Kidney School™—a program of Medical Education Institute, Inc.

Module 11—Sexuality and Fertility

Not enough dialysis is another source of fatigue that can reduce interest in sex among people with kidney disease.

Standard in-center HD treatments clear wastes from your body three times a week. You may feel tired and "washed out" after a treatment. Soon after each treatment, wastes start to build up again. If you are able to do daily or nocturnal HD, these more frequent treatments reduce "dialysis hangover". People who do more frequent HD say they sleep better, have better quality of life, and some report better sexual function.

PD treatments can become less adequate over time as your kidney function decreases. Your doctor should check the adequacy of your PD every 3 months or so. For more information, read Module 10—Getting Adequate Dialysis.

Lack of desire for sex is a common problem among many people in the U.S.—with or without kidney disease. Fatigue is certainly one reason for it: you may just be too tired to think about sex. But if fatigue is not the cause for your lack of interest, think about your answers to these questions:

Do I feel safe, respected, and loved by my partner?
Yes No

Do I feel guilty about how my illness has changed our lives?
Yes No

Do I like myself and my body enough to enjoy sex?
Yes No

Do I trust my partner to treat me kindly and gently?
Yes No

Do I feel calm, happy, and secure?
Yes No

Do I feel like I can talk openly with my partner?
Yes No

Have I had help coping with a past sexual trauma?
Yes No

Do I get enough alone time to recharge my batteries?
Yes No

Do I ever feel interested in sex? (If so, when?)
Yes No

Do I feel satisfied by sex with my partner?
Yes No

Other:

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