If a woman develops a condition for which a CPAP machine is needed, most commonly sleep apnea, it’s crucial that she use it to benefit from the therapy as much as possible. Sometimes using a CPAP machine is not going to make you feeling particularly attractive, and a woman who uses a CPAP machine is often going to find that she has trouble feeling sexy – after all, the CPAP machine needs to be used at night, and being intimate while wearing one will take some getting used to.
This can mean that a woman who is in a sexual relationship and who wants to feel good in that relationship might find problems with using a CPAP machine, no matter how important it is. Let’s look at why this happens, and what can be done about it.
Sex Isn’t Just About Sex
For women, intimacy is not something that starts in the bedroom. It’s a far more complex and complicated situation than this, and the fact is if a woman is feeling good about herself and her environment, she is much more likely to feel sexually attractive. And this is something that builds during the day and directly impacts a woman’s desire for sex – or lack of desire, as the case may be.
Walking into the bedroom and seeing the CPAP machine can undo much of this good feeling in a single moment; just the idea of what she might look like with the mask on could mean that any desire for intimacy she might have had will disappear.
Lack Of Sleep
We all know how terrible and unhappy we feel after a bad night’s sleep. The idea of being intimate is not going to be the first thing in a woman’s mind if she is suffering from a lack of sleep. In fact, she may experience moodiness and irritability. However, these symptoms aren’t just experienced by women, they are the effects of anyone who isn’t getting the right amount of sleep.
Not only that, but as the study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows, lack of sleep will accelerate the aging process. It’s worrying to find out that just one night of poor quality sleep can have a negative impact on cell rejuvenation, leading to premature aging. This shows that there is a link between sleep deprivation and the process of biological aging. This can exacerbate some diseases and conditions, but as well as this, it can cause a woman to feel less attractive.
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to self-care for women. When we sleep, the brain can ‘reset’ and refocus on the next day’s challenges. Without enough sleep, this doesn’t have time to happen, and we awake feeling just as worried and worn as we did when we went to sleep – this is clearly not good for mental health. Sleep also ensures that we are able to keep our weight in check, as the body burns more fat when it’s sleeping. Plus, you’ll feel more productive and energized the next day, ready to take on whatever challenges come your way. All in all, sleeping well offers a huge number of benefits.
The CPAP machine, as unattractive as it might make you feel, will allow for a better night’s sleep, making you feel more active and healthier overall, and reducing the aging effects that poor sleep will have on your skin and body.
Some women experience difficulties with sex, and a study has shown that women who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea actually have a higher risk of developing these difficulties. Ranging from low libido, to painful sex and an inability to achieve an orgasm, these issues will clearly cause some women to feel much less sexual desire than others.
However, in an interesting counterpoint to this, another study has shown that after 12 months of consistently using a CPAP machine, these problems were much less pronounced, even disappearing altogether, with many participants showing a much increased level of sexual desire.
In simple terms, even if the CPAP machine initially causes you to have sexual problems, if you stay with it and keep using it – which is ideal for your health and is recommended – then it could be that within a year those sexual issues have dissipated.
How To Enjoy intimacy While Using CPAP Treatment
Any woman who is using a CPAP machine should be able to be intimate if she chooses, even if the machine itself can be an obstacle at first. Read on for some useful tips to ensure that the machine does not reduce your intimate moments or the pleasure gained from them in any way.
To begin with, you can try having a bedtime routine where you and your partner can be intimate before you start to use the CPAP machine. If you both go to bed at the same time, for example, intimacy can occur before the machine is switched on for the night. This way, you can focus on one another and not have to concern yourself with the machine at all.
Another tip would be to hide the CPAP out of sight when it is not being used. You can then enter the bedroom and enjoy being with your partner without catching sight of the CPAP machine, which might damper your sexual desire. Having said this, if you are with a new partner, the fact that you need to use a CPAP machine for health reasons isn’t something you should hide from them; this can cause even more anxiety and problems with intimacy later on in the relationship.
Something else to bear in mind is that your CPAP machine is about your health, your comfort and your self-care. Using it is not something to be ashamed of, and it’s something that you can be grateful for. If you can do this, your partner will start to feel the same way about it (just as, if you show that you dislike or even detest it, your partner will feel the same way in that regard too) making it much less of an issue for both of you.
Of course, just because you are wearing your CPAP mask, that doesn’t mean that sex is off the table; the mask can always be removed. Make this clear to your partner so that they don’t feel it is a barrier to a sexual relationship with you. CPAP therapy and a healthy sex life can coexist so long as you take the steps to integrate this new part of your routine into your life properly.