All About Incontinence Pads

Are you experiencing an urge urinate and worry that you are not going to be able to make it to the bathroom in time? Do you notice that you are sneezing, coughing, or laughing and releasing urine into your undergarments? Have you noticed that you’ve become nervous about possibly soiling the bed at night? You may need an incontinence pad to get you through your days and nights worry-free until you can find a possible permanent solution to your urinary incontinence.

About Incontinence Pads

Designed to protect the skin from wetness and irritation, incontinence pads work to absorb urine leakage, keep you dry, and live a more dignified life. With so many incontinence pad options on the market today, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your unique needs. Incontinence pads are offered in a variety of absorbencies, styles, and sizes, and we will try to make it a little easier for you to understand what matters when choosing the incontinence pad that is right for you.

Incontinence Pad Absorbencies

First, we will discuss the various incontinence pad absorbencies. Whether you are leaking small droplets or you are experiencing the release of larger soils, there are different incontinence pad absorbencies that will deliver the leakage protection needed.

Manufacturers use different words to describe the various absorbency levels their incontinence pads provide because they each use their own unique rating scale. Terms such as Maxi, Super, Ultra, Triple, and Extra are frequently used to describe incontinence pads that offer heavy absorbency protection. Thin and Light are typically used to describe pads for minimal leakage, while Moderate and Medium are usually used for protection needed in between light and heavy incontinence episodes.

Light Absorbency

When you experience light leakage such as a few drops at a time, a Thin or Light incontinence pad such as the Attends Light Insert Pads or the Depend Light Men’s Shields will probably be the best choice for the protection needed. These incontinence pads are also less bulky, so they are more discreet than thicker pads that offer more absorbency.

Moderate Absorbency

When more protection is needed for leakage slightly more than just a few droplets, moving up to a moderate protection incontinence pad is recommended. These pads are the most common incontinence pads and are able to absorb more than just a few dribbles of fluid. Moderate absorbency incontinence pads are also offered in a broader range of styles and sizes, which we will get into later. The Attends Discreet Moderate Incontinence Pad uses Quick Dry technology to deliver the absorbency needed, but still remains quite discreet under clothing. TENA for Men Moderate Guards are designed specifically for the male anatomy and provide comfortable and discreet protection for moderate urinary incontinence.

Heavy Absorbency

When experiencing heavy leakage, more fluid absorbency is required and a Maximum, Extra, or Ultra incontinence pad is needed. Incontinence pads that provide heavy absorbency are also longer in length than the moderate absorbency incontinence pads. This is due to the fact that these pads contain the most polymer, which also means they are typically bulkier and not as discreet. The Tranquility Male Guard would be a good option for men that require heavy leakage protection and the TENA Intimates Heavy Absorbency Ultimate Bladder Control Pad protects against leaks, odors, and wetness with its ProSkin Technology.

Incontinence Pads Styles

There are four main types of incontinence pads that we will cover: Shaped, All-in-One, Booster, and Male Guards.

Shaped Pads

Shaped pads contour to the body’s natural curves to deliver comfort while they protect. These incontinence pads are a close fit for discretion and are sometimes offered with an adhesive strip to help them stay securely in place when moving around, especially at night.

One of our most popular incontinence shaped pads is the Tranquility Select Personal Care Pad. With its moisture-proof backing, these incontinence pads can be worn in regular clothing and the unisex style and length fits most sizes.

All-in-One Pads

All-in-one pads are generally recommended for moderate to heavy incontinence and can be worn on their own without the need for separate undergarments. They are the bulkiest of the incontinence pad selection, so if you are concerned with discreetness, they are not the best choice. Because they are very absorbent, all-in-one incontinence pads are ideal for both bladder and bowel leakage.

These incontinence pads are unisex and come in two different designs: resealable tape-tabs and belted incontinence pads.

Resealable Tape Tab Design

These incontinence pads feature resealable adhesive strips on the sides that conveniently adjust to various hip and waist measurements. Resealable incontinence pads are easy to put on and remove, making them a great choice for those that are immobile. The Simplicity Incontinence Liner is a great option for a streamlined fit and improved dignity compared to a full diaper.

