Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction are more than twice as likely to have a condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Who says? Researchers that looked into the relationship between sleep problems in men and sexual performance. As HealthDay explains, OSA is a disorder that occurs during sleep, in which a person's upper airway temporarily collapses, causing them to snore heavily and even momentarily stop breathing.
In the study of over 800 men, the average age of the patients in the study population was 47 years old, with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 30.2 (considered obese). Sixty-three percent of the patients screened positive for OSA, 5.6 percent had a history of diabetes, and 29 percent had a smoking history. After adjusting for age and these other factors, the likelihood of men having OSA increased as the severity of their erectile dysfunction increased. From their findings, researchers suggest that men with erectile dysfunction should also be screened for sleep apnea.
What’s the connection? Breathing problems as a result of sleep apnea can temporarily reduce blood oxygen levels, leading to everything from fatigue (and just being too tired for sex) to problems with sperm production. Your guy might not know if he has sleep apnea—but you probably do!
If erectile dysfunction is getting in the way of your baby-making plans, make sure any sleep problems, including heavy snoring or sleep apnea, get mentioned when you and partner decide to seek fertility assistance. If this latest study is correct, treating sleep apnea (usually by wearing a sleep mask to improve breathing) might improve your man’s sexual performance—and come with the added bonus of helping you get a good night’s sleep, too.