Raise your hand if you've ever experienced that specific sensation during sex that can only be described as, well, feeling like you need to pee. You may have even wondered if you should quickly pause your sexual activity for a brief intermission in the bathroom.
Well, according to Aleece Fosnight, MSPAS, PA-C, CSCS, CSE, NCMP, a board-certified physician assistant who specialises in sexual medicine and medical advisor to Aeroflow Urology, that feeling of having to pee is a common one for people with vaginas during sex. In truth, many different factors could be causing it.
Fosnight said that some potential reasons behind this sensation include: the position of sexual penetration, which can put pressure on the bladder or urethra; stimulation to the Skene's glands; actually having a full bladder; pelvic floor muscle contraction; an overactive bladder; vaginal dryness; having a UTI; and constipation.
Now, this specific feeling can actually be extremely pleasant and stimulating for some who experience it. "The sensation of pressure on the bladder/urethra can increase pleasure and orgasm intensity for some vagina owners," Fosnight said. She also mentioned that the stimulation on the Skene's glands during sexual activity could "also cause the sensation [that] you are about to orgasm." (Some people describe the feeling of orgasms themselves as being similar to the urge of having to pee.)
Others may find the sensation of feeing like they have to pee during sex to be kind of uncomfortable. Fosnight explained that this may be the case if it's not something that's typically felt during sexual activity. "Having the feeling of needing to urinate can be distracting, cause less pleasure, and cessation of sexual activity earlier than desired," Fosnight explained.
If this specific feeling is bothersome or distracting rather than pleasurable, there are some things that might help ease it or prevent it entirely. Fosnight points to changing positions, using lube, avoiding constipation, or meeting with a pelvic floor physical therapist to assess the strength and weaknesses of the pelvic floor muscles.
If you think a full bladder is behind the feeling, Fosnight said emptying the bladder before or during sexual activities may help. "It is always OK to communicate to your partner that you are having pelvic fullness and need to empty your bladder if in the middle of sexual activity. You should always have pleasure and pain-free sexual encounters," she stressed.
Of course, don't hesitate to bring up this sensation with your medical provider if you're confused, concerned, have questions, or just want to learn more.
"Asking clarifying questions about your body is always encouraged!" Fosnight said. "It opens up the opportunity to normalise your body's response to a pleasurable experience, or troubleshoot discomfort and find more enjoyable sexual activities. It also allows the provider an opportunity to rule out any concerns such as a urinary tract infection, pelvic floor dysfunction, and/or changes in the vulvovaginal mucosa."