How to Decide What Incontinence Products Are Best For You

Decide which incontinence products are best for you.
According to Kimberly-Clarks consumer research the average consumer wastes over $130 the first time they buy incontinence products. It is easy to get confused about products, brands, styles, and sizes, as well as absorbency. Once a package is opened, it can’t be returned, making mistakes expensive and frustrating. So with so many brands, such a wide variety of jargon and descriptive words, how can you decide what incontinence products are best for you? 

The best products offer protection, fit, comfort, and convenience, as well as normalcy and discretion. Consider the following:

First, identify what type of incontinence you have:

1. Stress incontinence- Incontinence caused by stress to bladder, such as laughing, sneezing, or exercise.

2. Urge incontinence- Loss of bladder control.

3. Overflow incontinence- Incontinence caused by the bladder overflowing, usually due to blockage.

4. Functional incontinence- Incontinence due to limitations to movement, thinking, or communication.

5. Mixed incontinence- Usually a combination of stress and urge incontinence. This is most common in women.

6. Anatomic or developmental abnormalities- Incontinence is caused by a physical or neurological abnormality.

7. Temporary incontinence- When something like constipation causes a temporary incontinence.

8. Bedwetting- Typical in children, most outgrow it by age 11.

Second, identify the product options, and when to use which:

Here are some situations to help illustrate which products are best under specific circumstances.
  • Women with very light to light bladder control - Choose pads - Poise, Prevail, TENA, Attends are amongst the best. 
  • Men following prostate surgery – Incontinence is a common side effect of prostate surgery, and depending on the severity, men might start with a pull on underwear and gradually move to a male guard and then to a light pad like Depend Shields. Learn more about incontinence and prostate surgery. 
  • Women with medium to heavy incontinence - Heavy pads such as Poise Hourglass or pull on underwear.
  • Heavier women with a medium to heavy flow - Poise Hourglass pads, they are designed specifically for heavier women, to help avoid bunching and roping for a better fit and better protection. 
  • Men with medium to heavy incontinence – Consider male guards or pull on underwear. Could also include a ‘booster’ pad with the pull on underwear.
  • Women or men with very heavy urinary incontinence - The most absorbent pull on underwear are Abena, or consider a brief which are sometimes referred to as adult diapers - they are the ones with tape tabs, and offer the best absorbency. 
  • Fecal incontinence - Use briefs, commonly referred to as ‘adult diapers’. They have tape tab sides, and are the most absorbent incontinence product. The most absorbent brands are Abena, Tranquility, and Wellness. Another option is to try refastenable pull on underwear, which are easier to change than traditional pull on underwear. Or to try belted shields. 
Third, consider more than protection against leaks:

In addition to the protection against leaks, consider skin care, disposal products, and more. The Caregiver Partnership offers all the products you need for complete incontinence care. Learn more about skin care and more.

You can quickly and easily sort through nearly 500 incontinence product choices at the Incontinence Product Finder.

In order to avoid making costly mistakes when buying incontinence products, try samples before buying cases. Samples can be purchased in sets of 4 for just $3.49. Call 800-985-1353 M-F 9-4 CST to talk to one of our product specialists. This is an all-female team of knowledgeable Product Specialists who have each been a caregiver to a loved one. Since this is their only business, they know incontinence products inside and out, and want to help you.

Try our Sample Service to avoid wasting money.

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353


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