Can a sleep study help with low testosterone?

This question was asked in Dogwood Acres, Texas on 04/10/2012.
My husband's doctor wants him to have a sleep study done before starting treatment for low testosterone.

Doctors Answers (7)

Lawrence J. Epstein, MD
Answered on: 9/14/2012

Testosterone is a hormone that affects sexual and reproductive development and characteristics. Studies have shown that taking testosterone can cause sleep apnea in some people as well as worsen existing sleep apnea. Physicians should screen patients for the presence of sleep apnea before starting testosterone therapy and monitor for the development of sleep apnea in those on treatment. The screen may include a sleep study. Individuals identified with sleep apnea should start on treatment prior to testosterone therapy.

Terry M. Himes, DO
Answered on: 4/23/2012

To answer your question in a word, No. The identification of Sleep-Apnea thru a diagnostic sleep study often can help the identification of Erectile Dysfunction issues. Not Testosterone. Of course low Testosterone with age can cause multi-issues for a male. The first line of Therapy, which is CPAP to treat Apnea, often helps with co-morbidity issues such as E.D. I hope this satisfactorily answers your question. If I might suggest, your visiting our website and having your husband fill out our "Complimentary Consult Survey" This could qualify him for a consult with one of our Sleep Staff Physicians.

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 4/11/2012

That is a good idea. Testosterone is linked with worsening of sleep breathing disorder such as sleep apnea. Also, some symptoms such as fatigue and tiredness, are associated both with sleep apnea and low testosterone. Sleep study help's determine if sleep apnea is contributing to symptoms because if someone gets started on testosterone with un-treated sleep apnea, their symptoms may not get better, infact may get worse.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 4/11/2012

Men with Obstructive Sleep Apnea often have lower testosterone levels which rise when the sleep apnea is treated with CPAP therapy. Excessive amounts of testosterone entering the system either through large doses or more rapid absorption of the hormone can aggravate sleep apnea by enlarging the tissues in the throat. A sleep study will tell if sleep apnea is present which would likely result in the doctor being more cautious about the dosing of testosterone. If sleep apnea is not present then there may be a need to look for other causes for low testosterone.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 4/11/2012

Yes, treating sleep apnea will help with testosterone production. If your husband has sleep apnea then his sleep disordered breathing could be worsened by the use of the testosterone as a medicinal therapy. If sleep disordered breathing is demonstrated on the sleep study then this needs to be treated to see if supplemental treatment is still necessary.

Marjorie Yong, M.D.
Answered on: 4/11/2012

Testosterone can affect weight, and weight can affect sleep. Also, sleep apnea can worsen a person's weight as well. It is a vicious cycle. His doctor is trying to stabilize at least one of the medical issues that your husband is suffering from.

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 4/10/2012

Untreated OSA can result in decreased levels of testosterone. If the OSA gets treated testosterone may normalize.