Sexual dysfunction in women during dialysis and after renal transplantation

J Sex Med. 2009 Nov;6(11):3125-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01400.x. Epub 2009 Jul 21.


Introduction: Disorders of the reproductive system and menstrual abnormalities often associated with loss of libido and inability to reach orgasm are common in adults of both sexes with an end-stage renal disease. These symptoms may significantly contribute to depression and reduce the sexual activity of women.

Aim: To determine if sexual function, as well as hormonal status, improves after kidney transplantation, comparing a group of pre-menopausal women during dialysis and after a successful renal transplantation.

Methods: We enrolled 58 women that received kidney transplantation. Patients included were 18-45 years old, on hemodialysis for more than 6 months following a fully functioning kidney transplantation, and on a stable corticosteroids immunosuppressive regimen for at least 6 months. All women underwent a general and urogynecological examination, a hormonal profile determination, and filled out the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and a Beck Depression Inventory questionnaire administered during dialysis and 12 months after transplantation.

Main outcome measures: We evaluated the prevalence of Female Sexual Dysfunction according to the FSFI cutoff points, sexual hormonal status, and menstrual status during dialysis and 12 months after kidney transplantation.

Results: Nineteen out of 58 women left the study prematurely. Thirty-nine women (mean age 36 +/- 5.9 years) completed the study. A total of 74% of the patients had menstrual disturbances during dialysis, as opposed to 45% after transplantation (P < 0.001). Sixteen out of 39 (41%) patients acknowledged having an active sexual life during dialysis. Thirty-four out of 39 (88%) transplanted patients acknowledged having an active sexual life (Fischer's exact test P = 0.000039). The hormonal profile and FSFI results improved significantly after transplantation.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that a successful transplantation should improve the sexual life in women with chronic renal failure.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Kidney Transplantation / psychology*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Menstruation / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects
  • Renal Dialysis / psychology*
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Estradiol
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone