Bladder Pads: A Better Solution than a Period Pad
It is hard to admit when you are losing bladder control. It’s embarrassing even if it does not occur often, or if you only lose control in certain scenarios like sneezing, coughing, or laughing. Those scenarios are called Stress Incontinence and many women, as we age, after we have children, after abdominal surgeries, etc. experience this sudden, small loss of bladder control.
The obvious solution is to wear a pad. Many women still use menstruation pads for their periods or have them leftover in the back of the bathroom cabinet. One would think that a menstruation pad would be a great choice as a bladder pad. This is an easy mistake to make and it is not the correct solution. You will see that many of the reasons are intertwined and reliant on each other. Here are the reasons why you should not use a menstrual pad in replacement of a bladder pad.
- Thickness of the Pads
- Wicking of Moisture from the Pad
- Dependability of the Pad
- Physical Comfort using the Pad
When you menstruate, you probably want a thinner pad for day time that will allow you to remain active. You may choose a thicker pad for nighttime to prevent overspills. But generally speaking, women who still menstruate are younger than 50, have a busy life of career, young children, caregiving duties, errands, etc. A woman’s age and lifestyle dictate her needs when menstruating. Also menstruation is not pure liquid. These types of pads are meant to trap what they can and be replaced, and disposed, after a few hours.
When you have a bladder accident, the thickness of the pad comes second only to the wicking nature (which I will discuss below). Since urine is mostly water, a pad that is designed to be thicker prevents leaking and accidents. Thicker doesn’t have to mean more uncomfortable. It is merely a way to absorb the liquid. There is technology that allows bladder pads to be more absorbent while remaining thin enough, and if you have bladder accidents of only a small amount of urine, you would want to use those thinner pads.
A pad’s ability to wick moisture away from the body is essential. It is not healthy for the delicate tissues of the vulva to sit in moisture. A pad designed for menstruation is not going to be able to absorb the thicker discharge. The discharge can not absorb. It sits on the pad and one should replace that pad with a new one. These kinds of pads are designed to allow a woman to have her period while still living her life. But you should change them frequently. They simply aren’t designed for ounces of liquid, especially at once in the case of a stress incontinence accident.
Since urine is mostly water, a bladder pad wicks the moisture away from the body into the absorbent materials of the pad. The urine wicks to the lowest layer of the bladder pad meaning there is nothing to sit on top of the pad to irritate the skin. While a menstruation pad can absorb, fluid, it is not designed to hold the amount of fluid a bladder leak can make. Even thicker menstruation pads are not designed to hold ounces of fluid. They will leak. Bladder pads designed for your amount of incontinence will not.
Bladder pads are designed for varying ounces of absorption. These pads have been tested from drops of liquid to a full bladder leak or more. They are made from dependable materials and are solely designed to prevent leaks. This does depend on you using the correct pad with the correct level of absorbency for your needs. You will have to do some experimentation to find your best fit. But you will see that you can not compare the dependability of a bladder pad, for urine leaks, to a menstruation pad. Menstruation pads are simply not designed to hold the same amount of fluid that bladder pads are.
Lastly the physical comfort of a bladder pad for urine leaks and accidents surpasses using a menstruation pad for the same problem. It would be difficult to remain comfortable knowing that using anything but a bladder pad for urine would prevent leaks.
There is no shame in learning what types of products are best for your body’s needs. Questions like these come up frequently and our blog is a perfect place to research answers to the questions you may be too embarrassed to talk about. If you are worried about bladder leakage issues, you should speak to your doctor to make sure there is no underlying issue. Bladder leaks happen. It shouldn’t stop you from living your life. But women should know there are better products out there for them than the period pads you can grab off the shelf.