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Urinary Incontinence Products

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Urinary incontinence is a condition in which urine leaks out during physical activities. There are many products available to manage urinary incontinence.

Published At December 6, 2022
Reviewed AtDecember 6, 2022

What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a condition in which the muscles and tissues of the pelvis that support the urinary bladder become weak. As a result, control over the urinary bladder and the urethra is lost. The urine leaks out while coughing, sneezing, and exercising. Pregnancy and menopause are also responsible for this condition because they affect the muscles of the bladder. So this condition is commonly seen in women, and they feel uncomfortable discussing this problem with the doctor. However, it becomes necessary to consult the doctor on time because bladder problems harm life if left untreated.

What Are the Causes of Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a common condition that occurs when the bladder becomes weak and cannot hold urine for a long time. The causes of urinary incontinence are listed below:

  • Pregnancy - The uterus expands during pregnancy to accommodate the baby. As a result, the pressure on the pelvic muscles increases, making them weak. When the pelvic muscles become weak, they cannot support the urinary bladder, resulting in urine leakage.

  • Drugs - The medications that increase the risk of urinary incontinence are listed below:

    • Diuretics - Hydrochlorothiazide, Furosemide and Bumetanide.

    • Narcotics - Morphine, Oxycodone, and Meperidine.

    • Antihistamines - Chlorpheniramine and Diphenhydramine.

    • Sedatives - Diazepam, Lorazepam, and Chlordiazepoxide.

  • Prostate Gland Problems - The prostate gland is present near the neck of the urinary bladder. In the case of benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlargement of the prostate gland, pressure on the bladder increases, resulting in urine leakage. If the patient undergoes surgery for prostate cancer, the muscles that control the urine flow get damaged, resulting in urinary incontinence.

  • Obesity - The risk of urinary incontinence increases if the person is obese or has excess weight. Obesity increases pressure on the muscles of the abdomen and pelvis and weakens them.

  • Menopause - Menopause, or the cessation of the menstrual cycle (periods) in females, occurs at 45 to 50 years. The hormone levels change drastically during this period, and women produce less estrogen. As a result, the strength of the pelvic muscles decreases, resulting in urine leakage.

What Are the Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence?

The only symptom that the patient presents with is the leakage of urine. The urine leaks while doing activities that put pressure on the bladder, like coughing, sneezing, lifting heavy objects or weights, and bending. Under normal conditions, the patient has time to reach the bathroom to urinate. In the case of stress incontinence, the urine flows before the person reaches the toilet. Due to urine leakage at night, the patient might wet his bed.

What Are Urinary Incontinence Products?

Urinary incontinence is a condition in which urine leaks before the person reaches the toilet. If the condition is left untreated for a long time, the patient might experience severe complications. Sometimes, the patient is embarrassed and does not discuss this problem with the doctor. In such a situation, urinary incontinence products are of great help. These products absorb the urine and save the patient from embarrassing situations. Urinary incontinence products are available for both men and women, and the patient must consult the doctor before using these products.

How to Choose the Right Product?

Urinary incontinence products work to absorb urine and are available in various forms. The products are chosen on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. The amount of urine loss.

  2. The product must be comfortable to wear.

  3. It must be cost-effective.

  4. The product must be durable.

  5. It must be easy to use.

  6. It must control the odor.

What Are Some of the Urinary Incontinence Products?

Several products are used to control urinary incontinence. Some of the urinary incontinence products are listed below:

  • Incontinence Pads and Inserts - Women commonly wear pads for different purposes, but men might find the idea of wearing a pad a bit weird. Incontinence pads must not be confused with sanitary pads because sanitary pads are not meant to absorb urine. Pads that are meant to absorb the urine have a hydrophobic layer and a waterproof backing to absorb the urine and keep the skin dry. These pads can be easily worn inside the undergarments. Some companies have started making reusable and washable pads held in place by waterproof pants.

  • Adult Diapers - Adult diapers are used if the patient leaks urine. An adult diaper or pull-up is a disposable garment worn by adults suffering from urinary or fecal incontinence. The diapers are available in different sizes, small, medium, large, and extra-large. The patient must choose a diaper that snugly fits and is comfortable too. The patient can buy disposable or reusable diapers. Nowadays, diapers have elastic leg seams that help to prevent urine leakage and provide a good fit.

  • Reusable Underpants - Reusable underwear or underpants have a waterproof crotch and an absorbent liner to absorb the urine. They look like normal underwear, but their absorbent capacity is similar to adult diapers. They are good for people looking for economical options. It is because one does not need to wear additional pads or diapers to control urine leakage. Some people like to wear waterproof pants over their underwear for extra protection.

