If you suffer from urinary incontinence, accidents and leaks can be a major source for stress, anxiety, and even self-consciousness. Learning how to fit incontinence pads and prevent leakage can be a big step in the right direction.
Many adults suffer in silence because they are embarrassed to admit that they are incontinent – but adult incontinence is nothing to be ashamed of. In the United States, one in two women and one in four men suffer from some form of incontinence.
Finding the right incontinence pad that fits correctly is an important way to prevent leaks and help you continue enjoying your regular activities.
Knowing how to find the right fit can take a lot of the stress out of living with incontinence, but since everyone has a different body type and set of needs, this can become a trial-and-error process. Having an idea in mind on how to properly fit a pad can help save you a lot of time, money, and effort.
There are three main factors that help you determine how to fit incontinence pads and prevent leakage: size, absorbency, and style. When you understand each of these factors, you can easily find the right product for you.
Understanding Your Size
When it comes to size, every manufacturer of adult incontinence products tends to be a little bit different. Some measure by the length of the pad itself, while others measure by hip and waist size.
That’s where size guides come in handy. When you have your own measurements on hand, you can easily match them with the size chart provided by your adult incontinence pad supplier’s website. If you’re buying the products in person, you can sometimes find this chart in the aisle or on the product packaging.
You’ll need to know your waist size and your hip size to get the right fit. To measure your waist size, take a tape measure and wrap it around your waist just above belly button level. Keep it straight and make sure it’s not too tight.
To get your hip size, wrap the tape measure around the largest part of your hips, where they begin to curve. Once you have these measurements ready and recorded, you can match them to the size charts and get the right fit.
Absorbency is equally as important when choosing an adult incontinence pad. You need to make sure you’re choosing a product that’s made for the amount of leakage you experience.
On most product packages, absorbency is represented by droplet icons. The more icons there are, the heavier the absorbance is.
Here is a general summary of the absorbency levels you’ll come across, from light to heavy:
- Thin or light, represented by one or one and a half droplets: ideal for light leakage, or a few dribbles at a time per leak.
- Moderate, represented by one to three droplets: ideal for handling a light to moderate amount of dribbling per leak.
- Ultimate or max absorbency, represented by three to four droplets: usually longer in length and ideal for absorbing moderate dribbles.
- Super, ultra, or maximum, represented by four to five droplets: ideal for heavy leakage, usually used for overnight protection.
In general, incontinence pads are less absorbent than adult diapers and meant for those with lighter, more manageable leakage. For this reason, most pads come in thin or light absorbency.
If you regularly experience heavier leaks, you’ll want to consider something with more protection and coverage, like an adult diaper or adult incontinence underwear.
Choosing Your Style
The last thing to think about is your preferred style of adult incontinence pad. This part is entirely based on your own personal preferences and the type of underwear and clothing you prefer to wear.
Incontinence pads come in many different styles and shapes, from basic rectangular shapes to shaped styles designed to fit into tighter-fitting women’s panties.
Some also come fragrance free for more sensitive skin, and others feature top-level odor guard technology to keep you smelling fresh even if you’ve had an accident.
Once you’ve figured out all three of these categories, you can choose an incontinence pad that fits ideally for your lifestyle, personal preferences, and body type. With the right fit, you can easily get back to your life and enjoy every activity you love.
Cindy Williams is a blogger in Toronto. She is working as an outreach coordinator for MedProDirect. She graduated with honors from University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing. Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/williams.cindy.ms