Belted Incontinence Pad Design

Essentially a heavy absorbency incontinence pad, a belted undergarment features a belt instead of a resealable tape tab. The belted style makes it easy to change out the pad without the need to remove any articles of clothing such as pants and shoes. Because of the belted style, this incontinence pad stays in place for longer periods of time as they absorb urine and feces.

Belted incontinence pads come in two different styles: hook and loop and button closure.

1. Hook and Loop Style

The Tranquility Select Belted Undergarment is a perfect example of the hook and loop incontinence pad design that features adjustable elastic straps and can be worn in place of regular underwear. This unisex incontinence pad also has elastic leg gathers for a secure fit and keeps the skin dry with the superabsorbent polymers in the core. With the Peach Mat Guarantee, these incontinence pads promise to perform in the areas of skin dryness, odor control, urine pH neutralization, and prevention of bacterial growth.

2. Button Closure Style

Similar to the hook and loop design, this style uses buttons to secure the incontinence pad. The Tranquility Select Belted Undergarment is also offered in this style. The 2-button elastic straps and waterproof, cloth-like outer layer are rustle-free and easily fits waist/hip sizes up to 44 inches.

Active people sometimes find that incontinence pull up pants provide more freedom of movement than all in ones.

Booster Pads

Booster pads can be worn inside a primary undergarment such as a disposable brief or pull-on to increase the liquid holding capacity. These incontinence pads are specially designed to allow fluids to flow-through until they fill to capacity and then pass the additional fluid into the primary disposable incontinence undergarment. If your brief or pull-up is filling up too quickly or you are experiencing leakage, adding a booster pad might be the right solution. Booster pads are an economical way to extend the use and provide and extra boost inside of a primary garment.

Tranquility offers a variety of booster pads such as the Tranquility TopLiner Booster Contour Pad that conforms to the body with its hourglass shape and provides a large absorbent area that even contains bowel incontinence.

The Abri-Let Booster Pad by Abena is another great choice that is adds the needed absorbency. Suitable for use as a maternity pad, booster pad, wound care absorbent pad, or for light incontinence, this pad proves to be a truly multipurpose incontinence pad.

Male Guards

Designed specifically with the male anatomy in mind, the male guard is an incontinence pad for men with a unique shape and thin design. Suitable for regular men’s underwear or boxer briefs, the male guard is placed inside of the primary undergarment for protection against light to moderate incontinence episodes. The male guard is not meant to be used with men’s boxers as this type of undergarment is not made to fit close and contour to the male body. Boxer briefs, on the other hand, are more conforming to the body’s shape and have a closer fit. Therefore, the male guard would be an option for use with the boxer brief.

The Attends Guards for Men are a great option for men that need to address light to moderate urinary incontinence with their super absorbent polymer core that locks in fluid and traps odors. Men can feel a sense of security in these male incontinence pads that offer improved leak protection while remaining discreet.

Fecal Pads

Fecal incontinence pads are specifically designed for those that suffer from Accidental Bowel Leakage (ABL). With their discreet design that absorbs leaks and odors, fecal incontinence pads are shaped to fit in and around the buttocks to hold stool in place. These pads are for ideal for those dealing with minor bowel leakage. The Butterfly Body Patch by Attends is an excellent choice for those with light fecal incontinence and is a simple solution that effectively provides 2X more absorbency than similar products and neutralizes odors as it stays securely in place.

Visit our Fecal Incontinence Pad page for more information on fecal incontinence pads and how to choose the right one for your specific needs.

Incontinence Pads for Women

The selection of incontinence pads for women has considerably grown throughout the years. Previously only offered in just a few sizes, incontinence pads for women are now available in a wide variety of styles, shapes, sizes, and absorbencies. Many women opt for incontinence pads over briefs and pull-ons for a few good reasons:

Discretion: Incontinence pads for women are made to be much more discreet underneath clothing than even the smallest pull-on underwear.

Comfort: Because incontinence pads for women are smaller, they tend to be more breathable and help the wearer to not get as hot.

Cost: Even the incontinence pads for women that are extra-large cost approximately 40% less than briefs or pull-on underwear.

