Your Guide to Incontinence Pads and Other Absorbent Products

Choosing incontinence products for your body and severity is a big part of incontinence management. Incontinence sufferers have a lot of absorbent product options, from pads and guards to full diapers, and everything in between. The following is guide to incontinence pads and other absorbent products.

How to select your incontinence pad or product:

Ease of use. This is important for sufferers and caregivers to think about. How hard is it to change, put on, take off, dispose of? If you are working, you may want a product with tabbed sides for easier removal and placement. If you are bedridden, a product that can be secured without getting out of bed is a must. Consider when, where, and how you will be using the products.

Required absorbency. The more absorbent products are often larger and thicker, which means that they are going to be bulkier under clothes, and less discrete. However, there are many products that are low profile and still offer a great deal of absorbency, such as Silhouette for Women. The absorbency you require should dictate what product you get. For example, a pad is going to be more discrete and easier to change, but is usually more helpful to those with light to moderate leakage.

Discretion. No one wants to be embarrassed by the use of an absorbent product for incontinence, so discretion is important. Lower profile products that fit well can protect against leaks without looking bulky under clothes.

Your options for pads include:

Pantiliners. Pantiliners for incontinence are different from menstrual pantiliners, but are similar in that they are thin and discreet, and help protect underwear and clothing from leaks.

Pads. Again, choose pads specifically designed for those suffering urine leakage, not menstruation pads. A pad is thicker than a pantiliner, and will serve those with moderate to minimal urine loss well.

Guards. A guard is a pad for men. They are contoured to better fit the male anatomy.

These products are made to be worn inside underwear, have waterproof backing, and help protect the wearer from leaks. Some are disposable, and some are washable.

If your incontinence is too severe for a pad, consider a shield, or adult diaper. There are many brands and styles, some very discrete, others more about function. These products are worn in place of underwear, and catch urine leaks.

Shields. A shield is going to look like a pad, but with straps attached for support. They are good for providing protection for moderate to heavy incontinence.

Adult diapers. Adult diapers offer the best protection, as they have tabs for fitting to the waist, and catch urine loss for those with heavy incontinence.

No matter what absorbent product you choose, it is important to replace them when they are soiled, and quickly. Prolonged exposure to urine and feces can damage skin and cause great discomfort.