How Do You Choose Incontinence Products?

One can seek the assistance of a doctor or specialist to explore the origin and category of incontinence. Additionally, they can ascertain if the issue is temporary or permanent, suggest appropriate interventions to alleviate or address the problem and recommend the most suitable incontinence products based on the individual's circumstances. But how familiar are you with incontinence? And the different types of products that can be used to manage it?

Types of Incontinence

Incontinence presents in various forms and can have different underlying causes. Beyond urinary incontinence, individuals may also encounter fecal incontinence, which is the involuntary loss of feces.

Distinctive goods are available for each type of incontinence such as exercise incontinence and functional incontinence, as well as those for fecal incontinence. These products for fecal incontinence are equipped with elevated barriers and robust elastics to contain the stool and prohibit leakage.

Pinpointing and analyzing the specific type and cause of incontinence can aid in selecting the appropriate incontinence product. A medical professional can offer assistance with the evaluation process.

Absorbency Levels

When selecting an incontinence product, it is essential to consider the extent of involuntary urine loss. For mild incontinence, a pad is often sufficient; however, for moderate to heavy urinary incontinence, a slip or pant is generally more appropriate. Additionally, the absorption level of the product must be taken into account.

Absorbency refers to the volume of urine that the incontinence product can absorb and retain without leaking. Abena's "drop system" labeling may be useful in identifying the appropriate absorbency level for a product and thus selecting the ideal product to meet individual needs. Look for the colored drop symbols on the packaging to see the absorbency levels, ranging from 75 ml (lightest product) to 4000 ml (heaviest product). The maximal absorbency capacity of a product is determined according to the Rothwell test (ISO11498-1).

Finding the Right Size

Ensuring that an incontinence product is the correct size is crucial, despite the fact that its absorbency isn't dependent on size. Surprisingly, a product that's too big can heighten the probability of leaks, while one that's too small or poorly fitting can lead to discomfort. To determine the ideal fit, it's recommended to measure the hip circumference by wrapping a measuring tape around the widest point of the hips, roughly 10 centimeters beneath the belly button.

To help keep products and inserts better in place, it is possible to use specially designed fixation underwear. Fixation underwear has a wider crotch than normal underwear, which means that the insert fits better, thereby reducing the risk of leaks. In addition, it is very important to carefully follow the application guides for the individual products. 

Mobility and Lifestyle Affects Product Choice

The selection of the appropriate incontinence product should take into account mobility and lifestyle. In nursing homes, over 25% of residents suffer from incontinence, particularly among the elderly, disabled, or bedridden, necessitating assistance with product changes. Health care workers find adhesive strip products easier to handle.

On the other hand, individuals leading active lifestyles may find pants and pads more manageable since users can change and replace them on their own.

Incontinence and Skincare

People who experience incontinence face a higher risk of skin issues like incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) due to their skin's high sensitivity to moisture and urine. Utilizing specialized skincare products can aid in the protection and nourishment of the skin. Additionally, selecting incontinence products that rapidly absorb urine and keep the inner layer's surface dry against the skin is crucial.

Abena is a leading manufacturer of continence solutions, supplying healthcare organisations with high quality continence pads, pull ups, all-in-ones and skincare products. Abena products are designed with maximum comfort and leakage protection in mind, improving outcomes and quality of life.

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