  • Urinary Incontinence Products for Men - The following products can be used by men to prevent urine leakage:

    • Drip Collector - A drip collector is like an absorbent pocket that has a waterproof backing or a brief to hold it in place. It is worn over the penis and held in place by underwear. It is useful for males who constantly leak urine in small amounts.

    • Condom Catheters - External catheters or condom catheters differ from those used at hospitals. It is made of silicone or latex and is worn over the penis. The condom catheter has a tube at one end that drains the urine from the penis to the drainage pouch. People prefer to use these devices at night, and they help to hold a large amount of urine.

    • Cunningham Clamp - Cunningham clamps are also known as penile clamps as they are placed over the penis. They work like external compression devices and exert small amounts of pressure on the penis to close the urethra and stop urine leakage. The clamp that fits around the penis is like a soft foam that is released when the person needs to empty the bladder. The penile clamp can be uncomfortable for some people, so consult a doctor before using them.

  • Urinary Incontinence Products for Women - Women can use the following products to prevent urine leakage:

    • Pessary - It is a ring-like device that is inserted into the vagina. The patient needs to wear the device the whole day. It supports the urethra, thereby preventing urine leakage. The device needs to be removed and cleaned daily and is good for people who do not want to undergo surgery.

    • Urethral Inserts - As the name suggests, the device is inserted into the urethra and left in place. It is a disposable device, so it needs to be removed before urinating. It prevents urine leakage during sports and other activities and can be easily worn for six to eight hours.

    • Vaginal Inserts - Vaginal inserts are like a tampon and are inserted into the vagina. They put pressure on the urethra and help to prevent urine leakage.

    • Underpads - Underpads or chux are waterproof pads that help to protect the chairs and bed linens. They have a waterproof backing and are made of absorbent material. Underpads can be disposable or reusable. They are usually placed on the bed sheet or the furniture as they provide extra protection. Underpads can be made at home like vinyl tablecloths can be used as underpads. The other way to protect the bed linen is to place rubber pads between them.

What Precautions Must the Patient Take After Using These Products?

Urinary incontinence products are designed to absorb urine and save the person from embarrassing situations. However, the patient needs to ensure he keeps his skin protected. It is because skin irritation and itching are commonly seen when the urine remains in contact for a prolonged period. The following steps help prevent skin irritation:

  1. Do not wear the soaked pads for a prolonged period. Remove them immediately and wear a new one.

  2. Sometimes, the urine might leak onto the bed while sleeping. In such a situation, change the bed sheet immediately to prevent skin infection.

  3. After using absorbent pads, underwear, or other incontinence products, make sure to clean the skin and pat it dry.

  4. Skin barrier creams and lotions are of great help in protecting the skin.

How to Prevent Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a common problem among women and elderly men. The following methods help to prevent urine leakage:

  • It is essential to go to the bathroom every two to three hours to urinate instead of rushing when the need arises.

  • If the patient cannot empty the bladder at once, he needs to wait and try again for the same.

  • The consumption of caffeine, carbonated, and aerated drinks should be reduced as they increase the risk of urine leakage.

  • Chocolates and spicy and salty food items should be avoided as they increase bladder activity resulting in frequent urination or urine leakage.

  • The patient should quit smoking as it damages the lungs and causes coughing. Activities like coughing and sneezing increase the risk of urine incontinence.

  • A healthy body weight should be maintained to avoid excess pressure on the abdomen and pelvis muscles. Exercise regularly and have a healthy diet to maintain perfect body weight.

  • Kegel exercises or pelvic exercises are recommended to tighten the muscles of the pelvic floor to prevent urine leakage.

Conclusion:

Urinary incontinence, or the leakage of urine, is a condition in which urine leaks without a person's knowledge. It is commonly seen in women, and the urine leaks while coughing, sneezing, laughing, and doing physical activities. Some people think that urine leakage is normal and it happens with aging, which is wrong. Though elderly people commonly suffer from urinary incontinence, the condition should not be ignored. People are unable to participate in social activities because of urine leakage. Nowadays, various products are available in the market that help deal with this problem. These products are known as urinary incontinence products. Absorbent pads, underwear, drip collectors, and penile clamps are the commonly used products that help to prevent urine leakage. Consult the doctor before using these products to know about the right techniques.

Dr. Samer Sameer Juma Ali Altawil
Dr. Samer Sameer Juma Ali Altawil

Urology

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urinary incontinence
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