Is it normal to need to pee during sex?

Annie Hayes
·6-min read
Photo credit: Nednapa Chumjumpa / EyeEm
Photo credit: Nednapa Chumjumpa / EyeEm

From Netdoctor

Peeing during sex can be an awkward prospect. One second you’re in the middle of enjoying intercourse with your partner, and the next you need to run to the bathroom.

Peeing during sex is surprisingly common. However, some women who worry about peeing during sex may actually be experiencing female ejaculation during orgasm.

So, is peeing during sex normal or should you see a doctor? We asked Dr Sherry A. Ross, a women’s health expert and author of She-ology. The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period, and Kristine D'Angelo, a certified sex coach and clinical sexologist, to run through what you need to know about your bladder during sex – so you can focus on the task at hand:

What causes peeing during sex?

Feeling the urge to urinate during sex is mainly an issue for women and people with vaginas, because men and people with penises have an innate mechanism that prevents urination when they have an erection.

You might not know it, but the need to pee during sex is actually a lot more common than you might think. ‘It can be completely normal to feel the urge to pee during sexual intercourse. In fact, around 60 per cent of women feel the urge to pee during sex,’ says Ross.

The question is: why?

You’re having sex with a semi-full bladder

You’ve probably heard the (somewhat) common advice to always pee after sex in order to prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI). While this information is absolutely correct, you should also aim to pee before sex as well, if you want to minimise mid-coitus pee breaks.

The urethra and bladder are adjacent to the vaginal canal. When the bladder is full, sex can make urgency more apparent – and even cause it. ‘Since the bladder sits directly on top of the vagina, the act of a penis or dildo going in and out of the vagina creates the sensation of the urge to pee,’ says Ross. This is called stress incontinence.

As you move during intercourse, the bladder gets, well, bumped around a bit. Your sexual organs are all quite close to one another. ‘It’s not uncommon to feel like you need to pee because of the pressure being applied to the bladder through vaginal insertion of a toy or penis, or the position you’re in during sex,’ explains D’Angelo.

If you can, make a pit stop to the bathroom before sex to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. If anything, it will give you peace of mind to know you’re not squishing an overly full bladder before getting busy.

You’re experiencing vaginal dryness

If you always feel the need to pee during sex, the easiest solution could be investing in some reliable lube. Vaginal dryness can lead to irritation of the urethral canal, resulting in a sense of urgency during sex.

‘Prevent vaginal dryness or irritation by using proper lubrication. This could help eliminate vaginal tissue from becoming inflamed, affecting the urethral tube which could make you feel like you have to pee,’ D’Angelo says.

There are tons of lubes to choose from. We recommend opting for a reliable water-based product that is free of parabens and glycerine. The mucus-rich tissue of the vagina and vulva are some of the most highly absorbent in the human body. Don’t use low-grade ingredients.

Photo credit: Peter Dazeley
Photo credit: Peter Dazeley

You‘re having a G-spot orgasm

The G-spot is located within the first few inches inside of the vaginal canal. To locate it, insert one or two fingers into the vagina and hook up toward the belly button. It should feel like a walnut textured patch. This spot is less of a ‘spot’ and more of a G-spot area. It is the back end of the clitoris. This area lives in close proximity to the urethral sponge and Skene’s Glands , which are responsible for female ejaculation.

When the G-spot is activated, it can simultaneously stimulate the urethral sponge and urethra, causing the sensation to urinate. Additionally, when the Skene’s Glands fill with fluid, it can add further pressure to the urethra. So chances are you don’t really need to pee, it just feels that way.

‘When the G-spot, which is connected to the clitoral network, is massaged or experiences friction it begins to swell with prostatic fluids, when ejaculated through the urethra it can be confused with peeing but actually it’s got a small amount of urea present,’ D’Angelo explains. Needing to pee is often the preface for squirting.

You have weak pelvic floor muscles

Another reason a constant need to urinate might be happening? Weak pelvic floor muscles. ‘If you have any problems with pelvic floor weakness from a vaginal birth, chronic coughing, sneezing, constipation or regular high-impact exercises this can also lead to an urge to pee during sex,’ Ross explains. The best way to strengthen the pelvic floor is by doing Kegel exercises. To get started, read our guide.

You have an overactive bladder

Leaking urine during sexual activity is called urge incontinence, and it's a symptom of an overactive bladder. It’s characterised by a frequent and sudden urge to urinate that may be difficult to control, and occurs when your bladder tries to expel urine even when it isn’t full. Urge incontinence can be triggered by many things, for example, running water. If you frequently need to pee and suspect an overactive bladder to be the cause, book an appointment with your GP.

What to do if you need to pee during sex

So, you’re using lube, practising kegels, and making a bathroom pitstop before you get busy. But what else can you do to dissipate the need to pee during sex? There are a few lifestyle changes you can make to help you control your bladder, such as:

  • Trying different sex positions to take the pressure off your bladder.

  • Losing weight, if you're overweight.

  • Limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics and bladder irritants.

  • Incorporating bladder training by scheduling toilet breaks into your day.

Most people are able to reduce or even eliminate the need to pee during sex by making simple lifestyle changes and regularly practising pelvic floor muscle exercises – but if you have any concerns, you should always discuss them with a healthcare professional.

When to see your doctor about peeing during sex

Needing to pee during sex is usually normal, but there are times when you should consult your doctor or gynaecologist. For instance, if the urgency is accompanied by pain, this could indicate an infection of the bladder or a UTI. If your incontinence is caused by an underlying condition, treating the condition may help reduce your incontinence. You should always talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing pain during intercourse.

Last updated: 29-10-20

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