Dealing with Urinary Stress Incontinence During Intimacy
Urinary stress incontinence and intimacy aren’t exactly two things that should go together, but for some, they do. Not only can urinary incontinence cause anxiety and stress, it can have a negative impact on intimate relationships, and even prevent you from beginning new relationships due to uneasiness about the situation. The good news is, there are treatments available to help you deal with the condition and get back to enjoying life.
What is Urinary Stress Incontinence?
Urinary stress incontinence occurs when you have an accidental loss of urine you cannot control. This can occur any time during the day but is more prone to happen during physical activity. Sneezing, bending, laughing, lifting – as well as sexual activity – can often bring about urinary incontinence. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable and cause many women anxiety. It is called urinary stress incontinence not because of psychological stress, but because of the stress, or pressure, that is placed on your bladder during these activities.
What Causes Urinary Stress Incontinence?
Urinary stress incontinence can have a variety of causes. It occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become weakened and the body has a difficult time controlling the flow of urine from the bladder, causing leaks. Many times, women who are pregnant or who have just given birth find themselves dealing with urinary incontinence. It can occur right away, or manifest years later when you’re not expecting it. This is due to nerve damage after giving birth.
How to Deal with Urinary Stress Incontinence During Intimacy
If you are intimate with someone or plan on becoming intimate with someone, it is important to be open with your partner and discuss your condition. While the thought of having a leak during sexual activity is embarrassing, it can help curb anxiety to talk about it beforehand. There are also other ways to help prevent any leakage during intimacy.
- Limit Fluid Intake. Limiting the amount of water and other drinks you consume for an hour or two before intimacy can help prevent leakage during. Don’t skimp on the fluids throughout the rest of the day, though, because that can lead to dehydration.
- Practice Pelvic Floor Exercises. During pregnancy and after childbirth, most women are advised to practice Kegel exercises, or pelvic floor strengthening exercises. This is an incredibly effective urinary stress incontinence treatment. They help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which will allow your body to control the flow of urine better. A doctor can help you learn the proper way to do the exercises correctly and effectively.
- Try Different Positions to Find the Best One for You. Some positions might add extra pressure to your bladder, which can cause incontinence. However, switching things up and finding a different position can relieve pressure and make it less likely you will experience any leakage.
- Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes. Making healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, eating healthier, and seeing your doctor regularly, can help to reduce the chances of urinary stress incontinence.
To learn more about urinary stress incontinence and find out about successful urinary stress incontinence treatments, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ghozland. We can help you get back to enjoying your life without anxiety, worry, or embarrassment.