Leaking urine during sex

Can be 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 during foreplay years later, after he has been fully continent during both foreplay and climax.


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

It may also happen if your loved one’s cancer recurs (comes back) after radical prostatectomy and he needs further treatment with radiation, which is 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 this 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 the urine is completely harmless, it can be a bit shocking.

What can you do about it?

Here are some tips that may help you and your man:

  • Limiting the amount of fluids he drinks several hours prior to lovemaking
  • Avoiding drinks or foods that contain caffeine, which can stimulate the bladder
  • Completely emptying his bladder before lovemaking
  • Having your man lie on his back while you make love
  • Keeping a thick towel on hand (or put a plastic pad down on the bed) in case of a wetting accident

If the problem persists

If urine leakage 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.

Updated 7/14

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References:
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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