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Incontinence and Intimacy

Check out our best tips on how to be intimate when dealing with incontinence and how to enjoy sexual intimacy after an incontinence diagnosis

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Incontinence and Intimacy
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Incontinence and Intimacy

Incontinence may have a negative influence on a person's emotional, physical, and psychological wellbeing in so many ways; the last thing one needs is for it to affect intimate activities.

Incontinence and Intimacy

Incontinence may have a negative influence on a person's emotional, physical, and psychological wellbeing in so many ways; the last thing one needs is for it to affect intimate activities.

People with incontinence-related issues need to know it is very common to be concerned about maintaining sexual activity and intimacy when experiencing incontinence.

Sexual activity is a normal part of many relationships and of all ages, and it’s common for people to link their sexual identity and a positive state of well-being to actual sexual activity.

Many people are concerned about being intimate with their partner after they realise they are dealing with incontinence. It is common for both genders to wonder, "What if my partner wants to be intimate and I haven't had time to prepare? I'm afraid I'll wet myself! I don't want to wet the bed".

It's a Common Problem

As of now, it is estimated that around 7 million people in the United Kingdom suffer from urinary incontinence, which represents approximately 5-10% of the population. According to a study from the American Foundation of Urological disease, 1:3 of the woman with stress incontinence avoids sexual intimacy because of fear of leakage during intercourse or orgasm.

With the right help, techniques, products and lifestyle tips, many cases of incontinence can be managed. Most people can continue to live a sexually intimate and fulfilling life whilst incontinent if they choose to.

Embrace Your Sexuality

Learning to be comfortable in your own skin and embrace your sexuality starts with a positive mindset. Try dressing intimately; If you are a lady, putting on a long dress, nice clothes, or lovely nightwear, even make-up, makes you feel sexy; if you are a man, nice clothing, nice underwear, and aftershave can also help put you in the mood. This is important to people, especially those with incontinence, who often don’t feel sexually attractive about themselves.

Communcation is the Key

Be open to discussing your fears with your partner and help them understand that you will need a moment to prepare. Talking openly and discussing your worries with your partner can be instrumental in developing a sense of sexual self-confidence. If this is difficult, we advise you to speak to your GP or seek the advice of a councillor.

It does become more challenging if you are in a new relationship. However, being open and honest is the best policy. Build that connection and then discuss any health concerns that you feel you wish to discuss. Be confident and acknowledge that any relationship can overcome these issues if it is important to both parties.

Additional Tips

Ensure you empty your bladder, and for added confidence, use a wipe or wash your genitals just before any intimacy; you could use this as part of foreplay. Remember, the kidneys are constantly making urine which the bladder stores, but should you follow the above advice, you will have very little in the bladder to pass. Try to relax and after your intimate time, go to the bathroom, empty your bladder and use your continence aide of choice.

You can also experiment with different sexual positions to put less pressure on the bladder. One position is side by side which can reduce bladder spasms. If you are worried, consider a bed protection mat to assist in absorbing any leakage that may happen, leaving your bed feeling dry, and you relieved. These mats are an excellent investment for peace of mind.