Male Incontinence Products
There are many incontinence aids and products on the market that can help you feel more comfortable and more confident when suffering from either bladder or bowel incontinence. When considering male incontinence products, there are many options that might help. Collection devices such as penile sheaths are quite a popular device as it negates the need to wear a pad and keeps the skin dry and avoids urine irritation to the skin. Some men prefer the safety of wearing a pad or pants, there are a variety of thicknesses available and can be a good option if you suffer from both faecal and urinary incontinence. It may that a combination of products work best for you depending on your daily activities.
Incontinence aids for men
It is important to still seek help from your GP for you bladder or bowel control if you haven’t as there are many treatments available to either improve or cure incontinence. The following are options that may be discussed with you.
Bladder Incontinence – Urinary Devices
There are devices available that are designed to either be worn over the penis and can offer more discretion or help to avoid urine from coming into contact with the skin. The most commonly used devices are detailed below.
Penile sheaths are probably one of the most popular type of devices available for urinary continence and are suitable for the majority of men. They may also be called condom catheter, uridomes or external catheters. A penile sheath is a latex or silicone tube that rolls over the shaft of the penis and can be connected to a catheter tube and drainage bag.
The sheath usually has some kind of adhesive inside so that the system can remain securely in place. They come in different sizes in a range of 20mm – 40mm in order for you to get the best fit to avoid leaking. They should be changed every 24 hours to avoid system failure or unnecessary skin irritation. There are adhesive remover wipes and sprays available to avoid damaging the skin during a change. Somes sheaths also come with an applicator, which can be useful if you don’t have full dexterity in your hands.
Body Worn Urinals
An alternative to the penile sheath are body worn urinals, which is the collective term for a range of devices which can be worn over the penis but are generally reusable. It is made up of a cover, which goes over the penis and is attached around the waist with straps. The cover will then be attached to a catheter and either a drainage bag or catheter valve. Urine can then freely flow down the catheter tube. There are a variety of design and sizes available. They probably work best and are more comfortable when you are standing or walking around. They may be an alternative if you are on a long day trip and are unable to access toilets frequently.
Penile Compression Devices
A penile compression device or clamp as they are more commonly known is a small device that places pressure over the penis to stop urine from leaking out. They are better used in temporary situations or in the short term for activities such as swimming or other forms of exercise. They generally work better for those who have stress urinary incontinence rather than frequency or urgency. Some men will use a clamp in conjunction with another product such as a pad. Clamps can sometimes be uncomfortable if they are worn on there own as they need to be quite tight to work so wearing them on a looser setting with a pad can extend the wear time of a pad. Generally, most clamps are designed to be reusable and can be washed and worn again.
Bladder Incontinence – Pads
Incontinence pads are probably the most common and well known type of product available. They are easily accessible either through your GP or from a retail store and are usually the first product tried by someone who has an issue with either bladder or bowel control. There are many different combinations to try depending on your preference from thinner, more discreet pads through to disposable underwear. Incontinence pads are generally suitable for all. Some people can find them uncomfortable once they become soiled, it is important to change your pad as quick as possible after they become soiled to avoid sore, broken and irritated skin.
Disposable Pads And Pants
Disposable pads and pants are the most convenient, easy-to-use and more discreet type of incontinence pad, although not the most cost effective and environmentally-friendly. The pads come in different absorbances to contain from light to heavy leakage/soiling. Disposable pants have improved considerably in recent years and are designed to look like normal underwear but contain an absorbent pad in the crotch area.
For men they come in a variety of designs including
- Disposable Liners – these are better suited for those who have light to moderate bladder leakage. They can slip during strenuous activity so an alternative may be best considered during exercise
- Disposable Leafs/Pouches – are more discreet that liners and are designed specifically for men. These are more suitable for those with light bladder leakage
- Disposable Pants – are designed to look like everyday underwear but with an absorbent pad suitable for moderate to heavy bladder leakage
- Disposable All-In-Ones – these are a unisex product designed to contain heavy bladder leakage. They are also more suited to those who suffer from bladder and bowel incontinence
- Disposable T-Shape Pads – these are similar to all-in-ones and are used to contain moderate to heavy bladder and bowel leakage. They are supposed to be easier to put on standing up and use a belt attachment
Washable Pads And Pants
Although there is an initial out cost with washable incontinence products, they are more cost effective over time. Some people also prefer the absorbency of terry towels especially at night as it can contain quite a large volume. There is also less skin irritation involved. The downside is products designed for anything more than light leakage tend to be very bulky and not discreet.
- Washable Liners – these are less commonly used than disposable liners as they tend to not be as effective. They are better suited to those who have control but want the reassurance of a pad
- Washable Leafs – these work the same as a washable liner but are shaped to specifically fit the male shape
- Washable Pants – these look exactly like everyday underwear but have an absorbent pad in the crotch area. Some men wear these in conjunction with a disposable pad for extra protection
- Washable All-In-Ones – are usually made of terry towelling combine with a plastic pant to go over the top to avoid liquid seeping through. These are better for those with heavy bladder leakage. They are quite bulky though and folding and pinning the towelling into the correct shape can be quite fiddly
Contact the Bladder and Bowel Continence Advice Service for discreet information on continence care for men, and what you can do to better manage your condition. Our expert continence team will be happy to help.