Reviewed by: Brindusa Vanta, MD, DHMHS
Buyer's Guide for Incontinence Products
Some maladies are easy to talk about — allergies, headaches, the occasional acne. Others, though common, can be difficult to broach. In particular, incontinence is a daily struggle for roughly 13 million Americans. Though it can seem isolating, for many, incontinence is a familiar problem. But while those who suffer from incontinence are most definitely not alone, discussing it can still be uncomfortable, and that makes finding the right help a difficult process.
Thankfully, incontinence is a manageable condition. While it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to talk about, products exist to help manage symptoms and keep people dry and clean, even when they're on the go. People with incontinence can choose between several products to help themselves, but these aren't one-size-fits-all solutions. What works for one person's symptoms, lifestyle, and body shape may not work for another's.
Finding the right incontinence products for women to fit your life should be easy. That’s why Nexwear is here to offer a one-stop guide to choosing the incontinence and bladder health products that are right for you. In this guide, you'll learn what to consider when purchasing incontinence products, such as lifestyle and fit, and what your options are.
What to Consider When Purchasing Incontinence Products
While all adult incontinence products have their uses, most incontinence sufferers stand to benefit the most from finding the right pads and underwear to fit their daily needs. However, because incontinence products function best when tailored to the physical form and needs of the user, they’re generally not one-size-fits-all. Our Nexwear team has noted the specifics to consider when selecting your products for maximum comfort and efficiency.
When choosing your incontinence products, we recommend taking a look at your lifestyle, the fit you need, and absorbency. Each of these factors will influence your final decision and help you find the right choice.
Incontinence products are designed to absorb urine leakage, but they're not all the same. Your lifestyle will also play a role in determining which is right for you. All products will require changing throughout the day, so your activity level can determine which will work best for your usage. People who are regularly on the go may wish for a product that doesn't require frequent changing or management. In these cases, protective incontinence underwear may be the right choice. These offer coverage and can hold a significant amount of liquid before they need to be changed, and users don't have to worry about their protective products slipping out of place. Pads can be a useful tool but do require changing more frequently and may slip out of place during activity.
When choosing an incontinence product, its fit is one of the biggest factors when choosing one that will work well for you. This is especially true for incontinence underwear, which, like regular underwear, will be based on your body's size and shape. Choosing the wrong fit can lead to the product failing, causing leakage and discomfort. Before purchasing, take your hip and waist measurements to ensure a proper fit. Likewise, be sure to check the product’s sizing chart to make an informed decision.
For extra sizing help, take our Nexwear Perfect Fit Quiz!
As with size, how much protection you need will depend on your particular symptoms and will vary from person to person. If you only deal with occasional leaks that aren't particularly heavy, you can probably get by with a lighter product offering less protection. However, those who have more frequent accidents or experience higher amounts of leakage may require a higher level of absorbency for comfort and protection. Choosing the right absorbency level based on needs can help keep your skin dry and rash-free.
Shopping Online vs. In-Store
While shopping in-store works best when you need products in a pinch, many prefer online ordering as it gives them the freedom to research options on their own terms. Online shopping also offers discretion, which allows shoppers to make decisions about their incontinence products in the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, shopping online offers access to additional brands, options, and sizing. Products can also often be ordered on a subscription basis, so you don't have to worry about keeping up with how many you still have at home. They'll arrive on your doorstep at set times to make your life and your incontinence management easier.
Often, big-box brands selling incontinence products may not focus innovation and quality as much as smaller brands such as Nexwear do. One of the main goals of Nexwear is to offer products that are both effective and comfortable. People with incontinence deserve the highest quality products to live their lives with dignity. Nexwear offers products that are unnoticeable to bystanders, yet still offer protection from urine for the skin and clothing. Choosing from a reputable smaller brand often provides you with high-quality products you can trust.
Incontinence shouldn’t keep you from living your life with comfort. You can employ a variety of tools to strengthen your pelvic floor and support the bladder to minimize your symptoms. Kegel exercises, for example, are useful in mitigating and even preventing the symptoms of incontinence. In addition to strengthening your pelvic floor, you can use incontinence products to protect yourself and your clothing from leakage.
Thankfully, many types of products exist to help you manage your condition, including:
Each of these products serves a different role, and some people find they prefer using both protective incontinence underwear and incontinence pads, depending on the day and their schedule. Deciding which products to use and how to use them is a deeply personal decision only you will be able to make.
Protective Incontinence Underwear
Protective incontinence underwear is pulled on and fits like a standard pair of underwear. Often made of a cloth-like fabric meant to absorb fluids, they protect your outer clothes from leakage while also wicking away any urine from the skin to prevent skin irritation.
These must be sized based on your waist, hips, and weight to ensure you get the right fit and therefore, the right protection. Choosing a pair that's too big can lead to leakage, while a pair that's too small can be uncomfortably tight. Make sure you choose the right one for you based on the brand's size charts.
Protective incontinence underwear can be a good choice for those who are active out of the home with moderate leakage or for use overnight or on long travels, because they often don't require as frequent changing as an incontinence pad.
Incontinence pads work a lot like menstrual pads. You place them into your underwear to catch any leaking urine and protect your clothes. They come in several sizes and absorbency ratings to meet a range of needs. Moderate pads, for example, are designed to be thinner for discreet use while still offering coverage and absorbency. However, those who experience more severe leakage may require a thicker and longer pad for more complete protection. This product should be changed several times throughout the day for the best results.
Incontinence pads are often more discreet than incontinence underwear, but because they're smaller, they don't absorb as much. They're best suited for people with light leakage who are looking for a little extra protection just in case.
Incontinence Disposal Bags
Incontinence disposal bags offer a discreet option for disposing of used products. These bags seal to prevent the smell of urine or moisture from leaking out and allow people to change their incontinence products out in public discreetly. Keeping these on hand can be reassuring for those who may need them.
The Bottom Line
Incontinence management can be a tough subject to discuss, but by being open and accepting of your need for protection, it can be a simple process. As with any chronic condition, dealing with incontinence can be frustrating, but knowing how to choose the right incontinence products is the first step in easing those frustrations, helping you on your way to a more comfortable life without worrying about leakage.
Most importantly, remember, you’re not alone. Many people share the very same frustrations as you, and that's why Nexwear makes managing your incontinence as easy as possible. We offer superior products with simple, discreet shipping and the ability to place your product of choice onto a subscription. Leave your incontinence management to us and enjoy your time your way instead of worrying about embarrassing leakage.
Need high-quality incontinence and bladder health products delivered directly, discreetly, and regularly to your door? We can help. Start shopping through our online store today.