You may have concerns or questions about how using a CPAP machine may impact on your sex life. Please be reassured that it is safe to have sex when you have a diagnosis of sleep apnoea. You do not have to wear your CPAP while having sex, but it is safe to wear it if you wish to.
How can CPAP treatment help my sex life?
CPAP treatment can lead to an improvement in intimacy with your bedtime partner in a few different ways.
Treating your sleep apnoea with a CPAP machine may lead to an improvement in your energy levels and libido, and in men with the condition it can help resolve erectile dysfunction.
CPAP treatment has also been associated with mood improvement and a decrease in irritability, which may lead to an increase in sexual interest for yourself and your sexual partner.
If your bedtime partner has complained about your snoring and/ or sleeps in a separate room, your night time relationship and intimacy may be affected currently. Using your CPAP machine can reduce your snoring and pauses in your breathing and, as a result, may lead to your bedtime partner sleeping in the same room as you again. This may improve your night time relationship.
Concerns about your CPAP machine making you look unattractive
You may feel unattractive when wearing your mask or worry that you look less attractive to your bed partner. However, you only need to wear the mask when you go to sleep. You do not have to wear it during sex.
When wearing your CPAP mask, you can still share moments of intimacy with your bedtime partner such as cuddling. You may want to try being the “little spoon” with the tube faced away from you and your partner.
If you feel that by putting on the mask you are sending a message to your partner that you are not interested sex, tell your partner that this is not always the case and that you can remove the mask.
New bedtime partners
You may feel embarrassed initially when introducing the mask, but remember, you only need to wear the mask while you are sleeping and not during sex. You may want to try talking to your bedtime partner about your concerns and explain your medical needs.