National Incontinence is America’s source for bladder control products.
Tips & Advice: Choosing the Right Incontinence Product
- Choosing the Best Product for Your Needs
- Problem Solving and the Proper Fit
- Products for Heavy Nighttime Protection
- Features To Consider in Incontinence Protection
Choosing the Best Product for Your Needs
For some people, incontinence isn't a constant issue, but is instead more of a nuisance that can even be triggered by sneezes or laughter. For others, incontinence is a full-time problem. No matter how severe the problem, selecting the best protection to meet your unique needs is essential.
Many varieties of incontinence products are available. Before becoming overwhelmed with options, start by considering the following questions:
- Which product is best for the volume of your problem?
- Which product feels the most comfortable to wear?
- How well does one product protect your skin over another?
For example, Attends incontinence protection products are the only ones on the market that have PermaDry technology, which lowers the pH of urine so that it's consistent with the skin's natural pH, leaving your skin healthy and dry and leaving you odor-free. For light incontinence, liners that work with normal underwear, such as Prevail Pads, provide low-profile absorbency. Those looking for protection against frequent daytime accidents should consider Tranquility Premium DayTime Disposable Underwear, which provides a high level of protection without the bulkiness of nighttime undergarments.
Problem Solving and the Proper Fit
While incontinence aids are extremely well-designed to catch and hold various amounts of liquid, nothing is guaranteed. If your protective undergarment is not adequately retaining urine, it's important to find the reason and do something about it quickly. First off, change the undergarment as soon as possible, both for comfort and skin protection. Then, try these suggestions to help solve leakage problems:
- The first few times you wear an adult diaper, try to stay home to determine whether or not the product is effective for your personal needs. Also, use a disposable underpad when sitting on furniture or lying in your bed until you're sure there will be no leaking.
- It's essential to make sure you have the right fit. Undergarments that are too small won't adequately cover you where you need them to—they may ride up, resulting in openings, or they may be unable to absorb as much liquid as you need them to. Undergarments that are too large may gap at your legs and waist, creating openings for liquid to escape through.
- Request samples prior to purchasing a large quantity of undergarments. This way, you can make sure you purchase the correct size, absorbency, and features for your needs.
Products for Heavy Nighttime Protection
Those who experience heavy or repeated bouts of incontinence during the night should look for a product that can handle a high volume of flow. An effective nighttime diaper or undergarment needs to be equipped to handle both urinary and fecal incontinence, since control of both the bladder and bowels is often reduced during sleep.
For heavy overnight flows, a fitted brief or diaper offers the best protection. Its fit accommodates the contours of the body while virtually sealing possible leakage points, specifically the leg openings and side panels. One example of a product that's well-designed for overnight is the Molicare brief. This product features anti-leak cuffs to keep liquid and solid waste contained, slender design for discretion and comfort, a high-tech absorbent core, and tape closures that fasten easily. Tranquility ATN is another superior nighttime incontinence product. With a fecal barrier, wetness indicator, and lycra leg openings, the ATN protects both the body and the mattress for a sound night's sleep. Also, try the Abri-Form briefs made by Abena, which are highly absorbent and feature a wetness indicator.
Features To Consider in Incontinence Protection
There are a lot of absorbent underwear products out there and a lot of terminology to describe them. Adult diapers, pull-ups, briefs, underwear, etc. — it's a lot to make sense of. The one that works best for you will ultimately depend on your lifestyle, the severity of your incontinence, and product features. Understanding the terminology is a good place to start.
- Protective Undergarment: This is a general term that refers to both protective underwear and briefs.
- Protective Underwear: This term is synonymous with "pull-up." Protective underwear comes in both disposable varieties, such as Tena underwear for men and women, and washable varieties.
- Adult Brief: Adult briefs are also commonly known as "adult diapers." These tend to be extra-absorbent.
Incontinence products also come with different features, which vary slightly from brand to brand. Each feature helps to effectively handle incontinence; the key is to choose the ones that best meet your needs. Consider the following factors:
- Size: Absorbent undergarments come in a variety of sizes, usually based on waist and hip measurements. Bariatric products are available for larger individuals.
- Absorbency: This refers to how much liquid the product can handle. It ranges from light to extra heavy. Absorbency is typically expressed in ounces.
- Gender-Specific Design: Products like Depend underwear for women and Tena for Men are designed to meet the needs and fit the body of each sex.
- Contour: This refers to how the undergarment fits against the body. Special features such as flexible tabs and leg cuffs are meant to make the product fit snuggly and comfortably to your unique body. Molicare briefs, for example, feature fitted leg cuffs.
- Odor Control: Every protective undergarment has a unique technology for handling odor. For example, Depends underwear feature ABSORB-LOC, while Tranquility ATN briefs have a Peach Mat absorbent core.
- Tabs: These fasten briefs onto the body. Different brands will feature different kinds of tabs for easy application and removal.
- Moisture Wicking: All absorbent products will feature some kind of technology that works to pull, or "wick," moisture away from the body in order to keep the wearer dry and comfortable.