Stacks of white incontinence pads.
Incontinence can help absorb excess moisture from overactive bladder.

Incontinence Pads

Incontinence is not something everyone likes to talk about. But it is an issue for millions of people in the U.S. Fortunately, there are several types of incontinence pads on the market to help deal with the problems. Keep reading below to learn more about incontinence pads, including your options.

What Are Incontinence Pads?

They are made to absorb urine, which may be needed due to conditions such as overactive bladder (OAB). People with OAB may have a sudden need to urinate. In some cases, they may also experience urine leakage.

In addition to OAB, incontinence pads can help people with other medical conditions that lead to urine leakage. According to the Mayo Clinic, conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries can lead to incontinence.

These pads also helps protect the skin from irritation due to wetness. Typically, pads are made from layers of polymer, which helps absorb the moisture and wick it away from the skin.

Different types of pads are available to provide the amount of absorbency needed. For example, pads are available that provide light, moderate and heavy absorbency. Special pads are also on the market that is intended for men to fit their anatomy.

Pros and Cons

Incontinence pads can greatly help someone with OAB. By using the pads, an individual with OAB can go about normal activities without worrying about leaking urine onto their clothes. But they have both pros and cons. Consider the following:


Some of the benefits include:

  • The pads help absorb urine to prevent embarrassment: One of the most important benefits of using the pads is they may prevent embarrassing incidents involving urine leakage onto the clothes. It may give someone peace of mind to know they are protected.
  • May decrease skin irritation: Wet clothes from urine leakage can lead to a skin rash. The pads help keep moisture away from the skin, decreasing the risk of skin irritation.
  • Easy to use: Incontinence pads are easy and convenient to use.


Pads may also have a few cons, such as those listed below.

  • Pads may be uncomfortable: Depending on the size of the pad, they can be bulky and may be a little uncomfortable.
  • Cost: According to Wound Management & Prevention, incontinence supplies often run a person up to $300 a month.
  • An individual must change the pad often: Even though incontinence pads help absorb urine, they still have to be changed frequently. This means a person needs access to a bathroom, which might not be convenient.

How Do You Use Incontinence Pads?

They are made to be worn inside a person’s underwear. They have an adhesive strip that attaches to the underwear and stays in place. The pads have a waterproof backing to absorb urine. Usually, incontinence pads are disposable. But some manufacturers also have washable incontinence pads.

You May Also Like

Best Incontinence Pads and Their Features

The best type of incontinence pad may depend on the severity of the problem and how much absorbency is needed. For example, some people may only have a small amount of urine leakage when they sneeze or cough. But for others, urine leakage is much more frequent, and a more absorbent incontinence pad is needed.

When choosing incontinence pads, consider the following:

  • Size: Pads may come in different sizes or lengths.
  • Absorbency: Incontinence pads come in light, moderate, or heavy absorbency.
  • Shape: Most pads come in a rectangle or curved shape. Some pads also come in extra-long.
  • Sex: Male pads or shields are specifically designed for a man’s shape to provide against leakage.

Below are some of the best incontinence pads.

TENA Overnights

TENA pads are made to protect against moderate to heavy urine leakage. The pads are 16 inches long, which provides coverage while you are lying down sleeping. The pads are thin, so they do not feel too bulky. They incorporate a pH-balanced system that helps wick moisture away and prevent skin irritation.

Poise Overnight Pads

Poise is a popular brand for incontinence protection. The company offers a variety of pads that provide different levels of absorbency. The overnight pads provide moisture-wicking protection for up to 12 hours. They also have an odor-controlling feature.

Always Discreet Long Incontinence Pads

Always Discreet Long Incontinence Pads provide a discreet fit that is not noticeable under clothes. The pads also have an odor-lock technology to prevent odors as soon as urine leakage occurs. Leak guards also help prevent wetness from leaking out the sides of the pad.

Depends Men’s Guards

Depends Men’s Guards have a strong adhesive to provide solid attachment to boxers or briefs. They also have a flex leak barrier that provides protection even when a man is active. The pads have a cup-like shape that fits a man’s body without adding extra bulk.