Your Guide To Incontinence Products

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It is estimated that between 3 and 6 million people in the UK are living with some form of urinary incontinence. With 1 in 10 of people in the UK being affected by bowel incontinence. While this may be embarrassing and uncomfortable, we have created the perfect guide to help you get to grips with the different types of products we offer for incontinence and how to decide which product may be the best for you and your needs. 

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. 

There are different types of urinary incontinence, these include stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overflow incontinence and total incontinence.

Bowel Incontinence 

Bowel incontinence, or faecal incontinence, is when you have problems controlling your bowels.

 

For more information on the different types of Incontinence our 'All About Incontinence' post can be read here.

ABSORBENCY

Absorbency levels on an incontinence product refers to the amount of liquid a product can hold before it needs to be changed. If the level is higher, it can hold more, making the product better suited for people with heavier incontinence. The absorbency should be correct for you and your needs to help you stay dry, fresh and protected all day.

With bowel incontinence the product needs to prevent anything getting onto your clothes or underwear. While a higher absorbency will be better for urine incontinence. It is better to find a product that is well fitted if you have bowel incontinence. The incontinence product also needs to be changed as soon as the bowel movement is done.

INSERT PADS

Incontinence insert pads are a great solution for light incontinence issues and bladder weakness and are a discreet option that can be worn with normal underwear or our fixation pants which provide security. They come with or without a sticky back depending on your preference and come in a variety of sizes and absorbencies. They help you stay dry and odour free day and night.

PROS
  • Female/Male options available
  • Available with or without stick back
  • Cost effective
  • Discreet and lightweight
  • For use with normal underwear
  • Anatomically shaped
CONS
  • Not suitable for heavy incontinence
  • Not suitable for bowel incontinence
  • Can move around (especially at night) prone to leaks

PULL UP PANTS

Pull up pants are a disposable incontinence solution designed to look like normal underwear, making them discreet under your clothing. They need to be pulled up and down though, so are much easier for users who are mobile. Available in different waist sizes and absorbencies they will help you stay fresh, dry and offer a high level of protection.

PROS
  • Discreet – designed like normal underwear
  • Highly absorbent
  • Suitable for faecal incontinence
  • Perfect for an active lifestyle – flexibility and freedom
  • Good for users with dementia
  • Come with an elasticated waistband
  • Comes with absorbent pad - don’t have to buy pants and pad
  • Washable and disposable options available
CONS
  • Can be difficult to remove for users with limited mobility
  • More expensive than insert pads
  • Less ideal for carers to change

ALL IN ONE SLIP

All in one slips are similar to pull up pants but instead of being pulled on or off they come with tabs on the side that can be resealed. This makes them perfect if the user is bed bound or not able to change their own products as it is easier for a carer to change them. Available in different absorbencies and sizes the all in one slips are absorbent, breathable and comfortable.

PROS
  • Ideal for day and night
  • Suitable for immobile users
  • Absorbent
  • Easier to remove
  • Protection of pad and security of pant
  • Suitable for faecal incontinence
CONS
  • Less freeing for mobile users
  • Can be big and bulky

How often should you change an incontinence product?

It is recommended that your chosen incontinence product is changed every 3-4 hours or 4-6 times a day. If you have had a bowel movement your product should be changed straight after this has happened. Some of the incontinence products come with a wetness indicator to help you know when it is time to change your product. When the product is damp it should also be changed to avoid irritation. A higher absorbency of insert pad should also be worn at night to avoid a disrupted sleep.

Choosing a Product Type

The incontinence range are suitable for incontinence of different levels such as light, light to moderate, moderate, moderate to heavy and heavy.

Light – Light incontinence is defined as small loses of urine or dribbling. This may happen in particular when you sneeze, cough or laugh (such as stress incontinence), or you may feel the sudden urge to urinate (urge incontinence.) Products for this type of incontinence are discreet and are designed to give you a little more protection in your daily life. Insert pads are a good product for light incontinence.

Moderate – Moderate incontinence is defined as a loss of large amounts of urine. This is usually due to not being able to reach the toilet in time or because the bladder is not able to empty itself fully (overflow incontinence.) Products for this type of incontinence are more absorbent and offer more protection. Pull up pants are a good product for moderate incontinence.

Heavy – Heavy incontinence is defined as needing to go to the toilet more often, being unable to hold urine at all (total incontinence) or people who can’t control when they go to the toilet so may have accidents during the day or night. Products for this type of incontinence are highly absorbent, provide comfort and offer protection against leaks. All in one slips are a good product for heavy incontinence and bowel incontinence.

If you are struggling to figure out which size you need to buy, you can read our post on fitting guides here