What are patients saying about sex after a kidney or simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplant?

Jessica Martell, Elizabeth Rice, Natasha K. Crooks, Dami Ko, Rebecca J. Muehrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Context-Chronic illnesses such as kidney failure and diabetes and their treatments can affect people's identity, including their sexual identity. Little is known about patients' perspective on the effect of transplant on their sexual identity. Objective-To explore the sexual concerns of kidney and simultaneous pancreas/ kidney transplant recipients. Design-Descriptive, qualitative. Setting-Major Midwestern university hospital. Patients-143 kidney and 70 pancreas/kidney transplant recipients; most were male (63.0%), married (64.7%), and white (83.7%), and the mean age was 49 years. Intervention-The qualitative data reported in this manuscript are derived from 2 larger quantitative studies of sexuality and quality of life in kidney and pancreas/kidney transplant recipients. The questionnaire in those studies included 2 open-ended questions that allowed participants to share their experiences as transplant recipients. Main Outcome Measure-Two faculty and 3 students did a conventional content analysis on patients' responses to the open-ended questions. Codes were extracted from the responses and then themes were created that best represented the codes. Results-Participants shared how sexual concerns affected their identity as sexual beings after transplant. Based on the responses to these open-ended questions, 4 themes were identified: sexual functioning, health care concerns, relationship with partner, and appearance changes. The study results indicate the need for improved education and provider-initiated dialogue related to sexuality after transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-256
Number of pages6
JournalProgress in Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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