Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sexual Dysfunction Screening Recommended for OSA Patients

A new study found that women with OSA have a high prevalence of sexual dysfunction. The study was published in the February issue of Sleep and Breathing.

It included 21 women with OSA. Each woman took a sleep test and produced a Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI) of more than five. This number indicates that they all suffered from at least mild sleep apnea.

The women were ages 18 to 40. They were all pre-menopausal.

Eleven otherwise healthy women formed the control group. They did not show signs of sleep apnea and did not take a sleep study. They were also pre-menopausal.

All of the women took a Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. They also took a mood test.

The FSFI has 19 items broken up into six domains, such as arousal and satisfaction.

The results indicated that how a woman rated her arousal depended on how many times she woke up throughout the night because of her sleep apnea. The higher the woman’s RDI, the lower her arousal rating.

There was no difference in the moods of the OSA patients and control subjects. Their similar moods indicated that the variance in arousal was independent of mood.

The numbers given for the six domains make up the FSFI score. A poor score is anything under 23. More than half of the female OSA patients had a score less than 23. In the control group, none of the women had a score lower than 23.

These results are supported by a small study in Turkey, which also found that women with OSA experience sexual dysfunction.

The researchers suggest that doctors screen their female OSA patients for sexual dysfunction.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.