Urinary incontinence in adults affects more than 200 million people in the world and women account for 75 percent to 80 percent of this figure.
Incontinence is thought to be part of the aging process, and it’s common among people aged between 30 to 70 years old.
The condition can either be transient or chronic and can affect your social, sexual and professional life.
If you suffer from this condition, it is advisable to always carry with you essential incontinence supplies, especially when traveling or going to work.
Before we list the supplies, it helps to learn a little about urinary incontinence.
What is urinary incontinence (UI)?
Also known as urinary leakage or loss of bladder, UI is an involuntary leaking of the urine that you can’t hold or control. This bladder condition affects both men and women, but it’s more prevalent in women.
In men, the possibility of getting UI is increased by birth defects and history of prostate cancer. Typically, this condition is not a disease, and it can be a symptom of conditions such as:
- Chronic coughing
- Neurological problems
In women, the primary causes of UI include pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. Other possible causes include:
- Birth defects
- Brain injury
Also, keep in mind that there are varied types of incontinences including stress, urge, functional, overflow, mixed and transient incontinence.
Essential incontinence supplies
If you have this bladder condition, it is wise to have the right products for your needs. A few things you need to examine when choosing UI care products include comfort, the amount of urine you lose, durability, ease of use, cost, and odor-controlling ability.
1. Pads, liners, and guards
Typically, these care products are inserts that you can attach to your undergarments using adhesive strips. It doesn’t feel bulky when wearing them and you can easily remove them when soiled.
These inserts are low-profile, and there are both designs for men and women that fit their unique anatomy. They are quick-absorbing and hardly allow even a single drop of urine to pass.
Absorbent pads are made to absorb up to 8 or more ounces of urine, and you can easily change them when already used.
These supplies come in varied styles and colors to allow you to choose your preferred options.
2. Disposable underwear
If you don’t like incontinence supplies that attach to your regular underwear, you can opt for disposable underwear. This option completely replaces your regular underwear, but the only difference is that its disposable.
Most options tend to resemble regular elastic banded underwears. They are usually flexible so that you can fit them comfortably around your waist.
Another great thing about disposable undergarments is that they offer both day and night versions.
They have several features such as odor control, moisture wicking capability, and varying degrees of urine absorbency.
3. Belted shields and undergarments
These options do not feature adhesive strips for attaching to your underwear. Instead, they are pads or liners combined with a strap or belt that you can wear with your underwear.
They are less bulky and make great alternatives to disposable underwear. Belted options also have standard features such as odor control and quick-absorbing ability.
4. Disposable briefs
Disposable briefs are commonly known as adult diapers. They are great options for chronic UI cases, night wetting and patients who need help to get to the bathroom.
Unlike protective underwears which are fastened through the legs, disposable briefs feature side fasteners that run from the rear section to the front for easy fastening.
They have built-in waterproof liners and cloth pads with a capacity of holding 10 ounces of urine or more. This makes them effective in absorbing urine, controlling odor and keeping uncomfortable moisture away from the skin.
Additionally, these care products are cost-saving as they are washable and re-usable. Briefs also come in a variety of styles and colors for night and day use.
5. Protective underpads & bed pads
These are important incontinence supplies for adult bedwetting and leak prevention. With bed pads, one side features a moisture barrier while the other side has an absorbent layer.
Thanks to advanced technology, you can find products that feature a super absorbent polymer that turns the urine into a gel-like substance.
This helps to improve the viscosity of urine thus prevent leaking and controls odor. They are also designed to protect the skin from moisture and keep it dry through the night; though not all of them have this functionality.
Protective under pads are ideal for protecting mattresses, chair cushions and other furniture from urinal leaks. Some of them are antifungal and antibacterial while others feature adhesive strips for holding them in place.
Choose your supplies
Incontinence supplies come in a variety of options with different features and capabilities.
When choosing the right supplies, the important factors to consider are:
- Absorbency degree – The type of option you choose depends on the severity of your UI. Pads are ideal for light urinary leakage while briefs are recommended for severe cases.
- Size – An undergarment that is too small or too large won’t be effective in preventing urine leaks. So, try to get one that fits you well. Measure your hips, waist, and thighs to make choosing the right size easy.
- Gender – Try to avoid unisex options as they may not be what you need to manage urine leaks. Instead, buy gender-specific supplies that are designed with the anatomy of each sex in mind. You can benefit from better comfort and fit if you use gender-specific incontinence supplies.
- Cost – These care products can be expensive to some people, but don’t opt for cheaper options because of the cost. Typically, most expensive options come packed with unique features such as moisture barrier and wicking capability.
The bottom line
Incontinence can bring about several issues such as fear, frustration, and embarrassment. The good thing is that there are urinary care products that are designed to deal with the physical effects of UI.
Choosing the right incontinence supplies for your needs is important. In addition to using these products, patients are usually advised to seek counseling to help deal with the emotional effects of this condition.
Connecting with other people with the same problem is one of the easy ways to gain confidence and feel better about yourself. If there is any incontinence product you need but can’t seem to find it, please contact us.