April 11, 2012

Dialysis Linked to Sexual Problems

(Ivanhoe Newswire)-- Dialysis is a common treatment used by more then 350,000 individuals in the United States alone.

Patients on dialysis commonly experience symptoms such as pain, depression, impaired sleep, and fatigue; overall impacting their quality of life.

A study recently uncovered that the majority of female kidney failure patients on dialysis may also experience sexual problems.

Although there is increasing awareness of erectile dysfunction in men on hemodialysis, the sexual health of female dialysis patients has been examined in only a few very small studies previously.

Italian researchers Giovanni Strippoli, MD, PhD and his colleagues in the Collaborative Depression and Sexual Dysfunction in Hemodialysis Working Group examined the responses of 659 female dialysis patients in Europe and South America who completed a questionnaire called the Female Sexual Function Index.

The researchers' analysis represents the first largest study to examine sexual function in female dialysis patients.

The results showed that 84% of all women and 55% of sexually active women on hemodialysis experienced sexual problems.

The also discovered that sexual dysfunction was reported more often by women who were older, were less educated, had signs of depression, had reached menopause, had diabetes, and took diuretic therapy, or 'water pills.'

It was also found that women with a partner were less likely to report sexual dysfunction than those without a partner.

"With this study, we shed light on the highly frequent condition of female sexual dysfunction in women on dialysis; this deserves attention and further study, since specific interventions are not yet available to address it," Dr. Strippoli, lead researcher in study, was quoted as saying.

"Clinicians should not overlook the importance of problems such sexual dysfunction in people who receive hemodialysis for renal replacement therapy," Dr. Strippoli said.

SOURCE: Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology, April 5, 2012