Ladies, When You Gotta Go –It May Just Affect Your Sex Life

Overactive bladder (OAB) can rain havoc on your sex life. OAB is marked by the near constant urge to urinate, which can lead to urinary incontinence or leakage. This occurs because your bladder involuntarily contracts when it isn’t full. From medication side effects and neurological conditions to urinary tract infections and pregnancy, the potential causes of OAB in women vary.
If you are a woman with OAB, sexual intimacy may worsen the symptoms of OAB. Some women are apprehensive about the loss of urine during sexual intimacy and will avoid intimacy to avoid embarrassment. OAB or urinary incontinence can cause physical symptoms as well as fear, anxiety, and shame about sex and intimacy. Most women find it very difficult to discuss their OAB symptoms with men especially if those urinary symptoms occur at the time of sexual intimacy.
Most women with OAB can be helped with medication. Also, sometimes simple actions like using the restroom before sexual intimacy may alleviate the problem. There are dietary modifications such as omitting caffeine and alcohol several hours before you anticipate you are going to be sexually active can reduce the symptoms of OAB. Also there are medications that cause OAB and it may be something as simple as speaking with your doctor and changing your current medication regimen to one that doesn’t cause OAB symptoms. Most patients can be helped with medication and behavior changes to decrease the bladder irritation that results in OAB symptoms.
Unfortunately, many women with OAB will just avoid sex altogether. They think it’s bad for their bladder and that it will make it worse, so they stay away from that whole area. Unless you have a prolapsed bladder or a protrusion from your vagina intercourse is not dangerous and will not damage your bladder.
Sometimes being forthright and honest with your partner is best course of action. Once you are open with your partner, you can face the situation together. If there is urine incontinence during sex or orgasm, you may need a towel. This is something that should be done before you hit the bedroom sheets. Sex experts advise bringing up OAB and sex fears long before intimacy occurs.
Bottom Line: Overactive bladder doesn’t kill you; it just ruins your life. It doesn’t have to be that way. Speak to your partner and your doctor and, this too, shall pass.

This blog was modified from an article on WebMD: OAB: How it Affects Sex and Intimacy, WebMD Feature, By Denise Mann

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