What is an incontinence pad?

What is an incontinence pad?

When it comes to incontinence, this is something that many people live with and many more will experience. Affecting individuals for many reasons, which range from age to health, knowing what products are out there help significantly. Below, we take a look at the ins and outs of incontinence pads. Incontinence pads are absorbent pads used to help manage incontinence. Coming in a variety of forms, the most popular incontinence pads on the market are those worn inside underwear to soak up urine. Thin and discreet, these can be used by men and women, while other products are available such as pull-up pants and more male-specific incontinence products. However, while incontinence pads are designed for those living with mild to moderate incontinence, there are products available for those that live with more severe incontinence too. These, however, tend to be big and bulky and can be discussed with continence clinics and nurses.

How do incontinence pads work?

Using the same technology as a baby’s nappy, an incontinence pad draws urine away from the surface of the product, helping to keep your skin dry. Alongside helping to draw away urine and keep the skin healthy, incontinence pads work to prevent odours forming.  Overall, the main job of incontinence pads is:

• To contain leaks

• Be discreet

• Prevent odours

• Keep skin dry while reducing irritation

• Provide comfort while being worn

What types of incontinence pads exist?

Like many products, incontinence pads aren’t a one type suits all situation. And, while the size will all depend on the wearer, below, we’ve outlined the various types of pads you can choose from.

1. Small shaped incontinence pads: these are for those living with light to moderate incontinence and are small and discrete to ensure they fit into your regular underwear.

2. Large shaped incontinence pads: made for those with moderate to heavy incontinence, these can also be worn discreetly inside your regular underwear.

3. Insert incontinence pads: these are used to help increase absorbency inside protective products, such as washable pants. They can also be worn as light incontinence pads by themselves.

4. All in one incontinence pads: coming in designs feature tabs or a belt, these are recommended for those living with heavy to severe incontinence.

5. Incontinence guards: made specifically for men, these can be placed comfortably into the front of your underwear as they are contoured to fit snugly around your anatomy.

How to use an incontinence pad

Most incontinence pads can be worn inside your underwear. For women, these can be worn much in the same way as a sanitary towel. However, it’s important not to use one of these in place of an incontinence pad as they’re not as absorbent. Some incontinence pads will feature adhesive strips to help keep them in place, while incontinence guards can be placed in the front of the underwear. One mistake a wearer can make when it comes to incontinence pads is failing to activate the leakage barriers on the side. By not doing this, the pads can leak while being worn, failing to protect you. Therefore, it’s important to adopt the ‘pinch, pinch, pull’ method to ensure the barriers are activated and no leakage occurs. Generally speaking, those wearing incontinence pads should look to change them every three to four hours. This should ensure that your skin stays fresh, however, everyone will be different depending on the level on incontinence.

What materials are used?

As incontinence pads are much like a baby’s nappy, as mentioned above, they feature a ‘hydrophobic’ layer. This is the layer that works to draw the urine to the surface away from the skin. However, these products are made of many layers to ensure absorbance, comfort and discretion. The layers often alternate between a quilted fabric and plastic or polyurethane that can’t be penetrated by liquid. And, while everyone’s size and fit will be different, incontinence pads are usually made up of the following:

1. Top dry layer – this helps keep the surface dry, which is good for your skin and comfort.

2. Fluff – the long fluff fibres help to spread the urine through the pad, preventing it from staying in one concentrated spot.

3. Super absorbent polymer – this material is extremely innovative as it can absorb 33 times its weight in liquid. This reduces the amount of fluff needed, helping to make the pads smaller and more discreet without compromising the quality.

4. Waterproof textile back sheet – providing a soft texture, this is also extremely waterproof.

5. Wetness indicator – this will let you know if your pad needs changing or not.

It’s important to remember that when it comes to incontinence pads, you should choose one that’s right for you. And, while this can take some time to discover, if you need any advice please get in touch. You can do this by calling us on 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday and one of our members of staff will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can use the enquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.

Are there dietary links to limiting the effects of incontinence?

Are there dietary links to limiting the effects of incontinence?

When it comes to living with incontinence, there are countless things you can do to help reduce the impact it has on your life. From ensuring you always have incontinence products to hand to behavioural therapies and medication, there’s plenty that can be done.

However, one thing you may have overlooked, which could have a significant impact on incontinence is your diet. While eating a healthy diet is important for several reasons, it can also have a huge impact on the way your bladder behaves.

Why is diet important when it comes to incontinence?

Sometimes, the food that enters our diet can cause stress on the bladder, which, in turn, can make incontinence worse.

If you’ve been taking medication or working hard with behavioural therapies, a diet containing known ‘irritants’ could be working to undo your hard work, or, working to make it harder without your knowledge. While there are things you can do to help your incontinence through your diet, it’s important to know the effect your diet can have on your incontinence.

How your diet can affect incontinence?

For those living with incontinence, certain food and drink can make matters worse, as an irritant, they can lead to:

  • Bladder spasms
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Frequent urination
  • Frequent urges to urinate

While everyone is different, these are the four main symptoms found in those with overactive bladders when irritants are introduced, or remain, in their diets. However, not all irritants will affect everyone, and keeping a food diary could help you narrow down what affects you.

It’s also worth noting that those living with celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten could experience issues when eating food containing gluten.

Foods to try and avoid

While you may not have to cut everything out of your diet, being aware of irritants will help you to be more conscious of what you put in your body.

