Incontinence Products for Men: What is Incontinence and What Causes it?
Incontinence both urinary and fecal is a topic that most adults especially men loath to discuss. They will put on a veil of bravado and machismo but deep underneath, most of them are suffering from the problem. Incontinence is when you do not have voluntary control of either your bladder or bowel movements and you therefore urinate or poo without your knowledge. You are just alerted by a leak, drip or a whiff of bad smell indicating that you have either peed on yourself or passed poop.
Incontinence in men can be caused by various reasons which include:
- Nerve damage–men with long term diabetes will find that they no longer have proper functioning of their nerves. Normally when your bladder is full or your sphincter muscles are ready to let go, a message should be sent to the Central Nervous System (CNS) to alert you to go to the toilet. With people having nerve damage, this does not occur.
- Obesity–People who have morbid obesity have been found to have a challenge controlling their urine and poop. The excessive weight around the weight exerts too much pressure on the bladder making the person leak urine even when the bladder is not completely full.
- Prostrate Removal–Men who have had their prostrate glands removed might have a problem holding their urine.
- Diseases such as Alzheimers dementia–With age comes dementia where the person is not really aware of their surrounding and loses control of both their bladder as well as sphincter/rectal muscles.
- Physical disability–When you are physically handicapped and unable to move, you will find that you are not able to get to the toilet in good time to relieve yourself at the right place.
My Grandfather’s Incontinence and How I started working with Elderly men
My grandfather became incontinent at the age of 72. I was his sole caretaker and I saw how this took a toll on his self esteem. He dreaded social gatherings or leaving the house. Incontinence is the involuntary release of urine or poop.
After his death, I took up a job at a home for the elderly. Most of the men here are incontinent and I read the embarrassment on their faces every time I change their sheets or wipe their messes from the floor. At first, they did not want to talk about it but after bonding they have opened up.
They feel they have lost control of their bodies. They prefer solitude and have opted to be put in the home in fear of rejection. Most keep it secret from their families. ‘I always have a feeling I stink’, one confessed.
There are various products that men with incontinence can use:
This is a clip placed around the penis to prevent urine leakage. It applies pressure gently to stop urine flow through the urethra. They help stop continuous and intermittent urine leakage especially during temporary activities such as exercising. They also ensure that your skin is dry and free from urine irritation. They are re-usable. However, they do not work best for everybody and you need to consult a doctor before making a decision.
Cunningham Incontinence Penile Clamp
Probably the most renowned penile clamp, the Cunningham has been there for over 100 years. Made of a malleable metal covered with soft rubber sponge, the thing helps you urinate when you want to. You should however consult your doctor before wearing one since they have been found to cause swelling, skin damage or allergic reactions. When wearing it, always remove every 2 hours to pass pee. The Cunningham clamp is ideal for those suffering from stress incontinence.
Pros of the Cunningham Penile Clamp
- Malleable make so one size fits all
- Great for people who are exercising and active but do not want the embarrassment of leaks
- Unlike the pads which you wear once and dispose away, the Cunningham clamp is reusable and therefore very cost effective as you do not have to buy another one everytime.
- Comfortable and soft rubber material clamps over your penis
- Effective in controlling urinary incontinence
- Great for when you are going for outings such as picnics or camping
- No leaks or embarrassments as long as you remove it every 2 hours to urinate.
Cons of the Cunningham Penile Clamp
- Penile clamps if worn for long can cause skin damage and swelling of the penis. It is always advisable to consult your healthcare provider before going the penile clamp way.
These are disposable urine collectors that are used to contain small leaks or trickles of urine. It is excellent for containing moderate leaks.
Male Incontinence Pads
These are absorbent pads tailored to accommodate the male body. They are the most popular choice for men who suffer from both urinary and fecal incontinence. They protect clothing by absorbing dribbles and leaks. They vary in size, shape and absorbency to take care of every individual’s need whether you are normal sized or obese. They should be changed once they become soiled to avoid sore and irritated skin.
Medokare Incontinence Pads for Men
While most people are turned off by the thought of wearing pads, incontinence is not something that they would like living with. And that is most are compelled to wear the Medokare incontinence pads for men that keep them dry while at the same time absorbing all the urine that they pass.
Pros of the Medokare incontinence pads
- Maximum absorbency of urine keeping your dry and with no leaks
Cons of the Product
- Not very many men are willing to wear pads. They would rather do with other things such as incontinence briefs, catheters or penile clamps.
Male Adult Briefs
These are underwear like pads that keep leaks from occurring around the legs. This design keeps them discreet. Some briefs are washable while others are disposable. They come in two designs, one similar to diapers and the other one resembling a normal men’s boxer. They have a moisture liner that acts as a barrier that keeps urine from escaping through its absorbent material.
Depends for men
After a prostate surgery, things can go haywire. And that is what most men find they have to contend with; they find that they are no longer able to control their bladder and will pass urine without warning and even at the most weird times when they would not want to. Well, with depends for men, things need not be that hard. These adult briefs have high absorbency rate so that you do not have to go around with urine leaks or with anyone knowing that you have an incontinence problem.
Pros of depends for men
- High absorbency rate
- Effective in keeping you leak free and away from any embarrassments or mishaps.
- Look and feel like normal men’s brief
Cons of depends for men
- Disposable so you need to have a monthly budget for buying them
The catheters used for male incontinence are silicone or latex devices that go over the penis. They are usually fitted on like condoms. They send the urine to a drainage bag through a tube. It is important to get the right fit to prevent leaks. It is mostly for night use.
Ultra Flex External catheters for men
Men can use condom-like Ultra Flex catheters that are made of all silicone to heal deal with their urinary incontinence. The catheter takes all the urine from your penis and stores it in its bag so that you can then dispose of. You are supposed to wear one catheter for every use. The good thing about the Ultraflex is that is made of all silicone material and you therefore need not worry about skin irritation that would otherwise be caused by latex rubber catheters.
Pros of the Ultra Flex External Catheter
- All silicone material so no skin rashes
- Effective in controlling unwanted leaks
- Cost effective as compared to pads or disposable briefs.
Cons of the product
- You have to use a new one every time
Plastic Urinals and other toilet substitutes
These are recommended when travelling or when you are a distance away from a toilet. An example of a plastic urinal is a plastic container that a man can urinate into. They are particularly helpful for men with urge incontinence which makes it difficult to get to the restroom fast enough. Keeping one in the car and by your bedside can be of great help.