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Incontinence products for women: pads vs. pants

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Pads, pants and other incontinence products can make your life easier and make you feel comfortable if you’re waiting for a diagnosis or treatment. There are a wide range of products and it’s important that you find the right ones for you. It’s your choice and you should use whichever one makes you feel the most comfortable and confident. Make sure you visit our one-stop shop for all of your incontinence needs.

Incontinence pads

Incontinence pads are worn inside the underwear to absorb leaks. Designed with adhesive backs to hold them securely in place, the pads feature cushioned uppers to keep you comfortable. They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and absorbencies to suit your needs and body shape. Pads are a disposable option for those experiencing urinary incontinence. Always discreet pads have an absorbent core that turns liquid to gel, locking in the moisture and keeping your body dry as you wear them.

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Incontinence pants

Incontinence pants are designed to replace your underwear whilst offering protection from leaks, odour and moisture. Many of the pants mimic normal underwear so much so that they are in fact washable and reusable, meaning that you can easily make them a part of your daily routine.

The majority of pants feature a secure side closure or pull-up fit with comfortable elastic waists. Incontinence pants like pads come in a variety of shapes, sizes and absorbencies to suit the shape of your body and your unique incontinence needs. For example TENA lady have included floral motifs on their pants so that they imitate regular underwear.

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Incontinence sheets and bed pads

Whether you choose to use incontinence sheets or beds pads, these products can give you peace of mind during the night, allowing you to sleep knowing that your bed is protected.

Bed pads are a good option if you're travelling or will be away from home. They sit on top of your mattress and soak up any leaks that are emitted during the night. The pads stay dry to the touch meaning that you’ll stay comfortable and avoid skin irritation.

Incontinence sheets are available as disposable or reusable options depending on your unique needs and whichever one will be easier for you. Reusable bed sheets feature waterproof backing that will absorb leaks and protect your mattress, while the top feels soft on skin and is comfortable for you to sleep on. Like regular sheets they feature elasticated corners for an easy fit or if you prefer a more traditionally made bed, they come as flat sheets.

Whereas disposable sheets are usually made of plastic materials which stop the liquid from soaking to your mattress but may not necessarily keep you dry. It is completely up to you which incontinence product suits you and which you would like to use.

Innovo shorts

Designed as a safe and non-evasive solution for urinary incontinence, Innovo shorts help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Easy to use, and comfortable simply wear the shorts when you’re relaxing at home to treat the root cause of leaks. Within one 30-minute session the unique technology in the shorts delivers 180 complete pelvic floor contractions to your muscle network helping to strengthen and rebuild your muscles over time to help you regain control of your bladder.

Find out more

Can I get incontinence products on the NHS?

Depending on your local clinic commissioning group you might be able to get continence products on the NHS. However you will need to be assessed by a healthcare professional and meet certain criteria.

Can I use sanitary products instead?

Depending on your local clinic commissioning group you might be able to get continence products on the NHS. However you will need to be assessed by a healthcare professional and meet certain criteria.

Can tampons stop stress incontinence leaks?

It's not recommended that you use tampons as a way to prevent leakages.


Image for illustrative purposes only. Posed by models.