Let’s face it, ladies, sometimes we just need a little protection. Stress incontinence (also known as SUI) is temporary urinary incontinence that results in light leakage when you laugh, cough, exercise, sneeze or lift. Even after doing Kegel exercises, keeping a bladder diary and watching what you drink, a woman over 50 may find that she still has some minor leakage. You do not want to be caught off-guard and unprotected.
There are lots of sanitary napkins and pads on the market for bladder control. Which ones will provide you with the best protection? It depends on what kind of incontinence you are experiencing.
Light bladder leakage (stress incontinence or urge incontinence) can be protected with a pad or liner while more severe forms of incontinence require an adult diaper. Light bladder leakage is very different from your period and therefore you will need to use a product that is geared towards bladder control. Menstrual pads and liners are not as absorbent as bladder control pads and liners.
One brand that has recognized that stress incontinence is a significant and common issue for women over 50 is Poise. Poise has also brought the issue of bladder control out in the open so women don’t have to feel isolated when dealing with this issue. With a spokesperson like Whoopi Goldberg, who wouldn’t feel more comfortable going to the store to buy Poise bladder control pads? Even the commercial can make you laugh, which–oops–can make you pee.
While we celebrate brands like Poise, other brands that address the same problem are Attends, TENA (Serenity) and Capri. All of these brands are available at your local pharmacy or grocery store. If you remain embarrassed to purchase bladder control pads in the store even after Poise’s commercials, you can also purchase them online.
If your bladder control problem is more than occasional, you may need more protection than pads.
The good news is that there are more substantial answers ready for you, from panty liners to protective underwear. And within those categories, products come in several levels or absorption and thickness. For more complete protection than a pad or liner, an adult diaper should do the trick. Adult diapers now come in a full range from nighttime to swim products; now they even offer styles that look and feel more like underwear. Depend is one of the most well-known adult diaper brands but there many others. It can’t help but feel embarrassing, but women who are experiencing even temporary incontinence should know that there are a lot more products available to them than there were for their mothers. This is not a problem that should hold you back!
When you are identifying which product will provide the best results for you, consider some of the following questions:
- How many times a day or week does your bladder leak?
- How much do you leak (light, moderate or heavy)?
- What are you doing when you leak urine? If it’s laughing, then you might need protection only when you have a night out with your funny girlfriends.
- Your Body Shape: Do you need extra long wings for protection?
- Do you need odor control?
- Drying abilities: Do the pads wick away moisture quickly so you stay dry?
What brand you select is up to you. Everyone has different needs and preferences and you shouldn’t be afraid to try them all out. Each manufacturer has useful information on its website, ranging from personal assessment tools for determining the best product to meet your needs, to outlining their various product categories and options. Most brands have selections that cover light to severe incontinence. You may even want to use different products at different times. The best solution for you will depend on your budget, absorbency needs and what activities you’re doing.
For more information about managing bladder weakness, download the FREE Vibrant Nation Special Report, 5 keys to manage a leaking bladder or overactive bladder for women over 50.