World Kidney Day and International Women's Day is being celebrated on 8th March. To commemorate this day, we will be writing in this article about the problems associated with chronic kidney disease in women.
Women are more likely to have an increased risk of kidney disease than men. More women are being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The major factors that contribute to kidney disease are type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
Kidney disease or chronic kidney disease doesn't show severe symptoms. However, it can be diagnosed at any age. But, there are some symptoms that women face if they have a chronic kidney failure.
Here are some of the kidney problems commonly noted in women.
Women with chronic kidney failure commonly experience irregular periods. This can include missed periods, excessive bleeding and early onset of menopause. Once she starts dialysis, the periods may stop altogether and as the kidney function drops below 20 percent of normal, the woman is less likely to conceive due to dialysis.
Sexual dysfunction includes fatigue, painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, low energy and loss of libido. There are many medications used to treat chronic kidney disease, including high blood pressure medications. This may cause physical and psychological symptoms that make a woman lose sexual interest. Vaginal lubricants and vaginal oestrogen is used for vaginal dryness and painful intercourse which is caused by lower hormonal levels.
When there is a kidney failure, dialysis helps to remove the waste from the blood. But this doesn't replace all of the kidney functions such as producing hormones. When women attain menopause, there is an increased risk of osteoporosis, for which they are supposed to increase the intake of calcium. This is important for dialysis or who have a kidney transplant because when the production of hormones decreases in menopause, women become more prone to osteoporosis and heart disease.
Bone disease is a common disease in women with chronic kidney disease and who are on dialysis. Women with chronic kidney problems are treated with calcium supplements and vitamin D. These treatments may help to treat bone disease.
Women with chronic kidney disease can suffer with depression. The rate is increasing in women than men. It is estimated that one in four women on dialysis will screen positive for depression.
If a woman has kidney disease or a kidney failure, it can put her and the unborn child at risk. Women are also less likely to become pregnant because once the kidney function declines to less than 20 percent of normal, it's uncommon for women to become pregnant.
Women with chronic kidney disease have miscarriages and fail to ovulate and if she is pregnant, she can suffer with high blood pressure as well. Studies have shown that women who perform dialysis more than 24 hours a week were more likely to have a successful pregnancy.
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