Stress Incontinence and Sex for Women

Stress Incontinence and Sex for Women
Just like any other activity that can put pressure on the bladder, sex can cause leakage in women with stress incontinence.  Because this is a particularly sensitive topic, many women feel uncomfortable talking to their doctors and even their partners about it.  

Step one though is having that conversation with your partner.  Whether you manage to get it under control or not, letting your partner know that this is a problem for you is incredibly important.  Keeping that from them can create shame on your part and confusion on theirs – neither of which fosters sexual intimacy.  And you may be surprised by their reactions.  Different people have different personal preferences and are likely much more understanding that you give them credit for.

Bringing it up to your partner for the first time is usually the most difficult, but is most certainly not the end of the conversation.  It is important that you share continuously with your partner.  Things change and as you discover more about your body it is important to keep your partner in the loop.  Remember that sex is a shared activity and that the more information they have the more they will be able to help.

That being said, just talking about it will only do so much for making you both comfortable and satisfied with your sex life.  Here are a few things you can try that might decrease the anxiety so that you can focus on what counts during sex: 
1. Use the toilet right before having sex.  Emptying your bladder before sex will help to decrease the possibility of leaking even if there is pressure on your bladder during sex.
2. Using a towel or other barrier to protect the bed can also decrease stress about leaks during sex. Especially if you and your partner don’t mind leaks, this can enable you to stop worrying and just focus on enjoying the sex. 
3. Along the same lines, having sex in the shower can reduce anxiety over messes.  It is important to remember that the shower is slippery, which can make shower sex dangerous for some people (especially if you have a glass door instead of a shower curtain).  Be careful and consult with your doctor if you are unsure about whether shower sex is safe for you.
4. Try different sexual positions.  Different positions result in different angles of penetration, some of which may put less pressure on your bladder.  You can test these different positions with your partner or if would make you more comfortable, you can try different angles on your own with a toy.  Make sure if you are using a toy for this purpose, that it is the approximate size of your partner’s penis.
5. Masturbating can also be a way to get yourself familiar with your own body.  Knowing your body better (when leaks occur if there is a pattern, what things feel good or bad etc) can be immensely helpful in being comfortable with sex and your own sexuality.
6. Talk to your doctor.  Every woman’s UI is different and depending on what is causing yours, there may be other solutions specific to your situation.  Don’t feel embarrassed and remember that doctors hear things like this all of the time.  If you are still nervous, see our article on how to talk to your doctor.