Shop for incontinence pads for women at Personally Delivered today.

Incontinence Pads for Men

Incontinence pads for men are designed with the unique shape of the male anatomy in mind. While it seems more common for women to mature and use pads for different reasons aside from incontinence needs, men tend to think of the need to use pads a bit distressing. Certain procedures such as prostate surgery can be the reason for temporary use of incontinence pads, while other times there may be an underlying cause that requires the use of incontinence pads for men until the root cause is determined by a doctor.

Incontinence pads for men can simplify a man’s life and help prevent leaks and other embarrassing accidents, leading to a sense of security, protection, and more confidence. Incontinence pads for men can be purchased and discreetly delivered by Personally Delivered. This option can help men manage their incontinence with dignity.

Shop for incontinence pads for men at Personally Delivered today.

Choosing the Right Size of Incontinence Pad

Choosing the right incontinence pad is important to make sure that you do not face any embarrassment due to leakage or irritation due to purchasing the incorrect size. Three main factors should be taken into consideration when deciding on the right incontinence pad for your unique needs; fit, material, and brand.

Fit

Making sure the incontinence pad fits properly is an important step in choosing the right product. If the incontinence product fits too tightly, the skin may become irritated from friction and result in the need to continuously readjust the undergarment. If the incontinence undergarment is too loose, urine and/or feces will be able to seep through.

Material

The material the incontinence pad is made of can cause allergies to the skin if not correctly chosen. It is always wise to check for the type of material the incontinence pad is made of to prevent any rashes or infections. Many people have an allergy to latex, some plastics, and foils, so keeping an eye on the material used to construct the incontinence pad will help to eliminate any potential skin reactions.

Brand

Choosing the right brand of incontinence undergarments helps you decide the right size and fitting as well as the right material. As previously mentioned, each brand has its own specifications. Depending on the manufacturer, you may need to take note of your weight or waist/hip measurement to order your pads in the proper size for your body dimensions.

Different brands of incontinence pads promote better protection from various concerns such as odor and skin irritation, while other brands offer incontinence pads in a wider range of sizes and absorbencies.

Cardinal Health brands itself on giving assurance that fluids are absorbed quickly and odors are controlled with their SureCare Bladder Control Pads that are offered in Light, Medium, and Heavy absorbencies.

Using incontinence pads from Attends, such as their Discreet Ultimate Pads can deliver increased protection with a triple layer for leak protection and advanced DermaDry technology to keep skin dry.

When it comes to incontinence pads, soft and comfortable are two qualities a person would prefer and MoliCare MoliForm incontinence liners prove to deliver. They are made from soft, cloth-like materials that are also sturdy and super absorbent.

When considering which incontinence pad is right for your needs, you will need to keep in mind a couple of things pertaining to the different sizes and absorbencies available to you:

  • Pads generally increase in size with increasing absorbency – the bigger the incontinence pad, the more it will hold.
  • Fitted pads like all-in-ones are offered in a range of sizes to fit different size bodies for each absorbency level.

How to Dispose of Incontinence Pads

Disposable incontinence pads are not a recyclable items and are meant for use as a single-use personal protective products. Made of flammable materials, they should also be kept away from heat sources and never flushed down a toilet.

If you are using incontinence pads in large quantities, disposal can pose a problem. Keeping a sufficient supply of trash bags that are scented and a dedicated bin outside of the home to toss them out is a good option. The scented disposal bags will help control odor and the location of the container can significantly reduce lingering odors in the home.

Most disposable incontinence pads have a sticky strip on the back to conveniently attach it to the primary undergarment, which can also be used when preparing for disposal. Simply remove the incontinence pad, roll it up, and secure it closed with the adhesive strip. If there is stool in the incontinence pad, either dispose of it in a toilet or double bag the pad for additional security.

An alternate option for managing disposal of incontinence pads in the home is by using a waste disposal system, similar to those used for baby diapers such as a Diaper Genie. This option can become expensive since not only do you have to buy the unit, you’ll need to purchase special replacement bags and possibly cartridges. However, they have the advantage of providing a closed container in the home which reduces trips to the outside bin and also helps contain odor.

Are Incontinence Pads Covered by Medicare?

