Bladder issues can hamper your sex life

Urinary incontinence (UI) may impact your sex life

Research suggests that urinary incontinence, or UI, is firmly linked to a decline in sexual desire and arousal, as well a decline in sexual activity. The good news is that most UI conditions are very treatable, and with medical help, many issues can be cured, or at least improved or controlled.

Studies also noted that increased levels of depression are strongly associated with poor sexual health, including urinary incontinence. The effects of UI due to leakage, odor, and embarrassment, may result in a reduction in the quality of life. The run-off effects often lead to higher levels of anxiety and depression.

Who is most affected by UI issues?

A recent survey conducted in the US by urologists, showed that of 18 million American adults who are affected by UI, 80% are women. Women in the study indicated that that UI had a negative effect on sexual activity and arousal, which was very concerning. The study also concluded that women with UI were more likely to abstain from sex than women who did not have the condition.

Men taking part in the study reported difficulty with arousal, a frequent problem with erectile dysfunction, and high levels of frustration. Both sexes agreed that leakage for any reason is shameful, and inhibits sexuality by resulting in fear that you may leak, or perhaps have already leaked. What your sexual partner might think, is another very disturbing factor.


Early treatment will result in much better outcomes

Unfortunately, people do not seek help in the early stages of UI, mainly due to shame, embarrassment, etc. Urinary Incontinence, like any chronic condition, is easier to treat in the early stages. There are some very effective therapies, and a visit to a urologist, will give hope of successful treatment, and help to restore peace of mind.

There are 2 main types of UI namely:

  • Stress incontinence, which is related to effort, such as sneezing, coughing, laughing, lifting, or anything that increases pressure on the abdomen. Treatments would include pelvic floor physical therapy, weight loss if obese, and possible bladder muscle surgery.
  • Urge incontinence, which is an urgent need to urinate, followed by a sudden leakage. Some folk have reported a periodic leakage without any urge, or after drinking just a small amount of liquid. Pelvic floor muscles physical therapy will also help this type of urinary incontinence, as will weight loss, a reduced fluid intake, low levels of caffeine, and meds which act to relax the bladder and suppress spasms.

Don’t suffer in silence. Visit the doctor to find out which treatment will suit you best.

Age-related urinary incontinence

A researcher from the Manchester University in the UK, has suggested that UI and sexual issues have been under-reported by people in later-life. He maintains that medical intervention can help older folk whose sex lives are being challenged by UI problems. Women are particularly prone to UI issues, and it is an embarrassing subject to bring up in conversation, (even with a doctor) so many will just throw in the towel on their sex lives.

With expert medical help, and perhaps even some counselling, it may not be necessary to give up on what might have been a happy and satisfying sex life.

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September 27, 2022

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