Guide to Incontinence Products for Women
The University of Michigan conducted a survey and found that 50% of women over 50 have experienced urinary incontinence. Urine leakage is far more common among women than men, so understanding incontinence products for women can help you choose the best protection for your specific symptoms.
When reviewing options, consider the frequency and severity of urine leaks and your personal preferences. At certain times of day and for certain activities, you might prefer different products. Maybe you like to wear protective underwear at night but feel more comfortable in liner pads during the day.
Here is our guide to the most helpful female incontinence products to clear any confusion about your options.
Incontinence Pads for Women
Selecting pads can be confusing because there are many different styles and uses for women’s incontinence symptoms. Generally, pads are any absorbent incontinence product that is made to wear inside regular underwear, protective underwear (pull-up style), or incontinence briefs (adult diapers).
Here’s a further breakdown of your options:
Booster Pads (moderate to heavy leaks)
This product must be worn with protective underwear or incontinence briefs. These pads don’t have a waterproof backing, which means they pass liquid through. Booster pads literally “boost” the absorption of your existing incontinence product as needed. If liquid soaks the pad, the underlying product protects you from leaks. We offer a variety of lengths and absorbency levels when you shop our LivDry Booster Pads.
Insert Pads (moderate to heavy leaks)
Insert pads are worn like booster pads but have a waterproof backing that prevents the pass-through of liquid to your protective underwear or incontinence briefs. You throw away the soiled insert pad and replace it without having to change the underlying incontinence product. This saves money because you wear your incontinence underwear longer, only changing it when you want. When you wear our LivDry Protective Underwear or Premium Briefs with our brand of insert pads called Shaped Pads, we refer to it as our Two-Piece System.
Incontinence Liner Pads (very light to moderate leaks)
This is probably what comes to mind when you think of incontinence pads. Liner pads are ideal incontinence products for women with lighter bladder leakage. You wear them inside regular underwear as a “liner” with a waterproof backing to prevent leaks. When you purchase LivDry’s Ultra-Thin Pads, you get features like side leak barriers and a super-absorbent gel core. This gives you a more discreet product with robust leak protection.
Incontinence Underwear for Women
Women’s incontinence underwear includes protective underwear (pull-up style) and briefs (diaper-style). Which you choose is based upon personal preference, but there are some distinctions to consider below. We recommend using our Two-Piece System with both these products (except for our light incontinence underwear).
Protective Underwear (moderate to heavy leaks)
Protective underwear is one type of incontinence underwear for women. It’s similar in feel and style to regular underwear. You pull them on and get comprehensive leak protection with a more discreet fit than briefs. If you manage your own bladder leakage products and don’t require a caregiver to help with changes, you’ll get the most benefit from this style of incontinence underwear. This is especially true if you’re more active, as protective underwear is designed to move with you.
Our LivDry brand Protective Underwear offers features like tearaway sides, cloth-like stretch panels, and leakage barrier leg cuffs.
Incontinence Briefs (moderate to heavy leaks)
Women’s incontinence briefs are beneficial if you’re less active and receive help managing their incontinence products. If you have a caregiver (or are a caregiver), you’ll find that our LivDry Premium Briefs with front-fastening tabs make changes more convenient, even when using the Two-Piece System (as recommended).
They’re not quite as discreet as our Protective Underwear but are designed for comfort and feature leakage barrier leg cuffs and a cloth-like feel (rather than feeling plasticky).
Incontinence Bed Pads
Some women like the additional security of bed pads, especially during the night. Incontinence bed pads protect your bedding and mattress from nighttime soiling. While we stand behind the quality of our products, we can’t promise you’ll never leak. If you wear a lighter absorbency than what you need on a given night, if you happen to curl up into the perfect leak-promoting position, or if you don’t have the appropriate fit, anything is possible.
Bed pads give you peace of mind during the night, which lets you sleep more soundly.
External Female Urinary Device
If you have severe urinary incontinence combined with mobility issues, your doctor or caregiver might suggest an external female urinary device, also known as an external female catheter. It’s becoming more common among women in acute care facilities. Traditional, internal catheters frequently cause UTIs (urinary tract infections) in women, especially when used for days or weeks.
External female catheters are a viable alternative that drastically reduces the chances of developing a UTI while managing severe urinary incontinence in women.
Narrowing Your Options with TYE Medical’s Product Finder Tool
If you’d like more personal guidance as you select incontinence products for women, try our Product Finder Tool. You’ll answer a series of questions that will help you narrow your options. Not only will this tool help you determine if you need a pad, brief, or protective underwear, it will also help you select the right absorbency level for your symptoms.
If you need further assistance, contact us via chat or phone for one-on-one assistance.