If you are one of the millions of people affected by incontinence, then you are probably familiar with the huge range of products on the market available to help you. With so many different styles, materials and brands, it’s no surprise that choosing the right incontinence product for you can be confusing. Getting it wrong can cause distress, embarrassment and unnecessary expense. Getting it right means you can manage incontinence effectively and feel more confident. So how exactly do you decide which is the best incontinence product for you?
Advice about incontinence products
Your GP should be your first port of call for medical advice, and they may refer you to your local district nurse or a continence nurse for more specialist support, but either one of them will be able to offer advice on products. There are also some great charities that give independent advice, Bladder Health UK and Bladder and Bowel UK, to name but a few.
However it is likely that, at some point, you will be faced with choosing your own products. That’s where the help of a knowledgeable supplier can be essential. Here at Arelle, we have been working with incontinence products for over 20 years and we take pride in our personal, confidential service aimed at meeting individual needs. Every day, we help people just like you, by discussing your needs and recommending the best product for your condition. Here are some of the most commonly raised questions:
What is the difference between disposable pads, all-in-one pads and pull-up pads?
These are the most usual way to manage incontinence. The two most familiar types are shaped pads and all-in-one pads. Shaped pads fit into your underwear and come in a range of sizes and absorbencies to ensure comfort and protection against leakages. All-in-one pads are worn in place of regular underwear and have adjustable fastenings for a more secure fit.
A newer option, representing a significant improvement in design, is pull-up pads or pull-up briefs. These look like ordinary pants and can be a more dignified way to manage incontinence than traditional pads. Pull-ups can be used to manage most types of incontinence and are certainly easier to use. As the cost difference between pull-ups and other pads reduces, it will not be long before they become the most popular type of disposable product.
Which absorbency is right for me?
Pick up a pack of incontinence pads and the only information you are likely to see is size and absorbency. You may think that “the more it absorbs the better”, but the normal amount of urine excreted at one time is about a cupful. Most pads can hold more than that, so what else should you know?
Like many everyday objects, a simple exterior can hide clever design features! So, as well as absorbency, a good quality pad will:
- cope with a sudden rush of urine.
- hold the urine when you move or sit on it
- be the right shape for your body so it fits snugly without being bulky.
- control odour and keep your skin dry.
Also, it’s useful if the pad is one of a range with different absorbencies. Your condition can change, and you may prefer to use a more absorbent pad at night.
Do I need stretch briefs as well?
All disposable pads work better if they are held in place by stretch briefs. They improve your comfort and the performance of the pad, and with a wider gusset and more elasticity than standard underwear, they support the pad and offer you more security. Like the pads there is a wide variety of qualities. The best ones can be washed many times and retain their stretchiness for a long time.
What about washable products?
If you are affected by long-term light to moderate incontinence you might want to consider using washable products. Washable briefs have a sewn-in absorbent pad and are a comfortable and dignified way to manage light continence. They can replace normal underwear and are available in a range of sizes. They are more environmentally friendly than disposables, and you will benefit from a cost saving, as well as the convenience of always having a pair ready.
There’s more to incontinence pads than you might think. And with so many options, you should make sure that the first product you obtain is reliable advice! If you’d like to discuss your options, then please do give us a call on 0800 389 3597. We don’t use a call centre, and we never put you on hold! If we are busy, just leave a message and we will call you back. Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles. We’d be delighted to help.