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Kidney Disease & Sexuality


Can people with kidney disease still enjoy sex?

Staying intimate with your loved one is important. It's something everyone needs. People with kidney failure can have meaningful relationships, like falling in love, caring deeply for famliy, and yes - staying sexually active.

Sexuality doesn't refer only to sexual intercourse. Sexuality includes many interactions, such as touching, hugging or kissing. It includes how you connect with yourself and how deeply you are willing to connect with someone else.

Many things can affect your self image and your sexuality if you suffer from kidney disease or kidney failure, such as medication, hormones, nerves, and even energy levels. Don't be afraid to ask questions or get help from a healthcare professional regarding sex and your condition.

What if I lose interest?

Some patients find that it is difficult to have or maintain an erection. This is common due to stress, medication, depression, etc. but your sex life can go on. If you find that your sex lives are changing due to kidney disease, you should talk to your doctor or social worker. Many of these problems can be addressed.

Is sex safe for kidney patients?

Patients and their partners may be afraid of harming or even killing their loved one with kidney disease/failure. When in fact, you needn't limit a kidney patient's sexuality. As long as the sex doesn't place pressure or tension on the access site, there should be no fear of damage.

Transplant need to understand that it is important to wait until the surgical scar has begun to heal. Upon your doctor saying it is all right to resume sexual activity, damaging the transplanted kidney is not a factor.

For some couples, intercourse is simply not possible. Sex therapists can recommend alternative methods of connecting on a deep level. Other activities such as touching, hugging, and kissing provide feelings of warmth and closeness even without intercourse.


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