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Most Women on Kidney Dialysis OK With Their Sex Lives: Study

Lack of intimacy doesn't have to mean there's a problem, researcher says

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Most women on kidney dialysis are satisfied with their sex lives -- even though many are sexually inactive -- and fewer than previously believed suffer sexual problems, according to a new study.

The two-year study included 125 women on dialysis who completed monthly assessments for the first six months and then every three months until the end of the study. The women were moderately to very satisfied with their sex lives on 64 percent of the assessments.

Sexual inactivity was reported on 82 percent of the assessments. The most common reasons for sexual inactivity were lack of interest (43 percent) and lack of a partner (39 percent), but rarely sexual difficulty (2 percent).

On 76 percent of the assessments in which lack of interest was given as the reason for sexual inactivity, women said they were moderately to very satisfied with their sex life.

Answers on 89 percent of the quarterly assessments suggested the presence of sexual dysfunction. However, women said they would be interested in learning about the causes of and treatments for sexual difficulties in only 5 percent of the assessments.

The findings suggest that most women on dialysis do not actually have sexual dysfunction or difficulty, the researchers said.

The study was published online Dec. 19 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

"Sexual inactivity is particularly common yet does not appear to be bothersome to many women on dialysis," study author Dr. Steven Weisbord, of VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said in a journal news release.

"Carefully considering patients' perspectives and preferences is essential to evaluating the presence and importance of a condition like sexual dysfunction," Weisbord said.

More information

The National Kidney Foundation has more about dialysis.

SOURCE: Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, news release, Dec. 19, 2013
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