Obstructive sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction: still a neglected risk factor?

Abstract

Introduction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a well-known entity with determined risk factors, which generally has a negative impact on quality of life. Obstructive sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), often referred to as obstructive sleep apnea, stands among the possible risk factors for ED.

Discussion

Literature review suggests that SDB induces a spectrum of abnormalities in neural, hormonal, and vascular regulation that may contribute to the development of ED. While more studies are required to imply SDB as a risk factor for ED, several case series and expert opinion have contributed evidence for a causal relationship.

Conclusion

In clinical practice, men presenting with symptoms of sexual dysfunction often have concomitant sleep disorders requiring treatment. There is now evidence to suggest that treating SDB may be an effective treatment for ED. It is the authors’ opinion that patients with erectile dysfunction would benefit from a sleep evaluation.

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Zias, N., Bezwada, V., Gilman, S. et al. Obstructive sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction: still a neglected risk factor?. Sleep Breath 13, 3–10 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-008-0212-8

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Keywords

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Testosterone
  • CPAP
  • Obesity
  • OSA