Bladder weakness and a woman’s sex life

Through my work as a sex therapist and relationship counsellor, I know the challenges that a woman has to face if she suffers from bladder weakness, not least when it comes to her sex life.

Whether married, single or in a relationship, it is causing many women to refrain from having sex altogether. That’s according to a study of 1,000 women in the UK with bladder weakness, commissioned by INNOVO. A quarter of women over 40 with bladder weakness have admitted that it has led them to have less sex than they would like, and nearly a third (20%) never have sex.

A quarter of women over 40 with bladder weakness have admitted that it has led them to have less sex than they would like, and nearly a third (20%) never have sex.

Not only is sex an important part of a healthy relationship, it can also help you to lead a healthy life, strengthening the immune system, alleviating stress, burning calories and lowering blood pressure – among other benefits!

Suffering with urinary incontinence can impact sex on both an emotional and physical level. Perhaps the most obvious problem is that sexual activity places extra pressure on the abdomen which can cause urine to leak during sex, leading many women to fear having intercourse. Many women may also experience a loss in sensation due to weakness in the pelvic floor muscles. Not only this, but leaking can make women feel unattractive, with over a quarter (27%) saying that it makes them feel unsexy. A fifth are even worried that bladder weakness will put their partner off them. But partners may be a lot more understanding than you think – go through it together. A problem shared is a problem halved.

I liken urinary incontinence to erectile dysfunction in men. It has a physical side but also an emotional component and some people can’t get past it in their heads. The fear of urine leakage during sex is so strong for some women that they would rather avoid sex altogether.

I liken urinary incontinence to erectile dysfunction in men. It has a physical side but also an emotional component and some people can’t get past it in their heads. The fear of urine leakage during sex is so strong for some women that they would rather avoid sex altogether.

Refraining from spending time with your partner can only serve to damage your relationship. Your partner may feel as though they have done something wrong or that your regard for them has waned. He will know when something is awry and as such will know that you are not confiding in them. This can lead to increased levels of distrust, unresolved arguments and feelings of stress and tension. Withdrawing yourself is not the answer here; no matter how hard it may seem, being able to share your struggle with your partner will ease your own suffering, strengthen your relationship and create a bond of trust between you both.

My first piece of advice to women whose sex lives are suffering because of bladder weakness would be to talk: to a friend and your partner (preferably both!) Stigma continues to surround bladder weakness and it’s something we largely avoid talking about. This continues to imply that this is something to be embarrassed about which is hugely unhelpful for these women. Embarrassment may also lead to sufferers not seeking help.

Speak to your girlfriends, it’s likely they have suffered at some point and sharing your experiences can make you feel less alone. If you’re with someone, have a very honest and open conversation with them about how you feel. A breakdown in communication can be hugely damaging to relationships and it’s likely that your partner will be surprised and concerned that you feel this way. If you don’t want to confide in someone you know then there are plenty of online forums that offer support and guidance anonymously.

Some practical steps can lessen the impact of bladder weakness when it comes to sex. I advise avoiding caffeine drinks before sex and don’t be afraid to take loo breaks. It doesn’t have to take the romance out of it. Go to the toilet before sex and lean forward to completely empty your bladder. Wait for three to five minutes just to be sure.

Also remember that urinary incontinence can be treated – you do not need to put up with it. One successful solution is with using INNOVO.

INNOVO sends targeted impulses via a set of conductive pads placed on your thighs and buttocks, to safely and effectively activate the muscles of the entire pelvic floor. It is a clinically proven technology which has been designed to optimally strengthen your pelvic floor, allowing the device to do the job for you, with 180 full contractions completed per 30-minute session.

It is the only solution that has been clinically proven to treat all pelvic floor weakness, with 93% of users significantly drier in just 4 weeks.

For more information please visit www.restorethefloor.com

Annabelle Knight

Annabelle Knight

Annabelle Knight is one of the UK’s most well-known and respected sex, relationship, dating and body language experts. She is a certified couple’s counsellor, a published author and has developed her own range of sex toys.
Annabelle Knight

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