A sore penis can be a bother, but when it happens only occasionally, it’s something a guy lives with. Besides, a sore penis is often a result of some very enthusiastic and/or lengthy sex (whether with a partner or with one’s own hand), and the enjoyment a guy experiences may be worth the occasional minor deviation from proper penis care. But sometimes a sore penis is a common thing - and it may occur without the benefits of aggressive sex. If that’s the case, finding out the cause becomes important - and in some instances, sleep apnea may be behind that penis pain.

Sleep apnea

In recent years, sleep apnea has moved a bit closer into the public consciousness, but many people still are not necessarily aware of exactly what it is. As Wikipedia explains it, sleep apnea is "a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep." These pauses can vary in length - some are only a couple of second, others may last a few minutes - and they tend to happy several times during the course of what should be a good night’s sleep. Many people with sleep apnea also exhibit bouts of very loud snoring (often to their partners’ annoyance.) because of the interrupted breathing, many people with sleep apnea feel very tired during the day, even after sleeping for a regular amount of time.

Men are about twice as likely to have sleep apnea as women, and people who are overweight also have a higher risk. Treatment typically involves lifestyle changes (such as losing weight or stopping smoking.) Many people now use what is called a CPAP machine, which is intended to help keep airway passages open while sleeping and so lessen the chance of breathing interruptions.

And the sore penis?

So why is a sore penis sometimes associated with sleep apnea? Basically, researchers have discovered a greater likelihood of sleep-related painful erections and sleep apnea.

Sleep-related painful erection is a fairly rare condition, with only about one percent of men estimated to be affected by it (however, it should be noted that some researchers believe the condition is under-reported). As the name implies, the disorder is marked by the presence of a very painful erection (or erections) while sleeping. Specifically, this occurs only with erections attained during REM sleep; erections during non-REM sleep are not affected.

With this condition, the penis pain is such that it awakens the man - and he often has difficulty returning to sleep for some time afterward. Thus not only is the man dealing with a sore penis but also with interrupted sleep.

Doctors are not sure why some men experience these painful erections as a result of sleep apnea. But the use of CPAP machines, while it treats the apnea, does not seem to have an impact on the painful erections. Use of beta blockers has had some success in treating the erections, as had use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs.

Since there is still much that is not known about the connection between the conditions, individuals with sleep apnea who find themselves with a sore penis should consult with their doctor to determine what strategies they should follow to address the issue.

When a sore penis comes from regular overuse instead of sleep apnea, soothing help can be found in a first class penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). A crème that contains both a high end emollient (like shea butter) and a natural moisturizer (such as vitamin E), can help a penis recover from everyday soreness. It also helps to find a crème with L-carnitine. Why? Because overuse often diminishes penis sensitivity, and L-carnitine can help restore lost sensation in the penis.