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Sex And Kidney Disease

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can have a major impact on the sexual behavior of both men and women. Sexuality has a physical and emotional component, and both can be affected by the physical and emotional components of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Sexual dysfunction is common in both men and women with chronic ren

al failure. Erectile dysfunction (ED), commonly known as impotence, affects many men, even those without kidney disease.

Although male fertility may remain normal with kidney disease, loss of sex drive and impotence (the inability to get an erection) are very common. Erection problems (difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection) are very common in men with chronic kidney disease. Both men and women with chronic kidney disease may have difficulty getting started or wanting to have sex. Assessing sexual function in women may be more difficult than in men, which may explain the lack of research on sexual dysfunction in women with chronic kidney disease.

One study used telephone interviews and questionnaires. To better determine the prevalence and associated factors of sexual dysfunction in women with renal disease, a comprehensive assessment of sexual function in women with various stages of CKD using validated tools, such as the FSFI, is required. Unfortunately, there are not enough comprehensive studies of women with chronic renal failure. Further research should explore whether improved care or better access to health care and services for people with kidney failure could help reduce this gender disparity. Previous studies have not found that women with renal insufficiency are more likely to develop gastrointestinal disease than men with renal insufficiency, suggesting gender differences in treatment response and long-term outcomes. Shrinks over time in women and men with renal insufficiency.

Kidney Transplant

A successful transplant is the most effective means of restoring normal sexual function in men and women with chronic renal failure. Renal pancreas transplantation is associated with near-normal sexual function in patients with type 1 uremic diabetes. Most patients with end-stage renal disease, including those on dialysis and kidney transplants, are men. Men with diabetes have lower-than-normal testosterone levels in the general population, and uncontrolled diabetes is associated with impaired fertility. Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic renal failure and progression to end-stage renal disease.

Any underlying health condition that causes chronic kidney disease, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can affect a man's sexuality. Children and adolescents with CKD are also at risk for sexual development, which may slow down or even stop altogether. Chronic kidney failure can affect many areas of your life, including your mood and sex life. People with chronic kidney disease may experience unwanted changes in their bodies that make them feel less attractive. Symptoms such as breathing and body odor, skin color problems, weight gain, or abnormal facial or body hair may occur.

Physical changes can make people with kidney disease feel less sexually attractive. Generally, transplant patients have fewer sexual problems than dialysis patients because they may have fewer physical problems that affect their sex life, such as fatigue or anemia. Patients and their partners may fear that sexual activity will lead to the death of patients or impair access to dialysis or a kidney transplant. Fatigue in kidney patients may be due to anemia, insufficient dialysis, or other health problems such as heart disease.

Hormonal Changes

Many hormonal changes in men with chronic kidney disease are enhanced when kidney function worsens and reversed with a successful transplant. In women with chronic renal failure, hormonal changes are primarily associated with infertility, as a lack of pulsatile luteinizing hormone has been observed to lead to anovulation in women with chronic renal failure. As in women without chronic renal failure, age-related estrogen deficiency can lead to impaired vaginal lubrication, while age-related testosterone loss may lead to decreased libido. Men are associated with more severe CKD progression, a fact that can be attributed to sex hormones. Given these results, the fact that androgen levels actually decreased in men with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease was shocking.


Doctors are now interpreting data to mean that lower testosterone levels may be responsible for cardiovascular and kidney disease, and are prescribing androgen supplements for men with chronic conditions to boost libido and well-being. Studies conducted by multiple laboratories have shown that the presence of testosterone plays a decisive role in the development of hypertensive nephropathy and renal failure due to ischemia-reperfusion. In this review, we analyzed sex hormone levels and their effects in experimental models and patients with chronic renal failure.

Many people may consider the apparent deterioration in health associated with kidney disease, such as fluid accumulation and subsequent bloating or vomiting, but few recognize the potential decrease in sexual activity that can also occur due to kidney disease. Diagnosis of DM is subjective and manifestations may differ between men and women.


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