Sleep apnea: less good and less frequent erections

Sleep apnea: less good and less frequent erections

Philippe, 59, consults with Dr. Catherine Solano, a sexologist and andrologist (Cochin hospital, Paris). His concern: he has sleep apnea and has erectile dysfunction. He wonders if the poor quality of his sleep affects his libido.

Sleep apnea is a disorder that manifests as respiratory arrest that occurs during sleep at night. These stops cause micro-awakenings ... then breathing starts again. However, breathing pauses during sleep cause a lack of oxygen called hypoxia. And it is estimated that it is because of the lack of oxygen in the erectile bodies of the penis that erection problems can appear, a known side effect of sleep apnea.

On the other hand, in the apneic patient, REM sleep lasts less time. However, it is precisely during these phases that nocturnal erections occur, whose role is to maintain the proper functioning and elasticity of erectile bodies. Generally, they last about 25 minutes and occur 4 or 5 times a night. But in case of sleep apnea, they are less good and less frequent. The consequence is that erections linked to the sexual act also end up failing. And the more severe the sleep apnea, the more serious the erection problems.

What about desire? Almost half of men subject to severe sleep apnea experience a decrease in their sexual desire. Is it due to a poorer quality of erection, to fatigue linked to lack of restful sleep or to the drop in testosterone caused by the decrease in time and quality of sleep? No doubt a combination of these factors.
Sleep apnea, women too

Women with sleep apnea experience similar problems. Because in normal times, swelling of the clitoris and the tissues surrounding the vagina also occurs during REM sleep phases. In sleep apnea, the mechanism works less well, and this dysfunction is likely to cause poor vaginal lubrication as well as pain during sexual intercourse.

Women may also notice a decrease in their libido in case of severe sleep apnea. But this phenomenon in women has been little studied by researchers.
How to correct a drop in libido

It is very important to deal with sleep apnea first before taking erection medications, as these can worsen breathing pauses. This is why doctors do not prescribe testosterone. To treat, a positive pressure device is used. This device consists in applying pressurized air thanks to a mask placed on the patient's nose, so as to prevent the occurrence of apneas. This is effective for erection problems in 75% of cases (and probably also for female sexual dysfunctions). Treatment by positive pressure thus makes it possible to correct the drop in testosterone (and therefore, the drop in libido) due to sleep apnea.

Then, doctors can prescribe a drug from the Viagra family (Sildenafil, Tadalafil, Vardenafil or Avanafil), effective in improving erection in 50% of cases of severe apnea, and more in cases of mild apnea.

In women, we will rather use vulvar and vaginal lubricants or moisturizers.


Seorang Blogger pemula yang sedang belajar