How Does Kidney Disease Impact Your Sexual Health?

Have you found yourself disinterested in sexual activity, unlike before? The treatments and symptoms of kidney disease can impact your health across the board. Often, these changes can either be felt physically or emotionally in your sexual health or even in the relationship you have with your partner. By understanding these possibilities, you can learn how to confront them if they arise. 

At Durham Nephrology, we have encountered problems that often populate patients with kidney disease. Understanding kidney disease’s impact on your sexual health is essential to dive into.   

Kidney Disease and Your Sexual Health

You May Notice A Disinterest In Sexual Activity 

When you are first diagnosed with kidney disease, your body is already going through intense physical and emotional changes. As a result, your interest in sexual activity can experience a low point. Most of your energy goes towards fighting and understanding your condition in a way that leaves less room for other changes. On the emotional side, you may experience feelings such as depression and anxiety regarding your diagnosis that make sexual activity the least of your worries.

You are going through a lot that can make it challenging to feel that close to the people around you who are not going through similar experiences. Men may experience difficulty getting an erection. This is due to either the side effects of the medicine or the build-up of toxins in the blood that are not yet removed from dialysis. There are many sides to sexual health.

You Can Still Have Sex Safely 

You do not have to worry about harming a patient with kidney disease, even if they are on dialysis. The only thing to avoid is pressure or tension on the site of the dialysis access point. Most of the time, people refrain from sexual activity because they are concerned about something happening, even though it most likely will not. 

If you have had a kidney transplant, the precautions about having sex again can be determined and talked through with your doctor. This is often dependent on the healing of the scar. Some people who go through kidney disease or a kidney transplant decide that sexual activity is not what they want anymore, which can lead to the need for further help from a specialized medical professional. 

Once You Determine The Problem, You Can Find Treatment 

If you are facing problems with sexual health and activity, it comes down to determining if they are emotional or physical. One way to start with physical issues is to see if there are side effects that impact your sexual activity on any of the medications you have been prescribed. You can use blood tests to see hormone levels and elevated blood sugar levels. There are also ways to look at the blood supply and nerves connected to the penis to see if this impacts an erection. 

On the emotional side of sexual health, your feelings that come along with kidney disease are valid. If you are starting to feel depression, anxiety, or even embarrassment from the lack of interest in sexual activity, you may want to consider ways to relieve stress. Sometimes this means finding a trusted professional to speak to who can recommend coping and relaxation strategies to feel better. Intense medical diagnoses have a way of changing the way a patient views all aspects of their life, not just the part that is handling the disease. 

It is universal for kidney disease patients to face changes in their sexual health. There is no reason to live in the dark about what this could mean for you. Many patients encounter the same problems and benefit from hearing where those changes are coming from. Are you interested in talking through some of the changes you’re experiencing? Contact Durham Nephrology today for more information and resources to help you navigate these times. 


11.27.2023 8 Resources For CKD Patients

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a widespread and serious health condition that affects millions of individuals around the world. It is characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function over time, often leading to complications such as kidney failure.  Managing CKD requires a comprehensive approach, and fortunately, numerous resources are available to help patients navigate […]

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