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Q: Incontinence with stimulation? What’s up with that?

by Dr. Barb DePree MD

Urinary incontinence for women is usually classified as "stress incontinence" or "urge incontinence." Losing bladder control during sexual stimulation is most likely urge incontinence: The stimulation of the area nerves causes the urge to urinate and then contraction of bladder muscles (for some women it's just a strong urge, for others it's actual leaking).

While it poses no risk to you or your partner, it is definitely undesirable! Make sure to empty your bladder just before sexual activity. See your doctor to rule out a bladder infection. Performing regular Kegel exercises may be of benefit. The type, duration, and location of stimulation may influence the urge; more practice may help you better understand cause and effect. Certain positions may decrease leakage (for example, woman on top or side-lying position).

There are medications for urge incontinence that could be trialed just before having sex. Taken 10-60 minutes before sex play, the medication can decrease the urgency sensation and actual loss of urine.

This issue can really interfere with sexual expression, so addressing it sooner than later is important. See your gynecologist or urologist to further discuss which of these options are best suited to you based on your medical history.


  • Thanks for putting this information out there. I am a medical provider and have been asked to explain this troubling response to sexual relations from my patients. They are often worried and dismayed over these types of events and causes them to feel even more reluctant to have sex with their partners. You offer good suggestions and reassurance.

    Anne on

  • There is such a thing as female ejaculation, but usually the amount of fluid involved with this (female ejaculation) is much less than with urinary incontinence. Most women can distinguish between loss of urine vs ejaculation, based on the source. If it is urine that sense of passing fluid from the bladder is noted. On the other hand, some things remain a mystery and you may not be certain in distinguishing the difference.

    barbdepree on

  • I’ve had this happen. Friends say it wasn’t urinary incontinence but “coming in quarts” or “spurting” any thoughts on that?

    anne on

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