My Life and PD

MYour current life-style will be one of the main factors to consider when you make the decision about your dialysis
If you have the dialysis treatment that fits best with your life then it will be easier to stay on track with the treatment.

How long does Peritoneal Dialysis take (PD)?
The manual bags known as CAPD takes about 30 to 40 minutes, 4 times a day. Of this time 10 minutes are spent actually connecting and disconnecting the bags, and remaining time is spent sitting down while the dialysis fluid goes in and out.

The usual time to do this is first thing in the morning, around lunch-time, late afternoon and at bedtime. Many people perform activities whilst the fluid goes in and out, including watching the TV, or working on a laptop. More on How does CAPD work?

The automated cycler known as APD takes about 30 minutes to prepare and about 15 mins to disconnect. The dialysis is all done overnight whilst you are sleeping. For some people they may need an extra bag exchange at teatime to remove extra fluid. More about How does APD work?

The daily routine can be flexible when you have special appointments or social events. Doing occasional bag exchanges early or late will not cause any long-term problems.

Where can I do my Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)?
CAPD, the manual bags, can be done anywhere that you have an option to clean your hands, a clean surface and an environment that is dust free. Many people perform a CAPD lunch-time bag at work, or at the homes of their family. People have changed their CAPD bags in their cars when travelling. APD, the machine can be done wherever you can plug in the machine and can lay down. Bed is the preferred option.

Will I have to change what I eat or drink?
Once you start PD you can often eat and drink most things in moderation but a healthy diet is recommended with about 4-6 cups of fluid a day. Everyone is different and your health care professionals will check your blood results regularly and a dietician will help you with any special needs for your diet. More about Diet and fluids.

Can I work?
Yes, you can work. If you are in a very physical or dirty place of work you may need to take special care of the catheter. Most people who work are on the APD overnight, but you can do a CAPD bag exchange in the lunch-break at most work places. A USA website has some interesting information on this topic Working on dialysis.

Can I swim, play sport or exercise?
Once your PD catheter exit site is healed you can swim but public pools are not recommended. The ocean or a private pool that is well maintained are acceptable. You can do any other exercise that you are physically able to do. More about Exercise and Sport.

Can I continue intimate relationships?
Yes you can continue intimate relationships on PD. You will have the catheter to consider but this can be concealed by a dressing. More about Intimate relationships and sexuality.

Can I go on holiday?
Many people on PD travel. For those on APD they can travel with the bags or take the machine. For local travel in your car you just have to put the bags in the car. For longer travel and interstate travel you need to plan but your dialysis delivery company will deliver the bags to your holiday destination. This includes a number of overseas countries although for some there may be a cost involved. More about Dialysis and Travel.

How much time will I need for training?
PD training takes about a week. Most people start with CAPD. If APD is planned and you can wait to start this type the extra machine training takes 1-2 days and is usually done after about 6 weeks, once you have got used to the PD. More about Training for Home.

How much will PD cost me?
PD supplies are delivered to your house, usually once a month and free of charge. You will still have to pay for medications and occasionally supplies such as paper towels, a set of scales or gauze dressings are not provided by your hospital. Speak to the PD nurses for more information about any extras that you may need to purchase. Read more about financial costs and getting started at Financial Support.

How often will I have to visit the hospital?
You will usually have to go to a clinic once a month for a check-up with the home dialysis nurses. Your kidney specialist will usually see you once every 3 months. There are no other trips to the hospital or clinics required related to your kidney failure.

Important Resources

Introduction to PD introduces you to real life peritoneal dialysis patients to provide their experiences of what it is like to be on this form of dialysis.

My Life on PD provides a great account on the effects of peritoneal dialysis  on everyday life and how it can fit into your lifestyle.

An Introduction to Home Dialysis webProject supported by funding from the Australian Government under Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund

An Introduction to Home Dialysis is a simple booklet that focuses on all types of home dialysis and how they will fit into your life.

I like the sound of lifestyle on PD, how does it work? Read How does CAPD work?

Or view our simple photo information sheets on Home Peritoneal Dialysis.

I would like to know about my life on home haemodialysis instead. Read My Life and Home HD


Page updated 20 November 2014