Some dialysis patients who are on dialysis still urinate. These individuals require dialysis to clean their blood because of high creatine levels. Although their kidneys still make urine, the bean-shaped organs don’t sufficiently remove toxins from the blood.
Kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is caused by a number of factors and health conditions. Contributing diseases affect urine production differently.
Most dialysis patients no longer make urine. Anuria is the term used when kidneys no longer make urine. When I asked another patient early in my dialysis experience, he told me most people stop urinating after about three years. I found that to be true but still made minimal urine after three years. Reduced urine output is called oliguria. Although I didn’t measure but by the third year, I believe I was down to making about a half-cup per day in two or three daily bathroom visits. Using a public restroom beside someone with a full bladder reminds me how little urine I make.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are common in dialysis patients who don’t pass urine. Women should try to urinate after
sexual intercourse to wash away bacteria that could have been introduced to the urethra (the tube that leads from the bladder to outside the body). Women also get UTIs more frequently than men because the urethra is shorter in females.
Many changes happen in our bodies when we rely on dialysis. If you have questions about changes, ask patients you feel you can trust or your team of dialysis professionals. We feel more calm and less fearful if we know that what is happening is normal or can be treated.
If you or someone you care about is facing dialysis, share your experiences and concerns. This is a forum for learning and inspiration where we can ask questions and be honest with others in the same situation. What are your experiences and challenges with dialysis?
If you would like Beth, the Dialysis Gal, to speak to your group, reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments.