Selecting the right incontinence aids can make a significant difference in how you or a loved one look, feel, and function. In fact, while incontinence can be an embarrassing condition, good incontinence underwear can reduce the risk of other people learning that someone else has the condition. When choosing incontinence underwear, you should consider the nature and severity of the incontinence, as well as your or your loved one's mobility and lifestyle needs. Finances may also be a consideration, particularly for those on a limited income or whose insurance covers all or part of the cost of incontinence supplies.
If the incontinence is light, you may not even need incontinence underwear, but can choose to use incontinence pads that stick to regular underwear. If the incontinence is more severe or you prefer an all-in-one option, both disposable and reusable incontinence underwear is available. Incontinence underwear is usually labeled with its degree of absorbency, which can assist you in picking out something suitable to your particular condition. Incontinence aids marketed for people with severe incontinence or fecal incontinence often include a waterproof lining along with special odor-absorbing materials.
Another consideration is appearance. While disposables can be convenient, you may not like the way they look under clothes and may be concerned about how they appear to an intimate partner. Many companies now sell incontinence panties and briefs that look like regular underwear but that are designed with incontinence-control features such as anti-bacterial fabric and an absorbent crotch. While these undergarments can be more expensive than standard underwear, they may be a more cost-effective option than disposables. If finances are a significant issue, your choice of incontinence underwear may be restricted. If your insurance company covers some incontinence aids, you may need to work with a designated vendor to make your purchases. Ask your insurance company about what it does and does not cover.
Caregivers of those with incontinence may have their own preferences when it comes to incontinence underwear. For example, if a patient or family member is largely immobile and relies on the caregiver to remove and change the underwear, the caregiver may prefer a disposable undergarment that has side closures for easy removal. Both the caregiver and the wearer of the underwear should discuss their needs and preferences so as to come to a mutually agreeable decision about which type of incontinence underwear to use.