Incontinence underwears are a high-involvement purchase for anyone struggling with urinary and fecal incontinence. These products allow you to pursue an active lifestyle without worrying about inadvertently passing urine or fecal matter. They’re also incredibly useful for people with reduced mobility or those living with neurodegenerative disorders like dementia.
Like most incontinence products, incontinence underwear comes in numerous shapes, sizes, and designs. In this article, we narrow down our focus to the different types of incontinence underwear for women.
Are There Incontinence Underwear Designed Specifically For Female Wearers?
One of the best things about incontinence products is that there are multiple options to pick from.
As already indicated, incontinence underwear can be available in different shapes and sizes. Even more interesting is that you can get your hands on either unisex or gender-specific underwear.
But before you go shopping for high-quality incontinence underwear for women, it’s best to begin by understanding the specific features that make these products ideal for females.
The biggest difference between male and female incontinence underwear lies in the location of the padding or absorbent layer.
Male underwear typically have more padding located in the front area where the male genitalia rests. On the other hand, female underwear has more padding around the middle section, as this is where the female genitalia is located.
However, this applies only to incontinence underwear designed exclusively for urinary or bladder incontinence. Products meant for both urinary and bowel/fecal incontinence may have the absorbency layer running from the front section all the way to the backside.
There could be other superficial differences between male and female incontinence underwear based on aspects like color. You may notice that most female underwear appears in girlish colors like pink while their male counterparts come in boyish colors like blue.
Are Female Incontinence Underwear Similar To Incontinence Briefs?
The terms “incontinence briefs” and “incontinence underwear” may be used interchangeably in certain contexts. However, these words aren’t exactly similar.
Incontinence briefs are an alternative term for adult diapers or adult nappies. They refer to any diaper designed to be worn by anyone with a body size larger than that of a toddler or infant.
On the other hand, incontinence underwear resembles regular underwear except that they feature built-in padding for soaking up inadvertent pee or poo leakage. These products are also known as incontinence pants or adult pull-ups.
However, incontinence briefs serve the same purpose as incontinence underwear. They’re primarily worn by people with incontinence issues, mobility problems, or neurodegenerative disorders.
Different Types of Incontinence Underwear for Women
1. Female Incontinence Underwear by Absorbency Levels
Incontinence pants for women come in different absorbency levels.
Absorbency is actually one of the primary factors to bear in mind while shopping for female incontinence underwear or any incontinence products, for that matter. It refers to the pants’ ability to soak up urine before becoming saturated.
Female incontinence underwear may fall into the below categories, depending on their urine-soaking abilities;
- Light Absorbency Underwear – Have a urine-soaking ability around ¼ cup
- Regular Absorbency Underwear – Have urine-soaking abilities around ½ cup
- Super Absorbency Underwear – Can absorb up to 1 cup of urine before becoming saturated
- Maximum Absorbency Underwear – Can absorb up to 2 cups of urine before starting to leak
It’s worth noting that the urine-soaking ability of incontinence underwear has little to do with pant size and more to do with the padding material. The thicker the absorbency layer, the more urine the underwear can hold before leaking. Therefore, it’s possible to have smaller pull-ups that are more efficient at soaking up urine than larger pants.
2. Female Incontinence Underwear by Hip Size
While the padding material determines the efficiency of female incontinence underwear at soaking up pee, size affects comfort levels.
Larger incontinence pants can feel loose and bulky around the waist, leading to urine leakage. On the other hand, smaller pull-ups can fit too tight around the waist and chafe the skin. So, it’s essential to use your waist size as a guide while shopping for the right incontinence pants for you.
The table below shows how incontinence products differ in terms of waist size;
|PRODUCT SIZE||HIP (INCHES)||WOMEN’S SIZE|
|X-Small||18″ – 26″||0-3|
|Small||24″ – 32″||4-6|
|Medium||32″ – 44″||8-12|
|Large||45″ – 58″||14-18|
|X-Large||56″ – 64″||18-24|
|2X-Large||60″ – 80″||26-28|
|3X-Large||64″ – 96″||28+|
|4X-Large||70″ – 106″||28+|
Note that “size” in this context refers to the area around the padding material. It typically excludes the underwear’s legs and any other parts not in direct contact with the product’s business end.
Other Considerations While Looking for Female Incontinence Underwear
Size and absorbency levels aren’t the only key considerations while shopping for incontinence underwear for women.
It’s also wise to read the product’s ingredients list to ensure it’s free from potentially toxic substances. This is especially recommended if you have sensitive skin.
Another best practice while shopping for incontinence underwear for women is to buy from reputable brands. Insist on companies that have been around longer and who enjoy excellent customer feedback.
There are different types of incontinence underwear for women, depending on what you’re looking for.
If you’re ever in doubt as to which products to purchase, consider buying the pants in small amounts and trying them out to determine their suitability for your needs. You can then place bulk orders once you’re certain the underwear suits your best.
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