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Reproductive Health in Chronic Kidney Disease: The Implications of Sex and Gender

      Summary

      Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is frequently accompanied by reproductive health challenges in females and males alike. Progression of CKD is associated with escalating impairment of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis, which facilitates evolving ovarian, testicular, and sexual dysfunction. Common clinical reproductive health complications in CKD include abnormal menstruation, impaired sexual health, and reduced fertility. Though sex-specific factors, such as sex hormones and gonadal function, have a strong influence on reproductive health outcomes in CKD, a person's gender and gendered experience also have important implications. Institutionalized gender, gendered perceptions of health, and health care–seeking behaviors, as well as adherence to medical care, all have critical effects on reproductive health in CKD. This review endeavors to explore the implications of both sex and gender on overall reproductive health in individuals living with CKD.

      Keywords

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