Does obstructive sleep apnea cause erectile dysfunction (ED)?

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Impotence affects millions of men worldwide. And, to learn about the secrets to hard-rock erections, you should first understand erectile dysfunction causes.

Of the many reasons for the development of ED, one is Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Many may not believe that, but it’s true.

Experts believe that men with OSA are more likely to experience erection problems regardless of the age.


So, what does OSA have to do with erectile function? How to solve the problem?

Read along to get the detailed answers to these questions.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that is related to the process of breathing during sleep. It occurs when throat muscles relax, thus blocking the airway.

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Interruptions to sleep can be caused by busy office hours or stressful life. However, other causes of OSA may include insomnia, circadian rhythm dysfunction, and a restless body.

What makes OSA patients struggle in the bedroom?

OSA can lead to the development of several factors, which are related to erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • Low testosterone levels:

Low-t is one of the main causes of erectile dysfunction for men in their 50s.

One of the major side-effects of sleep loss is hypogonadal symptoms, which is a sign of low testosterone levels. And, improved sleep can result in better testosterone production, thus healthy ere.

According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, treating OSA with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (CPAP) can help men restore erectile function.

As per a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, participants who underwent Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) had healthy erections than those who didn’t have the surgery.

  • Obesity:

Lack of sleep can leave you feeling stressed and tired, thus leading to weight gain.

Extra body weight can result in narrowing the airways, causing breathing problems and thus OSA.

Read MoreHow healthy foods can help you get off erection problems?

Also, obesity is linked to heart stroke, diabetes, and many other medical conditions, which are erectile dysfunction causes.

  • Depression:

Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to fatigue, insomnia, and headache. All these conditions are linked to depression.

A study published in the National Institute of Health in 2014 concluded that 46% of people with OSA had depression, which is one of the erectile dysfunction psychological causes.

  • Infertility:

As discussed above, men with poor sleep have low-t, which in turn can affect their sperm quality. Also, low testosterone levels is one of the erectile dysfunction causes in men of all age groups.

Researchers from Spain proved that there’s a direct link between OSA and male fertility. They concluded that intermittent disruptions to breathing, which cause obstructive sleep apnea, can lead to diminished fertility in men.

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What are treatment options?

In many cases, treating sleep apnea works as a wonderful erectile dysfunction treatment and reduces the symptoms.

Here are some effective methods for men to get off OSA and ED:

  • Exercise regularly: Exercising can help alleviate depression, obesity, and heart problems, thus solving erection problems.
  • Stop drinking alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can lead to sleep apnea. And, it’s also one of the major erectile dysfunction causes in young men. Thus, if you avoid this bad habit, you can have a good night sleep and restore erectile function.
  • Stop taking sleeping pills: Sleeping pills don’t treat sleep apnea, and may have certain side effects. And, they may also put you in other medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc., which have a direct link with ED.
  • Correct your sleep position: A 2006 study shows that sleep position plays a crucial role in the development of OSA. Sleeping on your back (supine position) can worsen the OSA symptoms while sleeping on your side can bring the breathing back to normal.

Read More7 Quick Lifestyle Tips to Avoid Erectile Dysfunction


So, the bottom line is—improving the amount and quality of sleep can help people cure anxiety, depression and obstructive sleep apnea. This can be beneficial for erectile dysfunction treatment.

Healthy lifestyle choices are proven to be helpful for OSA treatment. If you’re getting difficulty in dealing with obstructive sleep apnea, consult with a certified doctor.

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