Leaking urine during sex – Often an unwanted surprise

If your loved one has just had radical prostatectomy, leaking urine during sex is not uncommon, particularly when he is at the stage of climax (orgasm).

Fortunately, this is expected to lessen over time.

What may be more of a shock to a woman is when her man suddenly starts leaking urine years later, after he has been fully continent, during both foreplay and/or climax.

This unfortunate side effect may also occur several years after initial radiation treatment.

Leaking urine may also happen if your loved one’s cancer recurs (comes back) after radical prostatectomy and he needs additional treatment with radiation (called salvage radiation).

According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of incontinence rises each year for several years after external beam radiation.

Why does it happen?

When a man becomes aroused during sex, his pelvic muscles will contract. If his bladder muscles are weakened by treatment it is possible that he may leak some urine during sex.

While urine leakage is harmless, it can certainly be uncomfortable for both of you.  It also may be a source of shame for your man.

You can remind your man that as women age they also often experience bladder leakage.

While the urine is completely harmless, it can be a bit shocking.

What can you do?

  • Limit drinking fluids several hours prior to lovemaking
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks (like coffee) or foods (like chocolate) that can stimulate the bladder
  • Completely empty the bladder before lovemaking
  • Have your man lie on his back while you make love
  • Keep a thick towel on hand in case of a wetting accident
  • Protect the surface you are lying on with a plastic shower curtain or a plastic mattress pad

If leaking urine during sex persists

If leaking urine during sex does not improve in the months after initial surgery, or it gets worse over time after initial radiation or salvage treatment, your loved one can talk to his urologist about available treatments for urinary incontinence.

A sense of humor helps

We know of a couple that brags that any lovemaking session that does not require three towels is less than stellar!

Back to sex after prostate cancer

American Cancer Society. How is prostate cancer treated? http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_2_4X_How_Is_Prostate_Cancer_Treated_36.asp. Accessed February 22, 2009.

Urological Research Foundation. Conditions after radical prostatectomy. http://www.drcatalona.com/qa/arch_rp-conditions.asp. Accessed February 22, 2009.

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