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover incontinence supplies. However, if you or the person you are caring for has a Medicare supplemental plan, some of these supplies may be covered. Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans offer enhanced benefit options for products and services not covered by Medicare Parts A and B. It is always wise to check with a healthcare plan’s summary of benefits to find out whether these particular benefits are available.

Medicaid, on the other hand, is a state-run health benefits program, so some states will cover certain incontinence supplies. These benefits will vary by state, so if you qualify, you’ll need to contact your state Medicaid office to find out what your state’s guidelines are.

Bonus Tip: When you purchase online from Personally Delivered, not only are the products delivered discreetly to your door, but we also offer a 5% discount when you sign up for our automatic delivery program. Just choose this option upon checkout with the frequency you would like and you will never have to worry about running out of your incontinence pads and other medical necessities again. It is a no obligation program and you can cancel at any time.

How to Find the Right Incontinence Pads

Incontinence can be difficult to manage and the number of products available can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Our Personally Delivered Product Experts are extremely knowledgeable about the vast selection of incontinence pads we carry. Browse our incontinence pads online and if you have any questions or need assistance determining what you need, we are just a phone call away. We will help you choose the right products that will allow you to live the dignified life you deserve.

An Introduction to Foley Catheters

You may be scheduled for a major surgery, having difficulty emptying your bladder, or experiencing urinary incontinence causing bladder leakage, and your doctor references the use of a Foley catheter. You may start asking yourself questions such as: What is a Foley catheter? Why would I need a Foley catheter? Where would I purchase a Foley catheter? We will discuss exactly what this type of catheter is, why it is used, and some things to expect if you ever need to use one.

What is a Foley Catheter?

Named after Frederic Foley, an American urologist, the Foley catheter design was created to provide continuous drainage of the bladder. A balloon filled with sterile water is incorporated near the tip of the catheter tubing and once inserted through the urethra and inflated, this balloon prevents the catheter from sliding out of the bladder or moving out of place.

The Foley catheter is often referred to as an indwelling catheter. As this term suggests, it is inserted into the bladder and intended to remain there for either a short or prolonged period of time, depending on the circumstance. The main purpose of the Foley catheter is to drain urine from the bladder into a collection device, typically a leg bag or drain bag.

If you are in a hospital, the collection or drainage bag will typically be emptied and changed by a nurse. Sometimes it will be next to the bed or hung on the rail of the bed for easy access. Should you be discharged from the hospital and need to adminster insertion and removal of the Foley catheter yourself, a portable leg or drainage bag will be used that easily attaches to the thigh or calf with a device such as the Statlock Foley Stabilization Device.

When is a Foley Catheter Needed?

Some scenarios when the use of a Foley catheter might be necessary are:

  1. A major surgical procedure involving anesthesia where the patient will be unaware of the need to urinate.
  2. A patient in recovery that may be too weak or sick to safely make it to the restroom to urinate on their own.
  3. A chronic condition such as urinary incontinence where they are unable to control bladder leakage.
  4. Spinal trauma which may cause bladder dysfunction due to nerve-related damage.

Foley Catheter Sizes

Foley catheters are measured in terms of French units (Fr.) and range in size from 8Fr. to 26Fr. in diameter. Each Fr. unit is equal to 0.33mm (0.013″ or 1/77″) in diameter. Determining the proper French size of the indwelling catheter will depend upon the age of the person the Foley catheter will be inserted into. A child, for instance, will require the use of a smaller Fr. size Foley catheter due to their anatomy being much smaller than that of a grown adult.

It is also common for the Fr. size to increase when a person uses an indwelling catheter often and for extended periods of time. Another reason a larger Fr. size is used is for adequate drainage due to blood clots if there is blood in the patient’s urine. Great precaution should be taken when choosing the proper Foley catheter size, as one that is too large will risk damage to the urethra and cause pain and trauma to the urethral tissue. On the other hand, choosing a Foley catheter that is too small will result in potential leakage and kinking.

Different sizes of the Foley catheters are identified by color-coded ports at the balloon inflation site for easy identification. As previously mentioned, all catheters require a physician’s prescription so the correct size of the Foley catheter that is right for you will be determined by them.

