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Abstract: FR-PO433

Sexual Dysfunction in People Treated with Hemodialysis

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 801 Dialysis: Hemodialysis and Frequent Dialysis


  • Cukor, Daniel, Rogosin Institute, New York, New York, United States
  • Donahue, Stephanie, Rogosin Institute, New York, New York, United States
  • Tummalapalli, Sri Lekha, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York, United States
  • Bohmart, Andrew, Rogosin Institute, New York, New York, United States
  • Silberzweig, Jeffrey I., Rogosin Institute, New York, New York, United States

End Stage Kidney disease is associated not only with increased mortality, but also with higher symptom burden, particularly for people treated with hemodialysis (HD). Sexual dysfunction (SD) is common but often underrecognized among people with kidney disease. SD is a person’s inability to fully engage in sexual activities in one or more categories: desire, arousal, orgasm, and pain disorders. Reported rates of SD vary widely, between 5% - 85%.


This is a secondary analysis of a project describing symptom burden in patients on HD (Anxiety, Comorbid Depression, and Dialysis Symptom Burden) with a focus on the prevalence of sexual dysfunction. In total, 92 people being treated with hemodialysis in New York City answered questions about their sexual functioning as measured by the Dialysis Symptom Inventory.


The sample was comprised of 44% women (60.8 years ± 14.1) and 56% men (60.0 years ±17.1). 38% of the total sample reported Decreased Interest in Sex (31% of the women, 45% of the men) and 32% reported Difficulty Becoming Aroused (21% of the women and 43% of the men). Of those that indicated Decreased Interest in Sex, 81% of the women and 45% of the men described being significantly bothered by it. Of those that indicated Difficulty Becoming Aroused, 25% of the women and 60% of the men described being significantly bothered by it.


There has been some debate as to whether decreased interest in sex should be categorized as a sexual dysfunction in people with ESKD being treated with HD. Our data find that Decreased Interest in Sex is both present and bothersome in 25% of the women surveyed and 19% of the men. Clinically significant Difficulty Becoming Aroused was reported by 5% of women and 26% of men. More detailed assessments of all the domains of SD are needed, and an exploration of the interest in intervention.