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Posted 08/17/2019 in Category 1

Types of Incontinence, Supplies, and In-home Care

Types of Incontinence, Supplies, and In-home Care

Incontinence of one type or the other is a very prevalent condition in the US. Just overactive bladder or OAB affects a good part of the individuals out there, with about 16% of the male population that is 18 years of age or older, suffering from this type of incontinence. Also known as urge incontinence, about 17% of women in the same age bracket also suffer from it. This means that a little over 12 million adults in the U.S. today suffer from incontinence. 

Overflow Incontinence

This type of incontinence typically affects men and results in them being unable to empty their bladder.

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is often caused by trauma to muscles or nerves that control the bladder. It leaves the individuals with a sudden urge to empty the bladder so much many times they are unable to make it to the bathroom. 

Mixed Incontinence

Many times this type of incontinence will be a mixture of stress incontinence and overactive bladder. Women are typically affected by mixed incontinence which causes them to lose control of the bladder. 

Functional Incontinence

The elderly are typically affected by this type of incontinence in which a mental and or physical condition causes a problem where urine will leak. Arthritis and Alzheimer's disease can both affect an individual to the point where they are unable to get to a toilet in time

Stress Incontinence

Stress is not actually involved in stress incontinence. When they say stress, they are referring to pressure. Stress incontinence is a type of incontinence that happens when there is an extra amount of pressure on the bladder. This can occur with sneezing, lifting heavy objects, exercising, pregnancy, being overweight, and certain medical conditions.

Total Incontinence

Total incontinence is the most severe type of incontinence. This is when the individual has lost complete and total control over their bladder. It results in a continuous flow of urine that cannot be stopped.


Normally seen in children, this type of incontinence is usually the result of an immature urinary bladder. This will typically happen in children up until the age of 5, having said that occasional accidents at night are not typically a reason for concern. However, if it continues, it can be a sign of an underlying condition so you may want to seek medical attention. 

What Types of Supplies are Available for Incontinence?

With all the advances that happen in this field, there are always new products being introduced. One example would be new materials that are being used in pads that help can help to capture more liquid. Not only that, but they come up with new designs that help guard against leaks. There are so many advancements being made to products, that the different aspects of the different items are frequently changing. Some companies stick with cheaper materials as you know and that can be beneficial to certain individuals, but these companies are not looking to be on the leading edge of the industry. Let's Take a look at a few of the different types of incontinence products in order to help you make your life easier. 


Used with reusable incontinence briefs or regular underwear, this type of pad provides light to moderate protection against incontinence and are gender-specific. They're normally specifically contoured for the male anatomy so that it provides better incontinence protection.


Used with protective underwear or absorbent briefs, this type of liner may or may not have adhesive holding it in place. It is used for light to moderate incontinence and comes in various different lengths and levels of absorbency.


Used with reusable incontinence briefs or regular underwear, this type of pad comes with or without adhesive to hold it in place and is used for light to moderate incontinence. It comes in multiple different absorbances and are designed to keep moisture away from the skin.

Protective Underwear

Protective underwear is designed for heavy to moderate incontinence depending upon which level of absorbency you choose. They can be used for both night and day wear and sometimes they will incorporate an odor control to stop any bad smells. These are designed as a one piece garment with elastic around the waist to make it easier to change.

Belt Shields

Belt Shields are used for moderate to light incontinence and are designed with an adjustable belt so that it will improve the positioning and security of the pad. They also come in different absorbances to give you a choice in protection. They are normally worn with normal underwear because they are less bulky than the protective variety. An advantage of this type of undergarment is that they are easy to change or remove. 


Wearable pads are not the only protection for incontinence. Underpads are designed to protect beds and other types of furniture. These are good to use during wound care or other general procedures. Underpads come in multiple different sizes and absorbances so that you can choose the protection that you need.

Pants Systems

This type of pad is designed for heavy to severe incontinence and are specifically designed to work with a system that combines a pad with reusable underwear. 

Fitted Briefs

Fitted briefs are designed for heavy to moderate incontinence and sometimes come with other materials that include plastic and cloth that give extra protection. They can also have elastic leg bands depending upon the style that you prefer.

How Could a Caregiver Assist? 

Individuals with incontinence may ask themselves what type of care that a caregiver could possibly give them. There are several different practices that caregivers are trained in that can help a person with incontinence. These include fixing a proper meal that will provide the required nutrients for the individual. They can also create a schedule for proper toilet habits that will help the person empty their bladder more frequently. Some individuals may benefit from pelvic floor exercises that help strengthen muscles in a particular area. 

Caregivers can also help with drainage, catheters, and pads that will help the individual prevent accidents. They can help clear the pathway to the restroom so that the individual may be able to reach it without very much trouble and they will clean up after accidents so that individual will be less susceptible to infections or advanced problems.

In Conclusion

While individuals with incontinence have numerous options in different areas of care, it can be important to know what benefits you are eligible for. If you or your loved one has or is experiencing incontinence and you're wondering what benefits you’re eligible for, contact Medicare/Medicaid or visit Medicare.gov with any questions you might have.


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