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Header: Helpful tips on intimacy

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Some planning will help make for a more enjoyable experience.

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“I think sex is here to stay”, said the beloved comedian Groucho Marx (1890-1977). Even though you may agree and may really want to be sexually active, your worries about bladder issues might hold you back. There are a few extra precautions to take when you have bladder issues - both to avoid disturbing leaks of urine and to prevent urinary tract infections as an unwanted morning gift.

The confidence to enjoy an active sex life

Intermittent catheterization (IC) should rarely interfere with sexual activity if you make sure to catheterize and empty your bladder completely first.

What you may need to consider, is that IC does not always allow you to be completely spontaneous. This is because you should always take the time to empty your bladder before hitting the sheets.

Women are more likely to get urinary tract infections (UTI) and sexual activity can increase the risk because of the female anatomy. Even though the risk is higher for females, men can also get urinary tract infections– so these tips are relevant for both:

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Precautions when you have sex

During intercourse your genital area will always be introduced to bacteria – either from yourself or from your partner. Follow these tips for before, during and after sex to limit the amount of bacteria: 

Before sex

You should always empty your bladder first. A full bladder contributes to the condition for bacteria to settle in the bladder begin to grow. Wash your genital area or shower to wash away bacteria.

During sex

You may want to keep a water-soluble gel (lubricant) on hand to help decrease friction and stress on the tissue in the genital area, which may contribute to a urinary tract  infection (UTI) . Consider the type of birth control you may want to use.

The use of diaphragms and spermicides can sometimes cause irritation in the genital area, which may also promote UTIs.

For people who have frequent urinary tract infections related to sexual activity, speak to your healthcare provider about another form of birth control.

After sex

Empty your bladder immediately after having sex, even though there is only a small amount of urine in your bladder to flush out potential bacteria.

Drink 2-3 glasses of water and urinate when you have the urge to do so. The goal is to have a good steady stream of urine to wash any bacteria from the bladder.

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