Choosing the right incontinence product can feel overwhelming, but our experts are here to help!

“When someone develops incontinence, the inability to control their bladder or bowels, it can feel overwhelming because there are so many products on the market. They often drive to their nearest grocery or drugstore and just pick a random product. Since grocery or drug store employees are not trained on incontinence, it leaves many feeling embarrassed and confused about which product to choose. We often see customers who come to us frustrated that their product is leaking and sometimes they have even doubled up on products, believing that layering products is the best solution”, says Tammie Kister, an Incontinence Specialist at Medical West Healthcare Center.

Incontinence can vary in severity, from a slight leak during a cough, to a complete loss of bladder or bowel control. Helping customers select the precise incontinence product that will fit the individual needs is one of the specialties at Medical West Healthcare Center! When deciding on what incontinence product to use, the question that gets asked the most is : “What product is the best”? The answer to this question is that there is an ideal product for each individual based on many factors.

Variety of Incontinence Products

Selecting the right product to suit the individual’s needs is important and is determined after considering many factors, such as the type of incontinence the individual is experiencing-urinary incontinence or bowel incontinence, the individual’s height and weight, waist size, severity and frequency and other lifestyle factors.

For example, if a customer has light incontinence and has the ability to get to the restroom, a full incontinence undergarment wouldn’t be the recommend choice, because light incontinence can be managed with a light garment, such as a pad.

If a customer lacks the quickness to get to the restroom and/or is prone to voids that are a moderate to heavy flow, a thin pad with a plastic backing would not be the appropriate product choice due to their high output. A garment that would provide proper absorption and prevent leaks would be the appropriate choice.

There are many types of incontinence supplies to choose from, such as pullups, briefs, pads and underpads in a variety of sizes and absorbency levels that offer different solutions based on the needs of the individual. Choosing the best option for an individual is based on the many factors mentioned above to help manage their incontinence effectively and help to increase the quality of life, comfort and independence for the individual.


Incontinence Briefs
BRIEF (diaper style)

An incontinence brief is a diaper style garment that is used primarily for stool incontinence. They have the same look and configuration as a traditional diaper with tabs that fasten on both sides for a secure fit. Sizes of incontinence briefs range in sizes that fitting waist sizes from 18” on up 96”.
The incontinence brief would be an appropriate style choice for those clients that are bedridden or unable to ambulate to reach the restroom quickly when needed.  It is designed with maximum absorbency, features that help prevent leakage and this style of garment is easier for caregivers to change.

Incontinence Pullups
PULLUPS (underwear style)

An incontinence pullup is designed to be changed by the person who is wearing it and can be pulled up and down.  It’s primarily worn for urine incontinence but does have the capacity to absorb bowel incontinence if an  accident occurs. It’s an underwear style garment with a waist band that stretches to accommodate waist sizes ranging from 17” to 80”.

For those clients that are able to ambulate to the restroom, wearing an incontinence pull up can be similar to underwear and are beneficial if the customer has the ability to pull the garment up or down.

Incontinence Pads

Incontinence pads are discreet inserts that are positioned within the undergarment to give added protection against bladder leakage and light incontinence. Pads typically are not considered “flow through” as they have a plastic backing that will contain the fluid but are equipped with an adhesive strip to secure into the undergarment for a secure fit.

Incontinence liners are similar to pads in design and construction but are mostly considered “flow through”. Flow through means that they do not have the typical plastic backing preventing the flow of liquid, therefore it allows any fluids that come in contact with it to “flow through” itself into the incontinence brief or pull up it is inserted into. Absorbent liners are typically used and are needed when the incontinence level is considered moderate to heavy, because they provide extra absorbency when combined with other products.

Selection of incontinence products in store

The transition to an incontinence undergarment can feel overwhelming! It’s a process that not only affects the individual with incontinence, but also their family members and caregivers. You don’t have to waste time and money trying out every product. The Incontinence Specialists at Medical West Healthcare Center are trained to help you select the right product and find solutions that allow you to continue enjoying your hobbies and keep your independence.

Contact an Incontinence Expert at medical West Healthcare Center here.

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