If you struggle with incontinence and have concerns about leaking during sex, you’re not alone. The American Foundation for Urologic Disease (AFUD) reports that one in three women with stress incontinence avoids sex due to fears of leaking during intercourse or orgasm. But incontinence during sex doesn’t have to be an issue. Below are some tips to manage your incontinence and reclaim your sex life.
- Be Prepared. Believe it or not, your behavior prior to sex can have a big impact on your chances of leaking during the act. Here are a few tips to help you avoid an uncomfortable situation:
- Avoid bladder-irritating foods or drinks a couple of hours before bedtime. Not sure what your food and drink triggers are? There are some common ones, but you can also track your own habits for a week or so to determine what foods and drink you.
- Limiting your fluids prior to having sex.
- Practice “double voiding” prior to sex. This is when you go to the bathroom, wait a few minutes, and then go again to empty any residual urine that may still be present in the bladder.
- Use protective bedding so that you are covered in case an accident does happen.
- Try a new position. You may find that a new position creates less stress on your bladder muscles, making leakage less likely.
- Strengthen up down there. Regular pelvic floor workouts can do wonders for women who experience incontinence. An added bonus? Studies have shown that by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles you may also experience stronger orgasms and find sex more satisfying.
- Talk about it. While this is an uncomfortable discussion to have, the mere act of telling your partner about your condition may relieve some of the stress associated with it.
Talk to your Doctor
If you’ve tried the steps above to no avail, consider talking to your doctor about your condition. Incontinence is not a normal part of aging and many things can be done to correct the situation. Your doctor can tell you about options that will best fit your needs. Need help finding a physician? Click here.
This blog originally appeared on the BHealth Blog from The National Association For Continence, a non-profit association providing resources and support to those living with incontinence. For more articles, information and tools on managing bladder and bowel health conditions, please visit www.nafc.org.