It is estimated at 400,000,000 adults worldwide suffer from some form of incontinence, so if you find yourself peezing (peeing when you sneeze) then you are among friends! This also means the competition is getting fierce in order to get your attention and ultimately buy brand A over brand B, C, D, etc…. The sales of incontinence products is a $9 billion market and growing, with sales increasing by 9% from 2018 to 2019! There are a lot of products out there and a lot of companies wanting you to buy from them….so how do you decide? It comes down to several factors but what type of incontinence do you have is a biggy (stress vs. urge vs. functional), followed by when you need the protection (night vs. day, at home vs. shopping vs. the gym).

There are three main types of incontinence we are going to discuss, starting with stress incontinence – which happens if you leak when you cough, sneeze, or laugh, get up/down from a chair, out of the car. Any time you increase the “stress” or pressure on the weakened pelvic floor muscles you run the risk of leaking. This is the most common form of incontinence.

If you don’t realize you are leaking or you get the sudden need to go and only have five seconds to find a bathroom because your bladder goes from empty to full in two seconds, then this would be urge incontinence. The bladder is reflexively emptying with little approval from you.

Functional / overflow incontinence means you have normal bladder function – you don’t typically leak – but you waited too long to get to the bathroom and can’t find one. When you are on I-95 stuck in traffic after three cups of coffee and a smoothie … you just can’t get to a bathroom!

Protection – There are so many options out there these days! Tena, Depends, and Attends are sold in most stores, but you also have the online option with discreet shipping. The other advantage of online shopping is you have more diverse choice from very sterile and medical looking products of Abriform with a standard wetness indicator to the very cute and fun designs of ABUniverse’s Little Pawz, where the paw print disappears when wet. Let’s face it, who is going to see your underwear anyway? Oh, right, underwear night at the …

Pads and guards are very similar in that the good ones have an adhesive strip to hold them in place when worn in your underwear. These are designed for light incontinence and are easy to swap out for a fresh one if needed, and small enough to discreetly fit in a handbag.

Depends leading the pack in the disposable underwear category with heavy marketing to a younger crowd with ads including footballers Wes Welker, Clay Matthews, and DeMarcus Ware. Far cry from 1984 with June Allison as the spokesperson! The underwear sound great but there is one catch: How do you change it when not at home? It comes off easily enough with side panels that rip away, but how do you put on the new one without getting undressed? Please let me know if you find a way to do this, I would love to know!

Briefs come in a variety of sizes and you need to find the brand that fits your body type. I have tried several brands and will be a medium in one but a large in another. Briefs offer more protection, come with a cloth backing or classic soft plastic and are easier to change than the underwear in the bathroom stall. The choices here get very interesting with options from classic all white to all black for a more formal night and many prints in between depending on how playful you would like to be. Remember, it’s only underwear, and no one is really going to see it unless you show it to them!

Northshore Care offers wide selection and samples (Northshorecare.com), while ABUniverse (Us.abuniverse.com) offers a wider selection of fun designs.

If you identify with or relate to this article then please reach out to me at charles@dudleypt.com, or come to my next workshop in March on “Peezing.”

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