What is incontinence?
Incontinence is the inability to retain control over one’s bladder or bowel movements. In simple terms, it is the release of stool or urine when one is not intending to do so. Urinary incontinence might be either stress induced or urge induced. Stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence and is induced by sudden cough, sneezing, heavy lifting, laughing or exercise. Urge incontinence, also known as reflex incontinence, is the sudden urge to urinate (which is unstoppable) and leads to sudden loss of urine. Whatever the cause may be, a person needs to protect himself / herself from public embarrassment when faced with such conditions by using incontinence protective underwear.
Choosing incontinence protective underwear
When a choice has to be made about what kind of protective underwear to go for, there are many options leaving one overwhelmed. So what are the rules to be followed while going for incontinence underwear shopping?
- SizeAn undergarment which is either too small or large and not appropriate to the body size will not serve its purpose of containing leaks. So before going shopping for incontinence protective underwear, measure your hips, waist and thighs so that you can match the measurements to those of the manufacturer’s size guide so that the undergarment is appropriate to the body size. Size of the body also varies from brand to brand. On one hand your size may be medium for one brand, but on the other, you might be a size larger for another brand.
- AbsorbencyThe absorbency of the material will depend on your needs. If you have mild incontinence you will need only incontinence pads. However, if you are losing a large volume you will have to go for adult diapers.
- Gender-specificEach gender has his / her own specific needs. So, using a unisex underwear may not be the best protection for your incontinence. Gender-specific incontinence protective underwear can serve its purpose best as they are designed according to the needs of each specific gender. It will also provide more comfort and fit better for your specific needs.
- CostIncontinence protective underwear can be costly but, don’t base your choice solely on the cost. Cheaper diapers mean cheaper quality, and hence, their performance level may be lower; thereby making it necessary to change your diapers often. Ensure that the product that you are buying has good absorption capacity and can last for long duration without any need for change. You can save on your expenses by choosing washable products or buying them in bulk. You can also purchase adult diapers online since these stores offer discounts.
Adult Diaper vs. Protective Underwear
There are different types of absorbent products which can be used to protect oneself and also manage the loss of bladder or bowel control in line with how much urine is being lost, comfort, ease of use, durability, ability to control odor, and how frequent the loss of urine is throughout the day and during the night.
- Pads and linersWhen incontinence is mild, pads and liners are more than enough to absorb leakages. Wearers can use these with regular underpants which are also easy to adjust. Pads and liners are not effective when incontinence is moderate to heavy. In such cases, the better option would be to use pull-ups, adult diapers or briefs. So, what is the difference between adult diapers (which are also known as adult briefs) and pull-ups (also known as protective underwear)?
- Adult briefs / Adult diapersAdult diapers are the best solution for those who have lost complete control over their bladder or bowel movements. These are also best suited for people who are under the supervision of caregivers or have limited mobility and are suffering from heavy to severe incontinence. Adult briefs have a plastic waterproof outer barrier, an inner absorbent material usually made of super absorbent polymers and cellulose fluff, leg elastics with tape closure on the outside, etc. for giving off optimum performance metrics.These products usually come with re-fast enable side tabs and can be removed while users are sitting or lying down; without the need to remove all the clothing. These diapers provide protection against heavy leakages and are also very effective for overnight protection. Most of these have a wetness indicator that signals when a change of diapers is required.
Protective Underwear / Pull-ups
Pull-ups or protective underwear have more advantages over briefs and offer better health care for the skin of those grappling with moderate to heavy incontinence issues, but having full mobility. These are similar to normal undergarments in looks and feel and can be worn like any other undergarment. Gender specific protective underwear is also available, which are designed according to the specific gender needs; their dimensions are also specifically designed so as to adapt to the specific gender body-type.
Protective underwear is easy to dispose. Their tear-away sides just need to be ripped apart and then pulled-up, removed and disposed. Absorbent underwear flaunt many other useful features including elastic waistbands, breathable panels, anti-leak guards to provide better comfort, maximum protection against any leakages, and a closer fit.
Incontinence is a condition whose severity may range from a small leak to the complete loss of control over the bladder or bowels. This condition mostly affects the elderly but can also affect other age groups and can be a cause of embarrassment, humiliation and loss of pride. But with the introduction of incontinence protective underwear, persons suffering from such conditions can manage their incontinency in better ways and live a normal life.