If you suffer from light incontinence, it can be difficult to know where to look for the perfect product for you. With light incontinence, you may encompass occasional leaks of very small amounts up to frequent leaks of larger amounts.
A common mistake made by many people with light incontinence is thinking you can simply make do with a menstrual product. However, much research has been done to prove that incontinence products are much more effective and absorbent than menstrual pads. A study in 2009 set out to assess the effectiveness of different types of absorbent product designs for women with light urinary incontinence. When tested on women, insert pads designed for light incontinence proved to be significantly better at preventing leakage, for preference and for overall acceptability. There is no reason to try and manage your condition with a menstrual product. A similar study found that one in five women never sought or thought that medical help was available for their condition, while 60% of those women were worried that others will see them as old. Recent research even indicated that women feel much less confident when they experience occasional leaks, with 11% suffering from depression. The biggest concern from doctors and researchers is still the fact that many women are too embarrassed to talk about light incontinence. However, talking to someone about your condition and finding your perfect product can make all of the difference.
Which products should you be looking for?
Light incontinence can be managed by pads and pants with a low absorbency rating. It is vital that you do not spend unnecessary money on super absorbent all-in-one products when you only suffer from occasional leakage. Just as wearing a small shaped pad for heavily leaks won’t keep you protected, wearing an all-in-one for slight leaks would be unnecessarily expensive and inconvenient.
The following types of products are ideal for managing light incontinence:
Shaped pads are a light and discreet option for managing light incontinence. You should be looking for the smaller shaped pads to manage occasional leaks. Shaped pads are designed to be gender specific. Small shaped pads are designed to fit closer to your body than inserts. Unlike insert pads, shaped pads are designed to fit a particular body shape. They can be worn inside regular underwear or net and Lycra fixation pants to maximise their protection. Shaped pads are designed specifically for the male and female anatomy, providing outstanding comfort and discretion during use. Shaped pads, unlike diapers or disposable underwear, are simply inserted into the pants and can be removed once they are used. This means they are perfect for those who are immobile or find it difficult to do a full diaper change. Once used, they can be replaced for all day long protection. The greatest advantage of wearing pads is that they allow for new protection without you having to completely change product, benefitting those who are less mobile in particular. Insert pads are particularly ideal for people who are bedridden or wheel chair bound, as they reduce the need for a full diaper change. The smaller, thinner shaped pads can be easily carried around in your bag. Small shaped pads are designed to fit closer to body than inserts. Large shaped pads on the other hand are generally more suited for moderate to heavy urinary incontinence and faecal smearing. With larger shaped pads, you should use them with stretch pants for a close fit.
iD For Men is an example of a shaped pad that is specially designed to fit a man’s body shape.
Insert pads, on the other hand, are often rectangular in shape and are used by both men and women. For a close body fit, it is recommended to wear the pads inside net pants. However, you can also wear the pads in normal underwear, pouch pants or fixation pants. Insert pads are often called “straight pads” or “mini pads”. Like the Shaped Pads, the Insert Pads feature waterproof backing for maximum leakage security. Insert Pads feature a highly absorbent core and adhesive backing so prevent any unwanted pad movement. When wearing Insert Pads, you must first ensure they are held close to the body so they deliver maximum performance.
iD Expert Light pads feature a camomile top sheet to provide a fresh scent and pleasant feel on the skin.
Booster Pads are used to increase product absorbency when you need to. They can be used inside other absorbent incontinence products such as Pull Ups or Adult Nappies. This can reduce the need for replacing more expensive products. You should not wear these products in normal underwear and ensure you are wearing an absorbent product alongside them.
Booster pads have a flow through backing, allowing excess liquids to flow through to the core product underneath. Built in adhesive tapes allow you to stick them securely in the crotch or bowel area of the core absorbent incontinence product. They can also be stacked for even more absorbency.
You can find more information in our guide to the benefits of using booster pads.
The Lille Healthcare Classic Pads, designed to be used as booster pads, are thin and discretely designed. They are undetectable during use.
Pull Up Pants can be worn just like normal underwear. With light and stress incontinence, you will need a pant that is thin and discreet to give you comfort and protection. Pull Up Pants are breathable, with a waterproof back sheet that encourages the flow of air, maximising skin integrity. They feature a super absorbent polymer, making them highly absorbent and allowing them to neutralise odours. Pull Ups are a perfect alternative if you find that light pads often move around while you are wearing them. Pull Up Pants are suitable for mobile users and those who will not have problems with doing a full product change independently. Pull Up Pants often look and feel just like normal underwear, providing you with maximum comfort. They are particularly useful for those who are more active.
Attends Pull-Ons feature natural odour protection technology to reduce to risk of unpleasant smells. The pants are also fitted with an elasticated waistband for improved comfort.
Are Washable or Disposable Pull Up Pants ideal for you?
The benefit of opting for disposable Pull Up Pants is that they offer a much higher absorbency level when compared to washable pants. Washable Pull Up Pants on the other hand have a cost advantage over disposable products. Initial costs can be higher because the product can be reused many times, meaning the overall costs are reduced when compared to disposable products. You can therefore choose which products are right for you depending on your product priorities.