If you have problems with leakage or soiling (incontinence), there’s a variety of products you can wear to help you feel more confident and to help if an accident does happen.
Pads for mild to moderate incontinence are available in most supermarkets, pharmacies and online. If these aren’t absorbent enough, you can get bigger pads from your continence adviser. They’ll also explain what’s available to you on the NHS, which can vary from region to region. The Bladder and Bowel Foundation offers advice and support via its helpline and website.
Pads and pull-ups have a layer that draws urine away from the surface and absorbs it, so your skin stays dry. There’s a variety available. Some can be worn inside your underwear, while others can be worn as a replacement for underwear. Some pads can be used to cover your bed.
Having a portable urinal near your bed may help you have a better night’s sleep, because you won’t have to walk to the toilet every time you need to go. Have it handy during the day if you’re worried about getting to the toilet in time.
Sheaths and leg bags may be useful for men who don’t want to use pads. A sheath fits over the penis (like a condom) and urine is stored in a bag that’s strapped to the leg. You can get underwear with a built-in pocket to hold the bag.
A continence adviser can help you choose a product that suits you for the daytime. There are also various types of pads you can use to cover your bed at night.
Anal plugs are made from soft foam and stop any leakage from the bowel for up to 12 hours. A cord attached to the plug allows you to remove it when you’re ready. Some people find them uncomfortable to begin with, but most people get used to them after using them a few times. Your continence adviser can tell you more about anal plugs.