Sexual Dysfunction in Women with ESRD Requiring Hemodialysis
Giovanni F.M. Strippoli, and Collaborative Depression and Sexual Dysfunction (CDS) in Hemodialysis Working Group
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2012 Apr 5. [Epub ahead of print]
Background and objectives The few existing studies of sexual dysfunction in women on hemodialysis are limited by small sample size. This large, cross-sectional study evaluated the prevalence and correlates of female sexual dysfunction in advanced kidney disease.
Design, setting, participants, & methods A total of 1472 women with ESRD undergoing hemodialysis were recruited to a multinational, cross-sectional study conducted within a collaborative dialysis network in Europe and South America. Sexual dysfunction was identified by the Female Sexual Function Index. Correlates of self-reported sexual dysfunction were identified by regression analyses.
Results Of the 1472 women, 659 completed questionnaires (45%). More than half (362 of 659 [55%]) lived with a partner, and 232 of 659 (35%) reported being sexually active. Of these 659 respondents, 555 (84%) reported sexual dysfunction. Women with a partner (282 of 362 [78%]) were less likely to report sexual dysfunction than those without a partner (273 of 297 [92%]) (P<0.001). Sexual dysfunction was independently associated with age, depressive symptoms, less education, menopause, diabetes, and diuretic therapy. Nearly all women who were not wait-listed for a kidney transplant and were living without a partner (249 of 260 [96%]) reported sexual dysfunction. More than half (128 of 232 [55%]) of sexually active women reported sexual dysfunction, associated with age, depressive symptoms, menopause, low serum albumin, and diuretic therapy.
Conclusions This descriptive study suggests most women on hemodialysis experience sexual problems. Additional research on the relevance of sexual dysfunction to symptom burden and quality of life in these women is needed.