What types of absorbent products are used in the treatment of urinary incontinence?

Updated: Jan 22, 2021
  • Author: Sandip P Vasavada, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
  • Print

Different types of products with varying degrees of absorbency exist. Unlike sanitary napkins, these absorbent products are specially designed to trap urine, minimize odor, and keep the patient dry. These products may absorb 20-300 mL, depending on the brand and the absorbent material of the product. Absorbent products used include underpads, panty shields, pant guards, adult diapers (briefs), various washable pants and disposable pad systems, or combinations of these products.

For occasional minimal urine loss, panty shields (small absorbent inserts) may be used. For light incontinence, guards (close-fitting pads) may be more appropriate. Absorbent guards are attached to the underwear and can be worn under usual clothing.

Adult undergarments (full-length pads) are bulkier and more absorbent than guards. They may be held in place by waist straps or snug underwear.

Adult briefs are the bulkiest type of protection, they offer the highest level of absorbency, and they are secured in place with self-adhesive tape. Absorbent bed pads also are available to protect the bed sheets and mattresses at night. They are available in different sizes and absorbencies.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!