“I’m experiencing some light bladder leakage. I was told to use incontinence pads but I’ve never used one before and don’t know how to choose one. What features should I be looking for when choosing an incontinence pad?”
Urinary incontinence pads, or bladder pads, are a great way to manage leaks. They’re thin and discreet, allowing you to perform daily activities without anyone knowing you’re wearing a pad. Most of them come with an adhesive backing (like a menstrual pad), so it’s easy to use and remove. Here’s what you should consider when choosing a bladder pad:
- Size – As with any absorbent product, incontinence pads come in a variety of sizes and lengths. If you’re on the smaller side, choose a shorter length. Also, generally, the longer the pad, the more absorbent it is.
- Absorbency – Incontinence pads are designed for light incontinence. In general, these pads are categorized as light, moderate and heavy. If you trickle just a little after voiding, you may only need a light or moderate absorbent pad.
- Gender – Many people don’t realize that bladder pads are not just for women. There are unisex pads, incontinence pads just for women, and male guards just for men. The gender-specific pads are contoured and tapered to fit the unique anatomy of men and women.
- Layers – The more effective incontinence pads have multiple layers for extra protection and comfort. For example, the Poise Hourglass pads feature an Absorb-Loc Core that quickly locks away wetness and odor, and a Dry-Touch layer which keeps the skin soft and dry.
- Brand – The brand of the incontinence pad isn’t as important as the features above, but you may be interested to know which are the most popular among others with bladder control problems. These brands include: Poise, Tena, Attends and Prevail.
When you’re choosing a pad, keep in mind that it may take several tries before you find the perfect pad. It’s all a matter of trial and error, but once you find the right fit, be rest assured that you’ll be protected all day long.