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A couple cuddles and laughs in bed on top of the covers. Bladder leaks don't have to get in the way of your sex life.

Leaks and your sex life

Don’t let anxiety stop you from doing what you need to do to protect your relationship, sexual health and pleasure.

Did you gasp a little bit when you saw that headline? Not to worry. It’s normal if you feel squeamish just thinking about what leaking might mean for your sex life. Peeing during sex is a very common concern for women.

The good news is incontinence itself doesn’t directly affect a woman’s ability to have sex nor does it automatically mean the end of intimacy. But worry about leakage, odors and embarrassment can sabotage sexual desire and satisfaction.

Don’t let anxiety stop you from doing what you need to do to protect your relationship, sexual health and pleasure. It’s possible to reduce or even eliminate urination during sex—and alleviate some of that anxiety—by pursuing treatment options with your doctor and by being proactive about reclaiming your sexual activity!

Be prepared

Believe it or not, what you do before an intimate encounter can limit your chances of leaking during sex.

Try a new position

Some sexual positions put lots of pressure on the bladder, making it more likely you’ll experience stress incontinence during intercourse. Trying something new can help you worry less and enjoy more. One position the National Association for Continence suggests is lying on your back with some pillows underneath your lower back. This raises your pelvis, helps reposition your bladder and reduces the extra pressure.

A couple's bare legs visible in bed under covers. Trying new positions can help alleviate bladder stress and anxiety.

Talk about it

Yes, this is an uncomfortable discussion to have, especially with your partner. But it’s so worth it! Simply talking honestly about your condition and concerns may relieve some of the stress and even bring the two of you closer. 

A couple stands, foreheads touching. Discussing your concerns with your partner is vital for a healthy, pleasurable sex life.

Sex should be pleasurable for both of you. So speak up and let your partner know what feels good and what doesn’t. And if you’re still having difficulty finding a position that works for you, or having pain during sex, both you and your partner should talk with a pelvic floor physical therapist about ways to make sex more enjoyable. In fact, it can be helpful to bring your partner to any medical appointments you have so they can better understand and support you along the way. 

The next best thing you can do is be open and honest with your friends about living and loving with bladder leaks. Creating a safe space where women feel free to discuss sensitive topics and share support is really important. Talking about your experience not only helps you—it can really help someone else.

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