Choosing Incontinence Products

If you have incontinence, learning how to live with incontinence and maintain your quality of life is vital. There is a wide range of products available that can help you when it comes to living life to the fullest when you have incontinence. And the variety and quality of products is ever-expanding. So, deciding what’s right can be a daunting task. The following are some important questions to ask as you decide which products are right for your needs.

Contrary to common belief, incontinence isn't a normal part of aging. It does strike about one in ten people over the age of 65, though, either temporarily or more long-term, and it's more common among women.

As you begin your journey on finding the right products, be mindful that people often need more than one product to accommodate different levels of incontinence and activity.

Remember, one size does not fit all. It’s important to note that the first product you try may not be right for your needs. People come in all shapes and sizes, and so do incontinence products.

Let’s face it, living with incontinence can be embarrassing. If discretion is of concern to you, there’s no need to make a trip to the drug store anymore.  With companies like Rely Medical Supply, most incontinence products can also be ordered on the Internet and shipped discreetly to your home.

The questions below will help you decide if a product may work for you and your needs.

How absorbent is the product?
The type of protective garment you choose is largely based on the severity of your incontinence. Depending on how much leakage you have, you'll need different levels of absorbency. If you experience light bladder leakage or dribbling, you might only need an incontinence pad. However, an adult brief may be better if you constantly lose a large volume of urine, especially at night.

Product recommendation:
Tranquility® ATN (All-Through-the-Night) Briefs

Can you hear it when you walk?
Some products have great absorbency but make noise when the person wearing them moves around. A product that crunches may not be the best choice for a quiet get-together with a few people.

Product recommendation:
Prevail® Underwear for Men
Prevail® SmoothFit™ For Women

How bulky is it?
A bulky incontinence product may be fine for bedtime but not suitable if you are wearing tailored clothes where the bulk of the product will easily show through your clothing.

Product recommendation:
Attends® Discreet Bladder Control Pads - Maximum

How comfortable is it?
Some incontinence products may be comfortable before you experience leakage but become uncomfortable after use and before one can reach a bathroom. Some products have better moisture barriers that wick the urine or feces away from the skin. Others have elastic leg bands that may or may not be comfortable. Some are contoured to fit your anatomy for added comfort; others are not.

Does the product have an indicator that signals when a change is needed?
Incontinence products with wetness indicators make it easier to know when the garment needs to be changed. Some products are equipped with a strip that changes color when changing is needed. Knowing when the product needs to be changed can save on costs over time, eliminating unnecessary changes.  They are also helpful to caregivers who are caring for others, giving them an easy way to determine that a change of product is necessary.

Product recommendation:
Rely® Breathable Brief/Diaper

Does the product have a moisture barrier that works in all positions?
A moisture barrier may work while you are standing or seated but is less effective while you are lying down. Some products have better moisture barriers that wick the urine or feces away from the skin and lock it in the core of the product to prevent leakage.

Product recommendation:
Tranquility® Premium OverNight™ Disposable Absorbent Underwear

Is it the right size?
A protective undergarment that is either too small or too large will not effectively manage urine leaks. It’s important to measure your waist, hips, and thighs and match it to the manufacturer’s sizing guide to select the proper size that will be most effective for your needs. You may be a medium for one brand, but a large for another brand. Extra small and bariatric products are also available, although limited.

Product recommendation:
Rely® Maximum Protection Underwear (Pull-Up)

Is it easy to change?
You certainly want a product that is easy for you to change. Look for products that are easy to open and close with adhesive tabs, tapes, or Velcro®. Or, consider pull-up briefs that are as easy to pull on and off, like regular underwear. Many have tear-away sides for easy removal after they are soiled.

Product recommendation:
Attends® Briefs with Waistband
Rely® Extra Protection Underwear (Pull-up)

Is there a style that looks like normal briefs or underpants?
There are many options available that look like normal briefs or underpants. If you are embarrassed about having to wear protection, choose a style that looks like men's briefs or women's underpants. These styles will often be less bulky under your clothing.

Product recommendation:
Prevail® Underwear for Men
Prevail® SmoothFit™ For Women

Does it prevent odor?
Odor has always been something women (and men) have been concerned about.
Many incontinence products are marketed as “odor neutralizing” or “odor locking”. Some also have moisture barriers. Since the 1920s, with the introduction of Kotex pads, manufacturers have used a wide range of substances to 'control' odor including fragrances (deodorant versions of pads), zeolites, neutralizers, and other additives in powder or liquid form that are added to the absorbent core of the product. Depending on how well they work, they can protect against unwanted odors.

Product recommendation:
All the product sold on Rely Medical offer some level of odor control.

How is it packaged?
If you are taking a trip, or even just enjoying an afternoon outing, packaging is important for discreetly carrying and disposing of incontinence products. Some come individually packaged in their own carrying pouch, while larger, bulkier incontinence products may need to be carried in a separate travel bag.

Product recommendation:
Prevail® Women's PurseReady™ Maximum Absorbency Underwear
Bladder control pads and liners

How much does it cost?
Incontinence products are priced very differently. Some retailers give discounts for buying in bulk, joining auto ship programs, buying online, or through mail order. Beware, the cheapest products are not always the lowest quality and the highest priced are not automatically the best quality, either. You may have to first try some products in different price points to see what works for you.

Product recommendation:
Rely® brand of incontinence products