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4 Tips for Choosing the Right Incontinence Products

Mar 14, 2024 9:20:41 AM / by ABC Medical

ABC Medical

AdobeStock_609771732-Choosing Incontinence Products Blog

Did you know that the ancient Egyptians wrote texts on papyrus about managing urinary incontinence ? We won’t discuss the limited options available back then but trust us—we’re grateful for advances in technology!

Modern incontinence supplies are thoughtfully designed with a lot of technology and engineering for form, fit, and function. All that science means you have a ton of choices. But it can also mean a higher chance of choosing products that aren’t a good fit for your needs. In fact, up to 80% of people with incontinence are using the wrong or inferior products.

Fortunately, there’s no need to stress about where to start your search for the right items. Our experts have put together a list of key factors to consider when you’re shopping for incontinence products.

1. Pads, Briefs or Adult Diapers?

Every person and family has preferences for what works best in their lifestyle. Here are some basic facts to consider when shopping for absorbent incontinence products:

  • Protective underwear: Protective underwear is a popular alternative to adult diapers—many people find them more comfortable, discreet and convenient. These products pull on and off like regular undergarments with no fasteners like tabs or tape.
  • Fitted briefs: These tab-style diapers can be refastened and are made for youth and adults. Designed with waterproof backing (plastic or cloth-like material), briefs are a good option if protective underwear leak or if a caregiver helps with changing, especially at night.
  • Underpads and bed pads: These absorbent pads help protect the bed and furniture from urine leakage. Underpads come in a variety of sizes and styles that are disposable or washable and reusable.
  • Wearable pads and liners: Designed to absorb light urine leakage, these items stick to the inside of your underwear. Booster pads are designed to fit inside fitted briefs or protective underwear. 

2. Level of Absorbency

Once you find the style you like, check for the level of absorbency. All products are different, but here’s a general range to consider:

  • Light: You have a bit of leaking when you sneeze or cough (the equivalent of 1 cup of urine or less a day).
  • Moderate: You have a sudden need to urinate but worry about making it to a restroom in time (less than 4 cups of leakage per day).
  • Heavy: You have a spinal cord injury or another condition that reduces sensation or ability to use the toilet (4 or more cups a day).

Check the manufacturer’s product specifications carefully before you decide. A superabsorbent product may be more than you need – and that can make a big difference in cost and waste material.

Related reading: Navigator: Support for Living with a Spinal Cord Injury

3. Reusable or Disposable?

For light to moderate leakage, you may feel more comfortable using washable fabric pads or briefs. The upfront price can be a bit higher, but it won’t be an ongoing expense.

Washable briefs feel more like regular underwear and won’t limit your mobility or activity. Many manufacturers claim their absorbent underwear is durable enough to withstand up to 300 washings! Reusable means eco-friendly, and not just reduced landfill waste – most manufacturers use sustainable plant materials that won’t degrade into microplastics.

4. Ask for Samples to Find the Right Size

Too tight? Too loose? Either way, ill-fitting products can increase your risk of skin problems and urinary tract infections. If you’re having trouble sizing up your needs, get out the measuring tape. Have the numbers for your height, weight, waist, hips, and the tops of your thigh at hand when you’re checking fitting guides and sizing charts.

Controlling leaks is an important part of your urinary and skin health, and you need the best products on hand. Getting top products is as easy as connecting with ABC Medical customer service. We’ll help you get specific information about products to keep you dry and on the go.

Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical advice, please speak with your healthcare provider.


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