ORIGINAL RESEARCH—WOMEN'S SEXUAL HEALTH: Sexual Dysfunction in Women During Dialysis and after Renal Transplantation


Maria Teresa Filocamo MD, Urology, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini 18 Florence Italy 50137, Viale Pieraccini 18, Florence, 50137, Italy. Tel: 055417645; Fax: +390554377755; E-mail: mariateresa.filocamo@unifi.it


Introduction.  Disorders of the reproductive system and menstrual abnormalities often associated with loss of libido and inability to reach orgasm are common in adults of both sexes with an end-stage renal disease. These symptoms may significantly contribute to depression and reduce the sexual activity of women.

Aim.  To determine if sexual function, as well as hormonal status, improves after kidney transplantation, comparing a group of pre-menopausal women during dialysis and after a successful renal transplantation.

Methods.  We enrolled 58 women that received kidney transplantation. Patients included were 18–45 years old, on hemodialysis for more than 6 months following a fully functioning kidney transplantation, and on a stable corticosteroids immunosuppressive regimen for at least 6 months. All women underwent a general and urogynecological examination, a hormonal profile determination, and filled out the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and a Beck Depression Inventory questionnaire administered during dialysis and 12 months after transplantation.

Main Outcome Measures.  We evaluated the prevalence of Female Sexual Dysfunction according to the FSFI cutoff points, sexual hormonal status, and menstrual status during dialysis and 12 months after kidney transplantation.

Results.  Nineteen out of 58 women left the study prematurely. Thirty-nine women (mean age 36 ± 5.9 years) completed the study. A total of 74% of the patients had menstrual disturbances during dialysis, as opposed to 45% after transplantation (P < 0.001). Sixteen out of 39 (41%) patients acknowledged having an active sexual life during dialysis. Thirty-four out of 39 (88%) transplanted patients acknowledged having an active sexual life (Fischer's exact test P = 0.000039). The hormonal profile and FSFI results improved significantly after transplantation.

Conclusion.  This study demonstrates that a successful transplantation should improve the sexual life in women with chronic renal failure. Filocamo MT, Zanazzi M, Li Marzi V, Lombardi G, Del Popolo G, Mancini G, Salvadori M, and Nicita G. Sexual dysfunction in women during dialysis and after renal transplantation. J Sex Med 2009;6:3125–3131.