A couple months ago, a lady on a message board asked, “Why isn’t anyone talking about sex?” Her post was visited by over 2,600 curious women, but only one joined the conversation! Even though it’s not always easy to talk about sex, women have been reaching out. I received several private questions asking, “What can I do about leakage during sex?” That was my cue to get some answers, and I knew just where to find them. I asked Donna Carrico, Clinical Director and a nurse practitioner at the Beaumont Women’s Urology Center in Royal Oak, Michigan. Fortunately, Carrico was very familiar with the topic as she handles questions like these all the time from women looking to manage LBL in all parts of their lives.
“First of all, you are not alone. Secondly, many people have issues that have to be accommodated during sexual activity,” Carrico said. “For example, people with arthritis in their joints cannot use certain positions; men often need medications to help with erections. LBL is just another one of those things that may need a bit of accommodation. Have a towel close by to use as needed---why not consider getting something colorful and fun, or whimsical to use?”
She was quick to say that not all women with LBL experience leakage during sex, but for those who do, there are specific things that can be done to reduce or prevent it from happening:
• Reduce liquids a couple of hours before sexual activity
• Empty your bladder right before sex
• Use slow relaxation breaths as it may help avoid contraction of the muscles which contribute to LBL
• Limit the time of actual intercourse.
I like Carrico’s advice because it eases anxious feelings by offering a practical (even playful) perspective. Of course, if you plan to bring out a bright towel, you may want to talk to your partner about why it’s there. Some couples talk openly about LBL. For those who don’t, Carrico suggests that couples read information on the internet or in publications. The more we talk about these things, the more "normalized" they will be in our culture. LBL does not have to stop you from enjoying an intimate relationship with your partner. If you’d like to delve deeper, contact your physician or urology specialist.
Have you talked to your partner about sex and LBL? If not, why not use this post as a way to start the conversation?