Reversing infertility with sleep apnea treatment

American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Couples who are having trouble getting pregnant should consider their sleep health. A study in the journal Sleep and Breathing found that treating sleep apnea may help reverse infertility. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with numerous health problems. Changes in the serum prolactin (PRL) secretion, which affects fertility, is one of these issues.

This study examined the effect of CPAP therapy on the serum PRL in patients with OSA. The study included 10 men. Seven men were obese and three were overweight. The men were 57 years of age on average. They experienced five to 28 pauses in breath per hour of sleep. Each man received an overnight sleep study. Serum PRL was measured at 7:00 a.m. after the sleep study, and again after 11 to 39 months of CPAP therapy.

The results found that CPAP therapy was associated with a significant decrease in serum PRL levels. It lowered and, in some cases, normalized the serum PRL in OSA patients. Several studies have investigated this topic in the past but have had mixed results.

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