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What are the Different Kinds of Incontinence Products?

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  • Written By: Elan Kesilman-Potter
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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Incontinence, or the inability to control bladder or bowel functions, might arise for a variety of reasons, such as weakened muscles from pregnancy or neurological problems. Regardless of the cause of incontinence, there are several types of incontinence products to aid the afflicted. These products include medications, pads, panties, briefs and sheets.

Medications as incontinence products can work to either increase sphincter and muscle strength or relax the bladder. Most incontinence medications are antispasmodics that relax bladder muscles, resulting in less leakage and fewer urges to urinate. Some of the most prescribed medications are fesoterodine, tamsulosin and oxybutynin. Physicians choose incontinence medications according to the incontinence cause.

Incontinence pads can be an effective incontinence products to absorb urine overflow for women. These pads have a similar design to menstrual pads with additional absorbing power. They adhere to women's underwear and are typically disposable. These are effective incontinence aids for mild urinary incontinence problems and are available in light to heavy absorbency grades, similar to panty liners. Pads are easily concealed beneath clothing and provide protection against light overflow between visits to the bathroom, but they are not effective for fecal incontinence.

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For more severe incontinence problems, both urinary and fecal, incontinence panties or briefs might be necessary. Also known as adult diapers, these incontinence products provide more absorbency than pads and extra protection for clothing from leaks. Incontinence panties are designed for women, and incontinence briefs are for men. Both the panties and briefs are available in disposable or reusable forms.

For nighttime protection, incontinence sufferers might employ the use of incontinence sheets. There are a variety of incontinence sheet types, ranging from absorbent mattress covers to flat pads made from diaper-like material. The incontinence mattress covers usually zip around the mattress, protecting it from damage. The mattress covers can be used in conjunction with other incontinence sheet forms, such as flat pads or rubberized cotton sheets. When using incontinence sheets, it is important for one to maintain their cleanliness in order to prevent bedsores or other illness, especially if the incontinent person is bedridden.

Millions of people worldwide are incontinent, and more than three-quarters of them are women. Incontinence is more prevalent in the elderly, although it can occur at any age and encompasses childhood bed-wetting as well. It is highly curable through behavioral, pharmacological and surgical techniques, but only about one out of every 12 incontinent people seek treatment.

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