There are major gaps in the understanding of sexual and reproductive health in female renal transplant recipients.
In this Norwegian multicenter retrospective observational study, 118 female renal transplant recipients aged 22 to 49 years responded to a questionnaire on fertility, contraceptive use, and pregnancy.
More than one-third (37%) of patients reported that they did not receive advice on contraceptive methods from health care personnel in the early post-transplant phase. These women used effective contraceptive methods less often. Nearly half of the patients (45%) reported that they had not received any advice on timing of conception after transplant. From 95 pregnancies after renal transplant, 52 (55%) resulted in live births.
Counseling on contraceptive methods should be part of standard care in conjunction with transplantation. More than one-third of young female renal transplant recipients of reproductive age could not recall having received advice from health care personnel about contraceptive use, and nearly half of the patients did not receive preconceptional advice after transplant. Although the current study does not discriminate between lack of advice and recall bias, the findings signal the need for improved counseling on female sexual and reproductive health after renal transplant.