Can CPAP Compliance Improve Your Sexual Performance?

Can CPAP Compliance Improve Your Sexual Performance?

The struggle to increase CPAP compliance among users continues to be a major problem in achieving better health outcomes for millions of sleep apnea sufferers. Although different people respond to different stimuli regarding news of the negative health effects of untreated sleep apnea as well as the positive effects of treatment via CPAP therapy, recent studies may be shedding light on what may be a game-changer for many men. This is because several recent studies have shown that adherence to CPAP therapy can have a big impact on sexual functionality in men with OSA.

For some time now, researchers have known that OSA can increase the incidence of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men in study after study. More recent research has concentrated on the effects of CPAP therapy on patients exhibiting ED symptoms. A study by a sleep researcher at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital provides the most recent evidence. The study showed that of 61 men with long-term ED symptoms and OSA, virtually all saw increased sexual arousal, satisfaction, and quality of life after use of CPAP therapy for 12 weeks.

happy couple with cpap

There have been other studies that demonstrate how CPAP compliance can have a positive effect on sexual performance for men with OSA. While several of the studies have concentrated on older men with some level of ED, a 2012 article in the Journal U.S. Medicine reported on a study of middle-aged and younger men with both OSA and ED.

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center researchers assessed the erectile function and libido of 92 non-diabetic men who were newly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and prescribed CPAP therapy. With half of the men in the study complaining of ED before treatment, the entire group was put on CPAP therapy and assessed after one, three, and six months.

The results showed that the vast majority of study participants reported improved sexual function and satisfaction. What may be the most interesting aspect of this study is that even those men that had reported no ED before the study saw improved sexual function and satisfaction with CPAP therapy. A follow-up questionnaire reveals that regular use of CPAP came with an 88.3 percent improvement in overall sexual satisfaction, a 71.7 percent improvement in erectile dysfunction, and 41.2 percent experiencing a normalization of erectile function.

A recent Medscape article discussing the effects of OSA and ED provided a roundup of studies over the last several years that also showed significant improvements in sexual function with CPAP therapy for men with OSA. It is hopeful that these study results will have an immediate impact on CPAP compliance levels, which by most accounts still hover disturbingly low.

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.