigue, which can decrease your interest in sexual activity.

Treatment of sleep apnea can decrease fatigue. Treatment usually consists of using a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine at night, which uses mild air pressure through a face mask to keep your airways open.

Continue Learning about Sex Drive (Libido)

Sex Drive (Libido)

Sex Drive (Libido)

Medical problems, stress and aging are just some of things that can lead to problems with sex drive, or libido. Female sexual problems are very different from male sexual problems (including penis disorders), but both men and wome...

n are influenced by hormonal changes that could affect their interest in sex. Your doctor can help diagnose low libido and work with you and your partner to determine the cause. Learn more about ways to improve sex drive with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.