How to Insert a Foley Catheter

Prior to insertion of a Foley catheter, the skin is cleansed with mild soap and water at and around the urethral site of entry to ensure good hygiene. The indwelling catheter is then inserted by gently pushing the catheter insertion tip up through the urethra and guiding it into the bladder. Once the tube is fully in the bladder, the balloon is gradually inflated with a syringe containing sterile saline to the recommended volume marked on the balloon port of the catheter. The indwelling catheter will then remain in place for an extended period of time. The two eyelets at the end of the Foley catheter tube allow urine to flow from the bladder, down the tubing, and into a collection container such as the ConvaTec Urine Night Drainage System or bag like the Reliamed Leg Bag, and then emptied as needed.

How to Remove a Foley Catheter

Removal of the Foley catheter is a very quick and simple process that is usually painless. The balloon is deflated using a syringe to retract the saline solution. Once all of the saline is removed, the balloon flattens and the Foley catheter tubing is gently pulled out of the bladder and down the urethra until it is completely out of the body. Typically, this process must be done by a healthcare professional.

How Often is a Foley Catheter Changed?

Indwelling catheters stay inside the body for much longer periods of time than intermittent catheters. 4-week intervals is the typical time period between changeouts, however, each individual’s circumstances and needs determine the length of time that the Foley catheter will need to remain in the body. Hydrophilic and silicone indwelling catheters do not require changeouts as often as plain latex Foley catheters simply because the latex catheters are more prone to encrustation leading to obstruction.

Some common indications that a Foley catheter needs to be changed are:

  1. If there is leakage around the Foley catheter tubing, a changeout would be necessary.
  2. Any time a catheter remains in place for an extended period of time, the risk for infection increases. If you experience a fever, bladder spasms, cloudy urine, or blood in the urine, the Foley catheter should be changed.
  3. The excretion of proteins and calcium from the body promote encrustation formation, causing obstruction and the need to change the Foley catheter more frequently.

It is recommended to observe the sensitive skin in and around urethral entry site of the catheter as well as the urine that is being collected in the drainage bag. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • You notice blood or blood clots in your urine.
  • Your urine looks cloudy and gives off a foul smell.
  • You are running a fever of 101 degrees or higher.
  • You are not urinating  or not as much and experiencing abdominal pains.

Always consult with your physician about any changes to your urine, skin, or if you’re experiencing pain. Preventive measures may be required so the condition does not worsen.

How to Care for Your Foley Catheter?

Indwelling catheters are intended for single-use and disposed of after each period of use. The skin and catheter tubing at the Foley catheter’s entry point should be cleaned with mild soap and water at least twice a day for general personal hygiene purposes and to reduce potential infection. It is also convenient to clean the entire system while in the shower, making sure you rinse well and gently dry. Bathing is not recommended with an indwelling catheter as the risk for infection increases.

Since the tubing will be long enough to travel down the leg and into a drainage bag, it should be securely taped or strapped to the leg with Cath-Secure or another tube holder of choice, to help it stay securely in place. When the catheter pulls or moves, there is a risk for pain and bladder spasms.

The Foley catheter’s drainage bag should always be placed below the waistline to prevent the backflow of urine returning the bladder. Since the Foley catheter will always be attached to the drainage bag, it is considered a closed system. The catheter drainage bag should remain fully connected to the Foley catheter tubing at all times until a bag changout is needed, typically twice a day; once in the morning to switch to the leg bag and once in the evening to changeover to the night bag.

Each time the catheter drainage bag is changed, the end of the catheter and the connector on the new drainage bag need to be wiped with alcohol prep wipes. The video below may be helpful to show you these steps.

Where to Buy Foley Catheters

We offer a wide selection of Foley catheters at Personally Delivered from a variety of manufacturers such as Cardinal Health, Bard, Coloplast, and more. Please note that all catheters require a prescription from your physician. This can easily be uploaded, emailed, or faxed to us after placing your order. We can assist with the process to make it as simple as possible so there is no delay in the shipment of your catheter order.

Give us a call today with any questions or concerns and one of our Personally Delivered Product Experts will be happy to speak to you.