If you're experiencing a loss of bladder control, it's easy to feel frustrated—or even embarrassed. But urinary incontinence actually affects millions of adults each year and stems from a range of causes, making it a common affliction across the country. While incontinence is most common in older women, men are also susceptible, with an estimated 31% of older males experiencing loss of bladder control.
For those facing incontinence, finding the right supporting products is the key to managing the condition with ease. Products such as incontinence pads for men can combat your symptoms while empowering you to get back to what you do best. To help you get started, here's a guide to male incontinence and the best products to address it with.
Understanding Incontinence in Men
Before treating the symptoms of incontinence, it's important to understand where they come from. The types and causes of male incontinence are vast, as are the social stigmas surrounding the condition. Deeper knowledge not only makes your own symptoms less of a mystery but may also dispel the surrounding myths.
Incontinence and Its Types
Incontinence is the loss of bladder control. Men with incontinence tend to have symptoms such as bladder leakage or the persistent urge to urinate. While every man's experience with incontinence may differ, the condition can be broken down into five main types: stress, urge, functional, overflow and mixed.
Stress incontinence concerns physical pressure placed on the bladder or abdominal muscles. With physical exertion, this pressure can increase and lead to leakage. Urge incontinence consists of a sudden, intense need to urinate that's too strong to contain. This differs from functional incontinence, which is characterized by an inability to hold urine or a physical inability to get to the bathroom in time. Overflow incontinence can also cause leakage, due to the bladder's inability to empty completely during bathroom visits. Mixed incontinence occurs when you have more than one form of urinary incontinence, such as urge incontinence and stress incontinence.
Causes of Incontinence in Men
For men, incontinence can have a variety of causes. Being overweight and smoking can increase your risk of developing incontinence, as can conditions such as diabetes and spinal injuries.
Aging is one of the predominant sources of incontinence in men. As you age, so do your bladder muscles, which can make them less capable of storing urine. Sudden bladder contractions can also become more frequent with age, which may cause an intense and immediate need to urinate. Medical issues, including an enlarged prostate and an obstruction along the urinary tract, also commonly cause leakage and overflow incontinence.
Unfortunately, common myths about incontinence have created a stigma against the condition, especially for men. But it's simply not true that incontinence only affects women, or that it can be solved with quick solutions like drinking less water. The notion that incontinence afflicts those with small bladders is also untrue — in many cases, bladder weakness or damage is the issue, not capacity.
Incontinence may be common among adults, but that doesn't mean it's a natural part of aging. Separating truth from fiction can give men the confidence they need to break through the stigma and seek the help they need.
The Benefits of Incontinence Products for Men
Incontinence can cause stress even when symptoms are mild. Constantly worrying about leakage and sudden urges is exhausting, not to mention it can absorb an excessive amount of your attention each day. This is where incontinence products come in handy.
Products like incontinence pads for men can prove invaluable in your daily life. They provide comfort, but also peace of mind that comes with knowing you're protected from leaks. If you've given up hobbies and social engagements for fear of being too far from a bathroom, incontinence products can help you get back to what you love most.
Choosing the Right Incontinence Product
The need for an effective incontinence product is clear, but you may be unsure which product is right for you. The answer depends on your needs, comfort, and lifestyle.
Assessing Your Needs
The first step in finding the right product is assessing your needs. This means gauging your incontinence level by identifying the amount and frequency of your leakage. Heavier, more frequent leakage likely needs a heavy-duty product, while lighter products can handle lighter leakage.
Comfort is another important element to consider. For example, while protective underwear is typically designed to be discrete, you might prefer incontinence pads, which can be less intrusive. Choosing a comfortable product can help ensure you feel good while managing your symptoms.
Choosing the Types of Incontinence Products
Incontinence products come in a range of styles, and getting to know them can help you decide which is right for you. Protective underwear and incontinence pads are some of the most popular choices. The former acts like any other underwear, but with extra absorbency, anti-leak properties, and even odor neutralizers. Incontinence pads attach to underwear with an adhesive and usually feature an anti-leak barrier.
Protective underwear is ideal for heavier incontinence, while pads are better suited to light leakage. Both products are available in varying degrees of absorbency, so you can choose the one that works for you. Disposable options mean you can drop each one in the trash when you're done, while reusable versions can be thrown in the wash for another day.
Considering Lifestyle and Activity Level
Your lifestyle will also dictate which incontinence products are right for you. For example, if you have heavy leakage but enjoy being active outdoors, incontinence pads for men could offer the absorbency and easy disposal you need to manage leaks on the go. When you’re at home, a lighter pad may be ideal for a barely-there feel that still keeps incontinence under control.
