Incontinence and your sex life

Talk to your partner about your incontinence.
Talk to your partner about your incontinence.

Incontinence can be an embarrassing situation, which is often made worse by the stress that comes with making it to the bathroom in time to avoid an accident. But worrying about urine leakage during sex can prove even more troubling.

Research has shown that one in every three women who suffer from stress incontinence avoids sexual activity due to a fear of leakage during intercourse or orgasm.

Research published in the International Urogynecology Journal reported that 60% of women in the study reported leaking during sex. But it is not only women who experience incontinence. Around 20% of males have incontinence issues.

Sexual stimulation can put pressure on the bladder or urethra, and weak pelvic floor muscles can result in incontinence.

Here’s what you can do

  • Emptying your bladder before sexual intercourse can reduce your likelihood of leaking.
  • You should be comfortable enough with your partner to discuss your incontinence issues. An understanding partner may help ease the stress on incontinence.
  • Cut down on fluids but remain hydrated at all times.
  • Improve your bladder control with bladder training.
  • Women who do Kegels regularly have less leakage during sex.
  • Research has shown that being overweight increases the risk for incontinence. Losing 5–10% of body weight may reduce this risk.
  • Experiment with sex positions. Certain positions may put extra pressure on your bladder and urethra, causing less leakage curing sex (such as rear entry, side entry and woman on top).
  • Talk to your doctor about treatment to help control your incontinence.

Causes of urinary incontinence                     

Urinary incontinence is not a disease, but rather a symptom of a number of conditions. It's important to know the underlying cause, especially if it is a serious medical condition.

According to the Urology Care Foundation these conditions may include:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Constipation
  • Medication (such as diuretics, antidepressants and antihistamines)
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Prostate surgery
  • Childbirth
  • Menopause

Image credit: iStock

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4401 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5333 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.