If you’re new to issues with bladder leaks, all of the options can seem overwhelming at first. Pantiliners, pads, underwear, briefs—what’s the right solution for you, or, if you’re a caregiver, for your loved one? This guide can help you understand the options and make a smart decision.
One of the first things you should consider is how much protection you or your loved one needs. Different products are designed to absorb and handle varying amounts from very light leaks to a steadier flow that can’t be controlled once it starts.
For instance, if you experience a few drops when coughing, sneezing or exercising, a liner designed for light absorbency may do the trick. If you have small surges that are more than just a few drops, you may need a bladder control pad that can absorb more.
In addition to level of absorbency, these products differ by style. There are in-underwear solutions that include pantiliners, pads and male guards. These pantiliners and pads resemble feminine hygiene products, but are the better solution for bladder leaks.
The other option is an underwear style solution, which is worn like regular underwear. These products typically have a built-in pad, breathable side panels and stretchable waistbands for comfort. They should be sleek and form fitting, so they’re not noticeable under clothing.
Whether you decide to go with in-underwear or underwear products is partially a matter of personal preference. Some people find that in-underwear products are more convenient. They’re often individually wrapped, which makes them easy and discreet to carry with you.
In-underwear options can also be changed more easily than underwear styles, which need to be stepped out of or ripped at the sides. On the other hand, many people find underwear products offer more comfort and confidence, especially when more protection is needed.
For individuals who have heavy bladder or bladder and bowel incontinence, briefs are typically the best option. They’re designed for maximum protection and the best products will have breathable zones that help keep the skin dry and healthy. They also may have reattaching fasteners and wetness indicators that are helpful for caregivers.
Other incontinence aids include underpads, which can be placed on surfaces like beds, chairs or car seats for added protection. There are also disposable wipes or washcloths designed specifically for incontinence issues. They may contain lotions with Aloe or Vitamin E to help soothe and replenish skin.
You should look for high quality products not only to help avoid what can be embarrassing leaks, but also to preserve skin health. For instance, Rite Aid brand products are designed with advanced features, such as Dri-Lock™ to lock up moisture and SureDry® to keep it away from the skin (learn more).
Also, keep in mind that cost can be a factor, since these products are typically used multiple times a day on a regular basis. While Rite Aid products are made as well as or even better than other recognized brands, they’re a very affordable option.
Need more help deciding? Use our Incontinence product selector to find the right solution for your needs and lifestyle.