Adult Diapers and Medication Not the Only Ways to Manage Incontinence in Men

by Dianna Malkowski, Physician Assistant & Nutritionist
Dianna Malkowski

As more drugs to treat overactive bladder become available to consumers, it’s important to offer alternatives to those who can’t or don’t want to take medication. Alternatives to adult diapers include products made especially for men managing incontinence.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced June 28 it has approved Myrbetriq (mirabegron) to treat adults with overactive bladder. Common side effects observed in clinical trials include increased blood pressure, elevated heart rate and abdominal pain, and the medication is not recommended for those with severe uncontrolled high blood pressure, end stage kidney disease or severe liver impairment.

For people managing incontinence who can’t or don’t want to take medication, it may seem adult diapers are the only alternative. However, there are other options, from absorbent undergarments that resemble regular underwear to new products on the market designed specifically for men.

Many people aren’t aware of some of these options because it’s not a topic of everyday conversation. At The CareGiver Partnership, we believe open discussion helps remove stigma and assists individuals in choosing products that best fit their lifestyles. To help men better understand their alternatives, let’s compare a few products to traditional disposable undergarments.
ActiCuf compression pouch

  • Compression pouches, such as ActiCuf’s two-stage protection system, differ from disposable guards and underwear in that they’re not noticeable under most clothing and allow the wearer to discreetly use a public urinal. ActiCuf has a padded closure that presses on the urethra to control urinary flow, while offering an absorbent pouch for light leaks. A compression pouch may be a good choice for men who have recently undergone prostate surgery or radiation therapy for prostate cancer, and those who experience occasional leakage, such as when they cough, sneeze or lift. Because compression pouches should be repositioned every three to four hours, this is not an option while sleeping.
  • Incontinence clamps, such the plastic model by Dribblestop, are another method of using gentle pressure to stop urine flow through the urethra. The benefits of this type of product are they’re small, washable and reusable, and can be used for 24-hour bladder control. Some models come with various-size links so the wearer can choose a comfortable, custom fit. Incontinence clamps may be a good choice for physically active men, like runners and travelers, because they’ll have minimal effect on mobility and won’t require product changes.
  • The J Clamp penile compression clamp also compresses the urethra. The benefit to this product’s adjustable barrel and handle is it can be worn during urination because pressure is controlled by the adjustable handle. Designed by a doctor to be comfortable and easy to use, this device is washable and can be worn during most activities, even swimming. It allows vascularity of the penis, so it can be worn as long as needed throughout the day or night. The J Clamp may be a good choice for swimmers, travelers, businessmen, and those who experience incontinence as a result of injury or illness.

Every case of incontinence is unique in its causes and treatment. Educate yourself on the options and ask your health care provider if any of these products are right for you.

See The CareGiver Partnership’s Incontinence page for more information, read more here on our blog:

Dianna Malkowski is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained nutritionist specializing in diabetes, cancer, wound healing, therapeutic diets and nutrition support. She serves on the board of professional advisers for The CareGiver Partnership and enjoys working with patients and caregivers alike. Ask Dianna a question.


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