How Incontinence Products Work
Incontinence pads are made with several absorbent layers to draw fluid away from its surface and into the center, keeping your skin dry while trapping moisture within. Nexwear's pads contain anti-leak barriers, which serve to minimize leaks and add to your comfort. The design is purposefully extra-wide to absorb fluid and keep you protected in the front and the back. Nexwear pads also feature odor-resistant technology to prevent unwanted smells that might threaten your confidence. When made right, incontinence pads should be soft and breathable for maximum comfort and effective absorption.
Tips for Proper Incontinence Product Usage
Finding the right incontinence product is the first step, but learning to use it correctly can help you manage your symptoms effectively. Here are some tips that will help you use, maintain, and dispose of your supportive products both at home and on the go.
Tips for Putting On and Securing
Putting incontinence products on is simple once you get the hang of it, and once they're secured, you can go about your day worry-free. Incontinence pads are made with an adhesive strip on the bottom for attaching to the inside of your underwear. Once attached correctly, the pad can absorb any unexpected urine, preventing embarrassing leaks. Nexwear's pads can be conveniently disposed of once they're saturated.
Protective underwear works like regular underwear with a little more absorption. Simply pull them up, and go about your day without the fear of not making it to the bathroom in time.
The Importance of Hygiene and Skin Care
Incontinence products are great for catching leaks, but wearing them every day means you'll need to take special care to keep your skin clean and healthy. While most pads are designed to trap moisture at their center and not on their surface, carrying moisture so close to your skin may lead to irritation.
For this reason, it's important to change your incontinence pads often — before they're saturated enough to cause discomfort. This can also help prevent unpleasant odors from developing. Cleaning and drying the area just after urinating is another way to keep irritation low. If you do experience skin issues that don't go away, it's best to seek support from your doctor.
Considerations for Disposal and Traveling
With the popularity of disposable incontinence products, it's natural to wonder what impact they have on the environment. Brands like Nexwear design all incontinence products with eco-friendliness in mind to minimize their effects on the planet. That way, you can feel good wearing them and disposing of them.
Disposable products are particularly useful when it comes to traveling with incontinence. If you're away from home, reusable products can be a pain to manage — plus, you're at risk of being left without a backup. Nexwear products seamlessly break down, so you can discreetly carry as many replacements as you need, wherever you go.
Overcoming Incontinence Challenges
It's normal for your journey with incontinence to encounter obstacles along the way. Here's how to overcome some of the most common challenges.
Dealing With Potential Discomfort
Living with incontinence means you might experience some discomfort at times. Skin irritation can have a variety of causes, including excessive friction, too much moisture or poor hygiene. This can result in dry and flaky skin, discoloration, or even an infection.
Luckily, there are many ways to alleviate incontinence-related discomfort. Applying an anti-inflammatory cream can reduce swelling and rashes, while baby powder can reduce sweat formation to keep your skin dry and infection-resistant. To limit friction, choose well-fitting products that sit comfortably against your skin without chafing. Applying some petroleum jelly to your skin before putting on an incontinence product can also minimize friction.
Coping with Incontinence
The psychological impact of having incontinence can be difficult to overcome. Social stigmas make it easy to feel embarrassed about the condition, despite the growing number of people experiencing it alongside you. New anxieties, such as the stress of going out and straying too far from the bathroom, can make it hard to navigate life as you once did.
When you start to feel overwhelmed, try to remind yourself that millions of people struggle with incontinence. Carrying plenty of disposable pads or protective underwear may also alleviate stress, so you can continue enjoying hobbies and social activities as you did before.
Having a strong support network is one of the best ways to manage incontinence. In many cases, your health care providers will be the first to offer their guidance, which can be invaluable. Continuing to seek professional support gives you access to trained experts and personalized advice.
A loving group of friends and family members can also provide you with some much-needed encouragement. Simply having someone to talk to when you're feeling stressed or embarrassed can be a good way to talk through your anxieties and discuss a plan to overcome them. Plus, encouragement from someone you love can give you a much-needed confidence boost.
The Bottom Line
Living with incontinence might take some getting used to, but the right male incontinence products can make the process as seamless as possible. As you decide which products are best for you, it's important to prioritize education and listen to your body's needs. With effective products and a strong support network, it's possible to regain your confidence and get your life back on track.If you're looking for incontinence products you can rely on, visit Nexwear today, and browse the collection of premium pads and protective underwear designed to maximize comfort and minimize leaks.