ORIGINAL RESEARCH—MEN'S SEXUAL HEALTH: Sexual Function in Male Patients Undergoing Treatment for Renal Failure: A Prospective View


  • Anmar Nassir MD, FRCS(C)

    1. Department of Surgery, Um Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Department of Surgery, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    Search for more papers by this author

Anmar Nassir, MD, FRCS(C), Department of Surgery, Um Al-Qura University, PO Box 7607, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Tel and Fax: 966-2-5270000 ext 4125; E-mail: dranmar@gmail.com


Introduction.  Chronic renal failure in males causes wide-ranging disturbances including sexual dysfunction. The percentage and progression of sexual dysfunction in patients entering a dialysis program require further evaluation.

Aim.  Our aim was to determine the ongoing effect of standard renal failure treatment on sexual function.

Methods.  The sexual function was assessed prospectively, upon initiation of dialysis and every 10–12 months while on dialysis or after kidney transplantation. Participants were adult males with sexual partners.

Main Outcome Measure.  The semiquantitative standard International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire was used initially as a baseline and compared with all subsequent follow-up measures.

Results.  Fifty-two patients fulfilled the eligibility criteria and completed the questionnaire. Of the 52 subjects, 25 were on hemodialysis and 27 were on peritoneal dialysis. Only 17.3% of participants were potent upon entry into the study. Of the rest, 71% was classified as suffering from severe erectile dysfunction (ED). Sexual desire appeared less affected when compared with other domains. Of the study participants, 67% expressed an interest in treatment for ED, but only 12% had ever received any such therapy. Follow-up ranged from 10 months to 48 months. After excluding kidney-transplanted patients, ED scores on entry and at four subsequent reassessments were almost identical and showed no significant statistical differences. Patients showed significant improvement in ED score after kidney transplantation, with scores remaining high for 20–36 months of follow-up, compared with pre-transplantation.

Conclusions.  This prospective study suggests that dialysis does not benefit sexual function, although a benefit was seen in a subset of men undergoing renal transplantation. We conclude that sexual function in men beginning dialysis should be assessed, and treatment for ED should be offered if appropriate. Nassir A. Sexual function in male patients undergoing treatment for renal failure: A prospective view. J Sex Med 2009;6:3407–3414.