6 Tips for Discussing Overactive Bladder With Your Partner
HealthCentral Editorial Team Oct 3, 2012 (updated Sep 26, 2013)
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Managing symptoms of overactive bladder is difficult enough, but it can be particularly daunting to talk to a partner about how OAB affects your love life. Here are six tips for picking the best time--and the best way--to start the discussion.
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Pick the Right Moment
Even in a well-established relationship, it can be hard to find a way to discuss overactive bladder. But experts say you should bring the subject up with your partner when you're far away from the bedroom door. Waiting until intimacy is imminent puts pressure on both of you. Instead, find a time when you're both relaxed and and feeling positive before you broach the topic.
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Do it Face-to-Face
It can be tempting to talk about difficult subjects over the phone, or via email, but there is much more scope for misunderstanding there as well. It's easy to misinterpret silence as awkwardness, or confusion as disapproval, and being face-to-face is the best way to avoid those problems.
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Practice Makes Perfect
It's possible to spend years dealing with OAB in silence, and that can mean that it's tough to talk about symptoms out loud. If you're going to have a discussion with a sexual partner and you're nervous about it, try talking about it out loud, even if just to yourself. You'd be surprised how helpful it can be to get used to talking about your symptoms.
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Have a Support Sytem
Overactive bladder may seen like a health condition that is often kept quiet, but in reality it's a very common problem. Finding a support system--online or in-person--can help you discover how others have addressed their symptoms with partners and other loved-ones.
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Know What Helps
Some sexual positions and activities place more pressure on the bladder than others, so knowing more about what brings on your own symptoms can help you have an easier time being intimate.
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Remember, Your Attitude Matters
Having a sense of humor and a feeling of confidence shows up in the ways you interact with your partner. While it's true that OAB can cause leaking and other issues during sex, it's also true that intimacy encompasses much more than what goes on behind the bedroom door.