Relationships and Sex

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Sex and relationships are a very important part of life for most individuals and couples. They are also very personal matters that can be difficult to talk about, so this may be why you may be unaware that ADPKD can affect your sex life and relationships as well as your physical health.

Sexual problems are common in people with chronic kidney disease. You may feel tired all the time, worried about how your body looks, or your partner may be concerned about hurting you during sex. Perhaps you find that you have little interest in sex, you do not become aroused, or find intercourse uncomfortable.

There is rarely a single explanation for sexual problems in people with ADPKD. Often these difficulties are due to a combination of emotional difficulties and physical problems. This means that it may take time to find the right combination of treatments, but it is usually possible to tackle sexual problems. So talk to your partner, your doctor, or one of the many organisations that offer confidential help and support.

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The information on this page is under review by the PKD Charity using the accredited Information Standard process.

How to print this information: click the printer button top right for a printer-friendly version. However, if you don't have access to a printer and would like a printed version of this factsheet, or any other PKD Charity information, call the PKD Charity Helpline on 0300 111 1234 (weekdays, 10.00am-4.30pm) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PKD Charity Helpline:The PKD Charity Helpline offers confidential support and information to anyone affected by PKD, including family, friends, carers, newly diagnosed or those who have lived with the condition for many years.

Disclaimer: This information is primarily for people in the UK. We have made every effort to ensure that the information we provide is correct and up to date. However, it is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical examination. We do not promote or recommend any treatment. We do not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Medical information, the law and government regulations change rapidly, so always consult your GP, pharmacist or other medical professional if you have any concerns or before starting any new treatment.

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© PKD Charity 2014 |
Registered charity No 1160970 / SC047730