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Top 5 Things to Consider When Buying Incontinence Products

For the millions of people in the U.S. suffering from urinary incontinence (UI), there are a variety of adult incontinence products that can help.

For some, urinary incontinence issues can be temporary, but for others loss of bladder control is a long-lasting problem that infringes on daily activities and quality of life. But you don’t have to live in fear of embarrassment or discomfort. Solutions designed to safeguard against leaks while keeping you comfortable (such as incontinence underwear, briefs, or bladder control pads) are a vital part to managing incontinence.

With such a wide variety of products, it's helpful to know your options and understand which factors to consider when searching for the right incontinence product for you.

5 Things to Consider When Purchasing Incontinence Products

1. Determine Your Level of UI

Just like there are a variety of reasons why you may find yourself dealing with urinary incontinence, there are different levels of it. For some, the issue may stop at light dribbles and small, occasional leaks, allowing you choose a lighter incontinence product option. You should also take into account whether you need a product for daytime or sleep and what level of protection you need during activities. This way, when you begin looking you’ll have a good idea of how your specific UI issues can be met.

2. Choose the Right Size

Incontinence products come in a variety of sizes for all body types, so choosing the right fit is an important part of maximizing leakage protection. While specifically designed to protect you from discomfort, if it doesn’t fit correctly the risk of leaks is much higher.

You want your chosen product to be comfortable and provide all the protection you need. While incontinence underpads are measured by length, incontinence briefs and underwear are typically sized by width. Tip: Measure your waist by doubling the length from hip bone to hip bone.

3. Consider Your Lifestyle

While getting the correct size goes a long way towards how secure you feel in a product, breathability and absorption rates are essential to staying comfortable. You don’t want moisture getting trapped against your skin, so good air flow is important. Your lifestyle may play a role in which products will work best for you: highly active people may want something easily removable like an underpad, while someone with less mobility may want more security for longer periods of time.

4. Protect Your Skin

When picking a product, keep in mind that breathability and level of absorption are also important toward protecting your skin and preventing odor. Prolonged exposure to moisture is not only uncomfortable but can lead to a breakdown of the integrity of the skin, potentially causing rashes, dermatitis, itching, burning, and possible infection. Search for produtcs that promote moisture wicking and locking in odor.

Many incontinence briefs and underwear products (like those made by Tena) have technologies in place designed to protect against moisture issues and odor. It’s also beneficial to have good creams or lotions on hand to help protect your skin.

5. Know the Types of Incontinence Products Available

Now that you know what to look for, you can feel confident you’ll make the right choice. There are a lot of products out there for adult incontinence, so don’t be overwhelmed by all the options. It’s always a good idea to become more familiar with what’s available — for instance, while a bladder control pad can be lighter and more discreet, briefs can offer more well-rounded protection.

Underpad Examples

Tena Intimates Ultimate Bladder Control Pad
Specifically designed for women, this bladder control pad works well for lighter UI issues while offering ProSkin Technology to protect skin against wetness, 3D technology for moisture wicking, and super absorbency to lock in fluids and fight odors.

Tena Night Super Bladder Control Pad
For heavier nighttime incontinence and extended wear time, this bladder control pad offers breathable technology, moisture wicking, and odor control.

Tena InstaDri Air Underpad
Offering moderate absorbency, the special pin-core structure of this product allows an even distribution of fluid so that any clumps are eliminated. It also has odor and bacteria controls, a breathable film to promote skin protection, and extra strength against leakage.

Tena Ultra Underpad
This incontinence underpad is designed with a polyethylene layer with sealed edges to ensure leakage protection, while the highly absorbent material is distributed throughout.

Incontinence Briefs and Underwear

Ultimate-Extra Absorbent Incontinence Underwear
For everyday wear, this underwear features patented Body-Close Fit technology, which uses more elastic threads for greater discretion and effective leakage protection. The soft, cloth-like material and leg cuffs ensure a comfortable, body-close fit.

Overnight Super Absorbent Incontinence Underwear
For a more absorbent solution, Tena's overnight super absorbent incontinence underwear offers lie-down protection for all night comfort. The W-shaped absorbent zone conforms to the curves of the body and channels liquids away from the skin.

Tena Plus Absorbent Incontinence Underwear
The Tena Plus incontinence underwear provides the same effective leakage protection and comfortable wear for those looking for a lighter protection. Also featuring the patented Body-Close Fit technology, the underwear is designed for a close fit with soft, cloth-like material.

Stretch Ultra Incontinence Brief
This 100% breathable incontinence brief features ConfioAir, a fully breathable technology to help maintain skin's natural moisture balance. The brief also features odor control technology to help lock away liquids to reduce unpleasant odors.

You may feel overwhelmed by searching for adult incontinence solutions, but knowing what to look for makes the task that much easier.