“Light bladder leakage” and Hourglass Pads

Apparently Poise is thinking “light bladder leakage” sounds nicer than “incontinence”, and that framing its products as “feminine” will do better than as “geriatric”.   They are probably correct.

I do know I ran into one problem discussed in the industry. The New York Times quotes market researcher Rob Walker:

“[T]he biggest challenge for the industry is that vast numbers of sufferers are too embarrassed to raise the problem of incontinence with their health practitioner, or worse, even buy available products at a retail outlet.”

Or, in my case, to realize they existed. I initially assumed that if you leaked at all, you needed full-on diapers, which of course would not be available in my size.  It did not occur to me to even look for pads designed for stress incontinence.   I ran across Poise pads by accident one day when the local Rite Aid was reorganizing stock.

To address that, Mr. Walker added, “the commercial opportunity here is for the big international hygiene players to humanize (or even Viagra-ize) incontinence, making products as accessible, consumer-friendly and embarrassment-free as, for example, women’s sanitary protection.”

I first wrote about stress incontinence a few years ago in quite a bit of detail.   I haven’t been finding the “wings”, so I’ve been wearing “moderate” pads.  I will probably try the new “hourglass” shape.  FYI, Poise also has samples and coupons available at their site.

17 thoughts on ““Light bladder leakage” and Hourglass Pads

  1. I use Poise frequently, usually the extra-long, extra-absorbency. Sometimes for particularly ‘leaky’ days, I use Depends disposable underpants, kind of like Pull-ups for adults, size large in my case. I was born with cerebral palsy, which can affect many things, &, in my case, it has, since I was a child, meant that my bladder muscles are weak, & that I am likely to leak when I laugh, cough, sneeze, lift something, etc. That situation has gotten worse over the years with pregnancy & childbearing, aging, & menopause. I think I really need to get myself one of those t-shirts which say, “I am so old that I can laugh, cough, burp, pee & fart at the same time.” It is a fact of life & I will be damned if I will apologize for it or feel embarrassed that I need this products. I can tell you what IS embarrassing is if you go to the new Harry Potter movie & forget to wear protection, drink a large Pepsi while watching the movie, try to hold yourself together until the movie is over, then, five minutes before the end, find yourself hurrying to the restroom with your 6-year-old granddaughter but peeing your pants before you can get there. I seldom go to movies, but I will never go again without wearing a Poise or a Depends, you can count on that.

  2. Following cancer surgery, my dad used on occasion to use pads by a company called Tena. They are marketed and shelved alongside periods products and their tag line reads, ‘For sensitive bladder.’ It wasn’t ideal that they were marketed and located that way, let alone called ‘Tena Lady,’ since obviously men have to use them sometimes too. It would be better if they were neutral, IMHO, although I do take your point.

    • My dad is frequently wearing pullups, which are in the “incontinence supplies” section. There are also pads “just for men” now — not sure how much is design difference and how much is marketing.

  3. I’d just like to mention that Lunapads washable menstrual pads are also suitable for stress incontinence, arrive by mail in a plain envelope, and because they are washable and last for years they eliminate the problem of buying incontinence pads with your groceries. :)

      • Lunapads have a waterproof nylon layer. I tested them with running water and the back layer stayed dry. And while I think it would be great if buying incontinence products was as unembarassing as buying any other hygiene products, the fact that you don’t have to keep buying them is a definite plus. Personally, I’m really glad that I’m no longer throwing away lots of “disposable” pads, and I find them really soft and comfy. I’m lucky in that I only leak when I have a bad cough. Everyone is different, but I’d recommend that most women try out cloth pads to see if they work for them.

        Now I sound like I’m trying to sell something, but really I just want to share how much I like them. :)

  4. And for the gender-related issues, Depends also make underpants for men. Stress incontinence is mostly a woman’s issue, but it does occasionally happen to men, particularly those who have specific health concerns or who are very old. Also, as my story points out, stress incontinence is not ALWAYS a ‘geriatric’ issue; mine dates from childhood, to at least a minor degree, & I suspect I am far from alone.

  5. I have stress leakage. I’m 38 and have never had children, so go figure–guess some people are just born with bladders that aren’t very waterr tight!

    I have always had issues with being able to hold it. Can for a little while but my little while is someone else’s moment, if you know what I mean (impatient husband who enjoys driving 500 miles between toilet stops!)

    Most of the time it’s not enough leakage to wet my pants right through, but just enough to smell really bad after a while. I have been wearing pantyliners and light flow day menstrual pads daily (menses or not) for this since 8th grade when I once had leakage at recess (was not allowed to go in to use the toilet, because I “should have gone before lunch when I had the chance”…….what can I say? The nuns were dictators at my school) and by the end of the day had people calling me all kinds of “smelly” names. It stuck all thru high school. Fun times, fun times.
    Have been paranoid ever since……:-(.

  6. I have more than light bladder leakage. It sucks the big wad. I too use Poise pads or the equivalent, depending what is the least costly. Depends suck–they make my butt sweat. I much prefer my sexy, sexy cotton “granny panties.”
    I’m an LPN nurse and although I’m not an expert, I know that the medications available for certain causes of incontinence are anticholinergics. No thanks. Dry mouth, dry eyes, dried up nostrils, and constipation. As my son, who is studying to be a pharmacy technician and eventually a pharmacist said “oh great–you can go from having piss problems to having ass problems.” Being hypothyroid, I already have ass problems!
    Then there’s the mesh used to repair the urethra–oh, but look! It’s now being advertised by lawyers that there are problems with that and if you’ve experienced problems to contact them!
    I guess I’ll just deal with my piss problems the old fashioned way.

  7. I forgot also to mention that in my experience, especially for those of us whose loss of bladder control is at times not slight, pads made for a menstrual flow are not absorbent enough. Most of the time, you do not pass as much bloody flow at one time as you will pass urine if you just do not make it to the toilet in time. I used to try to use maxipads because they are cheaper that the incontinence pads, but I could not depend on them.

  8. I use the Poise pads, and I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks when they see me buying them. I figure it’s better than pissing my pants because I can’t make it to the bathroom in time, or I leaked because I was coughing up a lung or sneezing my head off, etc. But then, I’m to the point in my life where I don’t much care what anyone thinks about me for any reason – I’m old, I’m fat, I have light bladder leakage problems, I’m disabled, so what? I’m entitled to live my life as best I can and if Poise pads or Depends help me do that, the rest of the world can suck it.
    So far, of all the brands I’ve tried, I like the Poise pads the best. I haven’t tried the hourglass ones yet, mainly because they don’t have small packages of them and I don’t want to buy a huge package of something I might not like and then not use.

  9. As I posted on another thread here, Poise can give some people severe yeast infections. My sister got one and can not use that brand now, and Poise gave me an infection so severe it took nearly a year to cure it. I now use mostly Tena without any infection problems.

    As for anticholinergics, I’ve been on VESIcare for about six weeks and it’s magic. I’ve read that it doesn’t work for some people, but I have volcanic-strength bladder spasms and flooded in more places at inopportune times than any woman should have to–and it almost totally stopped on the medication. The stuff is not available in the US as a generic, though, and it’s about $3.00 per pill!

  10. Early mornings are the worst for me. The morning stiffness adds to the delay in getting to the bathroom. I’ve used everything, Poise, Tena and regular pads. They all lack in protection in some way.

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