Absorbent products are items that absorb urine, such as adult diapers, plastic-coated underwear, pads, or panty liners that attach to underwear. Most commercially available items are disposable (such as Depend or Poise). Some absorbent cloths can be washed and reused. Drip collectors that fit over the penis are also available.
Absorbent products may be used to manage any form of incontinence. Bladder control pads are a better choice than menstrual pads. Bladder control pads are made to absorb fluid faster, so they keep you dry and comfortable. And they are designed to reduce the odor of urine.
Absorbent products do not cure incontinence. But they may be used for any duration of time. Skin irritations may be a recurring problem if soiled or wet absorbent products have extended contact with the skin.
Absorbent products may be used if:
- Your incontinence is not a significant disruption in your life.
- You are waiting for another treatment for incontinence to take effect.
- Your incontinence cannot be treated by other means.
- You prefer to use absorbent products rather than medicines or surgery.
Absorbent products also may be used:
- When you first begin exercises or behavioral treatment methods. Absorbent products can help manage incontinence until the treatment begins to take effect.
- While you recover from surgery.
- During other periods in which protection may be needed while you are pursuing other treatment.
- If you are not a candidate for other forms of treatment.
Absorbent products are an effective way to relieve the embarrassment and discomfort of urine leakage.
When using absorbent products:
- The area around the groin may become irritated.
- The risk of urinary tract infections increases.
Current as of: June 16, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Avery L. Seifert MD - Urology