According to the American Foundation for Urologic Disease (AFUD), about a third of women avoid sex as a result of their incontinence symptoms. If you’re one of that roughly 33 percent, here’s what you need to do to get your sex life back on track:
· Talk openly about your worries with your partner. It may not be the sexiest topic, but part of trusting your partner is being able to talk openly about your concerns. Both men and women experience changes in their sex lives and performance as they age; discussing these issues openly can foster a deeper understanding and more meaningful relationship.
· Control fluid intake prior to sex. Try not to drink fluids an hour prior to having sex (but certainly don’t avoid drinking if you’re thirsty), and avoid caffeine for a few hours before having sex. Urinate just before sex and focus on completely relaxing the bladder to get as much out as possible. Place towels on your bed to protect against possible leaks, and take a bathroom break during sex if you feel you need to urinate.
· Try different positions. Intercourse using a rear- or side-entry position prevents your partner’s weight from resting on your bladder where added pressure can increase the risk of leaks.
· Strengthen pelvic floor muscles with Kegels. When you urinate, try to stop the flow of urine. Those muscles you’re using are your pelvic floor muscles, and Kegels are designed to help you strengthen them so you have better control of your urine flow.
· Talk to an incontinence specialist. Your doctor can help you understand your medical options for treating incontinence, including medications and bladder control techniques that can help you prevent leakage. Most importantly, you’ll be evaluated for any underlying conditions that could be contributing to your incontinence so you can get the customized treatment you need for optimal results.
If you’re suffering from incontinence, seeing your doctor is the first step in taking back control of your life. Call our office today and schedule your evaluation so you can begin learning about your options.