Urinary incontinence is the accidental loss of urine. It affects nearly a third of those 65 and over. Even though incontinence is so common, it can be hard to find the right incontinence underwear. 80% of people with UI try half a dozen brands before finding an incontinence underwear they like.
Because is here to change that. Incontinence underwear is not only the most popular way to manage UI, it’s one of the easiest and most comfortable!
New to incontinence products? Don’t worry. This guide breaks down the basics of urinary incontinence, what treatments are available, and what incontinence underwear options you have. Plus, we’ll help you figure out which products are right for you!
3 Common Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are multiple forms of urinary incontinence, and each form has its own set of symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Stress incontinence is a form of incontinence caused by movement or pressure that puts “stress” on the bladder and causes urine leaks. These movements include jumping, laughing, sneezing, and coughing. Stress incontinence occurs when the bladder muscles have become weakened or damaged and have a harder time holding in urine during these movements.
Urethral hypermobility refers to urine leaks caused by the urethra and bladder shifting downward when pressure or “stress” is put on the bladder muscles. In this form of stress incontinence, the pelvic floor muscles cannot support the urethra or bladder, and this results in leaking.
Intrinsic sphincter deficiency is the subgroup of stress incontinence that occurs when there are problems in the urinary sphincter. These problems prevent the sphincter from closing completely, and this makes it more likely that the sphincter will pop open and empty your bladder when you jump, cough, sneeze, or laugh.
Causes and Symptoms of Stress Incontinence
There are a few reasons adults develop stress incontinence. Childbirth is a common cause of stress incontinence because it can damage the pelvic floor muscles and nerves. This is especially likely if your child was larger than average.
Age causes stress incontinence due to muscle weakening. As we age, our pelvic floor muscles and urethral sphincter can weaken. This could be due to changing estrogen levels for women or urinary sphincter damage from prostate surgery or injury for men. Smoking and obesity can also cause stress incontinence.
Symptoms of stress incontinence may include accidental leaking due to coughing, sneezing, or laughing. You will not feel the urge to urinate, however. Any activity that puts pressure on your bladder muscles such as bending over or lifting something heavy can cause accidental leaking. Even exercise and sex can be triggers of stress incontinence.
Urge incontinence is commonly known as overactive bladder incontinence. This is a form of incontinence that signals the need to urinate, even if you’ve just emptied your bladder.
The detrusor muscle is responsible for this form of urinary incontinence. This muscle signals the brain and sends the message that the bladder is full. The brain then tells nerves to produce the urge to urinate. Overactive bladder occurs when there is an overactivity of this muscle and you feel the urgent signal to urinate, even if your bladder isn’t full. Incontinence occurs when these urges are too strong and your bladder muscles release before you can make it to the bathroom.
Causes and Symptoms of Urge Incontinence
There are many potential causes of urge incontinence, although identifying them can be difficult. For instance, urge incontinence may be caused by brain damage. If the signals in the brain cannot communicate properly with the bladder muscles, they may signal too often or signal to release even when you’re not near a bathroom. Spine or nerve damage could also cause your body to be unable to stop a signal.
Common symptoms of urge incontinence include the frequent and intense urge to urinate, even if you have just emptied your bladder. You may feel the inability to wait or control these urges, and have a difficult time getting to the bathroom.
Overflow incontinence is a kind of incontinence that is most commonly seen in men. It is typically caused by a blockage in the urine passage, which prohibits the bladder from emptying completely and causes accidental leaking. This form of UI can also be caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles or bladder inactivity. With this type of UI, you will not feel the urge to urinate.
Causes and Symptoms of Overflow Incontinence
If you have used a urine drainage bag, you may experience overflow incontinence due to bladder inactivity. Certain conditions like diabetes and multiple sclerosis can cause damage to the nerves responsible for signaling fullness and emptiness, which can result in overflow incontinence as well.
If you have a bladder stone or a tumor, this could also be the cause of your overflow incontinence and prevent you from completely emptying your bladder. If you have overflow incontinence and notice a change in your urinary habits, speak to your physician.
How To Treat and Manage Incontinence
There are many different forms and causes of incontinence, but there are also many UI treatments and management tips available to you! Along with bladder exercises, diet changes, and urinary health supplements, one of the best ways to manage incontinence and protect against leaks is incontinence underwear.
Despite the prevalence of urinary incontinence among Americans of all ages, many people don’t know much about the different UI treatment options available to them. Let’s talk about the different kinds of incontinence underwear, and how to choose which is best for you.
Moderate Incontinence Underwear
Moderate incontinence underwear offers up to three cups of protection and is perfect for those who have smaller leaks throughout the day, dribble, or slowly void their bladders.
For example, those with stress incontinence who leak because of movements like sneezing may benefit from moderate protection underwear. With a thinner design, this underwear offers protection while being discreet and comfortable.
Maximum Incontinence Underwear
This type of underwear is great for those who tend to void a lot of urine at one time. Our maximum incontinence underwear can hold up to four cups of liquid at a time! In addition, it absorbs liquid quickly and completely to prevent leaks, minimizes odor, and uses two leak guards to ensure extra protection.
Our maximum incontinence underwear is made of soft, cotton-like material that fits any body shape and stays comfortable all day!
Overnight Incontinence Underwear
Overnight incontinence underwear adds an extra two cups of protection to maximum underwear, holding a total of six cups of liquid. If you tend to void a lot of urine during the night, this underwear is a great option to prevent leaking while keeping you dry and rested all night long.
Tips for Using Incontinence Underwear
Besides choosing which incontinence underwear is right for you, there are other tips for staying comfortable while wearing protective underwear and disposing of them discreetly. Your business is nobody else’s, so here are some tips for bringing incontinence underwear with you wherever you go and staying comfortable throughout the day!
1. Use disposable bags.
If you want to be extra discreet while using incontinence underwear throughout the day, try using our disposable bags. These are biodegradable, discreet bags with a clean scent that allow you to dispose of your incontinence underwear in a private, sanitary way.
2. Take care of your skin.
Taking care of your skin and maintaining good hygiene can be a challenge with incontinence, especially if you have busy days and don’t have time to slow down. Incontinence can cause rash, irritation, chafing, and sores if proper skincare isn’t maintained. Luckily, there are products that fit into busy days and can help you get back to your life while promoting health and wellness.
For a quick clean, try our no-rinse cleanser. It is pH-balanced and gentle on skin, and it contains Vitamin E and Aloe Vera to promote moisture and relief. For added relief, you can use a protective cream to keep your skin free of irritation and dryness as you go about your day.
3. Bring extra protection with you.
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to bring extra protection with you. Consider bringing a few extra pairs of incontinence underwear with you so you can change out of old ones.
You can also bring a booster, moderate absorbency pad, or incontinence guard for added protection on the go. Simply tear away the adhesive strip and place it on the underwear you’re already wearing for an extra four cups of leak protection.
Finding the best products for you can be a challenge. In fact, 80% of those living with UI try over six different products before they find something that works for them.
We’re here to break this trend. This guide will help you understand what products you need for the type of incontinence you have, and how to live comfortably using incontinence underwear.
To learn more about how to treat your urinary incontinence, talk to your doctor. For more information on which incontinence products may be best for you, explore these resources!