Sexual function in women receiving maintenance dialysis

Hemodial Int. 2010 Jan;14(1):55-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-4758.2009.00404.x. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Abstract

While substantial attention has been paid to the issue of sexual dysfunction in men on chronic dialysis, less is known about this problem in women with end-stage renal disease. We sought to assess sexual dysfunction in women on chronic dialysis and determine whether patients discuss this problem with their providers and receive treatment. We prospectively enrolled women receiving chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis in Pittsburgh, PA. We asked patients to complete the 19-item Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) to assess sexual function and a 5-item survey that assessed whether patients had discussed sexual dysfunction with their providers and/or received treatment for this problem in the past. We enrolled 66 patients; 59 (89%) on hemodialysis and 7 (11%) on peritoneal dialysis. All patients completed the FSFI, of whom 53 (80%) had FSFI scores <26.55, consistent with the presence of sexual dysfunction. Of 37 patients who were married or residing with a significant other, 27 (73%) had sexual dysfunction. Among 24 participants who reported having been sexually active over the previous 4 weeks, 11 (46%) had sexual dysfunction. Only 21% of patients with sexual dysfunction had discussed this problem with their gynecologist, renal or primary provider, and 3 (6%) reported having received treatment. Sexual dysfunction is common in women on dialysis, even among patients who are married or residing with a significant other and those who are sexually active. However, few women discuss this issue with their providers or receive treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires