Sleep Apnea and Erectile Dysfunction

Men with sleep apnea may suffer from a treatable form of erectile dysfunction caused by regular deprivation of oxygen experienced during these episodes of obstructed breathing, a new report says.

Those findings come from lab tests on mice, but the researchers say that erectile dysfunction (ED) is common among men with obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing stops several times per night.

In this study, male mice showed far less sexual activity within a week of being exposed to brief moments of oxygen deprivation during sleep. This includes attempts to mate with female mice and spontaneous erections.

The researchers ground up Cialis pills and mixed them into peanut butter for the male mice. The mice became more sexually active, but not quite as active as they had been prior to the study.

Testosterone wasn’t the problem; testosterone levels were unaffected by sleep apnea, and there were no problems with the anatomy of the mice, either.
The mice did have; however, lower levels of an enzyme needed to make nitric oxide and may have needed it to assist with their blood flow for erections.

The good news for patients with both OSA and ED is that treatment for sleep apnea through continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP), together with drug therapy, has been shown to improve symptoms of ED. If you’re worried you may have sleep apnea or erectile dysfunction, consult the specialists at PrimeMedical today!

PrimeMedical continues to accept new patients, Medicare and most insurance. Call our office today to schedule your comprehensive exam at 310.548.0201!

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