Incontinence and Quality of Life Issues: Choosing Among Diapers and Other Products

Jasmine Schmidt Health Guide
  • I’m still recovering after the whirlwind that was our conference last week (Engineering for Continence: The Engineering Challenge). It was hard work, but all-in-all very worth it, as all the attendees seemed to come away with a renewed sense of urgency for creating solutions that are so desperately needed by the millions of people around the world suffering from incontinence.


    One interesting discussion at the conference was the issue of the methods used to test the effectiveness of incontinence products. It was noted that the scientific testing of the efficacy of these products used very quantitative techniques and measurements, such as how much liquid an absorbent product can hold.

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    What is not so well tested for is the overall quality of life associated with each individual product. That is, regardless of how much urine a product can hold before it leaks, how well does it work into the user’s lifestyle to allow them to continue doing the things they enjoy?


    If you’ve been trying different absorbent products for some time now, then you’ve undoubtedly learned that some work better than others for your life – you may have even found different products that you prefer for different activities (example, a heavier product for sleeping, a comfortable but perhaps noisy product for working at home, a lighter product with good elasticity for sports, etc). If you’re new to the sometimes overwhelming world of adult absorbent products you may assume that one product is the same as the next and thus choose according to price.

    Many women use menstrual pads or panty liners when starting to deal with incontinence because they are less expensive than the pads meant specifically for urine. When they start using the pads designed for incontinence they almost immediately remark on how much more effective these pads are for this use, and they feel so much more secure going out in public this way.


    The point here is to spend some time and even some money trying to find what works best for you. In many cases, incontinence can be effectively treated with surgery or medication. If you’ve discussed these methods with your doctor and tried them without success or determined that they aren’t for you, it’s time to look at incontinence management as a lifestyle choice. If this is a condition that you’re going to be dealing with for several years, it’s ideal to search for the products that allow you the highest quality of life possible.
Published On: May 02, 2007