The food you should look to limit or avoid includes:

  • Caffeinated drinks, such as tea and coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Milk and milk-based products
  • Carbonated drinks like sparkling water
  • Sports drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based products
  • Honey
  • Raw onion
  • Foods containing lots of preservatives and artificial flavourings like processed foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Foods high in sugar or sugar substitutes

Meanwhile, those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease should look to do the same with the following:

  • Soups
  • Noodles
  • Cereals
  • Oats
  • Bread-based foods

Foods to include in your diet

As mentioned earlier, despite there being lots of food and drink that can irritate the bladder, making your incontinence worse, there are plenty of foods you should include or increase to help improve bladder health, such as:

Non-acidic fruits;

  • Bananas
  • Watermelon
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Coconut
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Raspberries

Vitamin-rich vegetables;

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Celery
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumber

Foods that are high in fibre, as they can help prevent constipation, which can put additional pressure on your bladder;

  • Almond
  • Oats
  • Bran
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Lentils

Foods that are a good source of protein;

  • Tofu
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs

As you can see, there are plenty of foods you can choose from, and, not everyone will have to cut out all the named irritants on the list. However, by following the above you’ll be able to make an array of delicious meals while improving your overall health as you work on your bladder health.

Alongside this change in diet, as it may take a while to work out what you can and can’t have, it’s important to take supplements to give your body all the nutrition it requires. To get this right, it may help to speak with your GP, who’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

While you can shop for the above foods and experiment with them in your kitchen or talk to your GP about what supplements you may need, if you have questions or need advice about general incontinence products, please get in touch.

You can do this by calling us on 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday and one of our members of staff will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can use the enquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.

What is best, medication or therapy?

What is best, medication or therapy?

While incontinence affects millions of men and women across the UK, you have to remember that there’s more than one type, which all come in varying levels. Because of this, various treatments can help those living with incontinence.

Below, we take a look at behavioural therapy and medication, to see how they can help when it comes to living with incontinence.

Medication

While you’ll be aware of the multitude of incontinence products available, for some individuals, medication may be a solution. The most commonly used medication to treat incontinence includes:

  • Anticholinergics – most helpful for those that suffer from urge incontinence, this medication is used to calm the bladder.
  • Mirabegron – again, these are used to help treat urge incontinence. Working to relax the bladder muscles, this can increase the amount of urine the bladder can hold. Alongside this, the medication can increase the amount you can urinate at one time, helping to fully empty your bladder.
  • Alpha-blockers – used for men living with incontinence, these work to relax the bladder neck muscle and muscle fibres within the prostate. By doing this, emptying the bladder should be made easier.
  • Topical oestrogen – used for women, this can come in the form of a vaginal cream, ring or patch. Applied in a low dose this can rejuvenate the urethra and vaginal areas. However, systemic oestrogen (such as the pill) isn’t recommend as it could make your incontinence worse.

Therapy

Even though medication can help, it won’t work for everyone, while others may not want to take regular pills. In this instance, there are several behavioural therapies, also known as self-management techniques, where the adoption of new behaviours and skills can help you to better manage your incontinence.

Pelvic floor training

The most common self-management technique when it comes to incontinence is working to strengthen your pelvic floor. This is mostly done through Kegel exercises, which is where you squeeze and contract your pelvic floor muscles. You can do these anywhere, as no one will know, which means this is an exercise you’ll be able to do frequently. These exercises aim to help control the flow of urine for those that live with stress or urge incontinence.

Bladder training

This usually works best for those living with urge incontinence or can be combined with pelvic floor training for those that have mixed incontinence.

When you live with urge incontinence, you’ll often need to go to the toilet suddenly without warning. Bladder training involves learning techniques to help lengthen the time between the feeling where you need to urinate and passing urine.

Meanwhile, urgency suppression, another form of bladder training, is where you use a mixture of Kegel exercises, mental distractions and deep breathing.

Delayed voiding

A bit like bladder training, this is where you put yourself on a schedule of when to urinate. This way, when you get that sudden urge, you work to suppress the feeling, avoiding going to the toilet until your next pre-determined toilet break. You can start training by delaying by five-minutes before working up to a three to four-hour frequency. This way you’ll be more in control of the situation, going to the toilet by time, not urge.

Other methods

Whether you opt for behavioural therapy or medication is entirely up to you, you may even opt to try both. However, other actions can be taken to help you take better control of your incontinence.

Most of these are lifestyle choices, with many GPs recommending:

  • Reducing your caffeine intake as this can be an irritant, increasing the amount you urinate.
  • Not altering your daily intake of fluids, because drinking too much or too little can negatively affect your incontinence.
  • Losing weight, as being overweight or obese can have an impact on incontinence.

It’s important to remember that because everyone lives with different types of incontinence, which all come in varying levels, the above won’t work for everyone. Therefore, it’s important to talk to your GP about the options available to you.

One thing everyone with incontinence will need, whether they’re using behavioural therapies or medication is incontinence products. If you’d like to speak to a member of our team about what we have on offer, or if you’d like some recommendations, please get in touch.

You can do this by calling us on 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday and one of our members of staff will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can use the enquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.

Managing Incontinence at work 

Managing Incontinence at work 

Incontinence affects millions of people across the UK, regardless of age or gender. Often considered as something that affects the elderly (between 11 – 34% of older men live with incontinence), it can also affect the young, with 2 -3% of teenagers living with incontinence.

Several factors can contribute to incontinence, such as age, disability and illnesses. Meanwhile, operations for prostate cancer can lead to incontinence, and around 25% of women experience urinary incontinence following childbirth.

Because of this, daily life can be tricky at times, which makes managing incontinence at work a big issue for many individuals.

Tips on Managing Incontinence at Work

While working and living with incontinence may feel like a constant struggle, there are several ways to help when it comes to dealing with incontinence at work. We’ve outlined several below.

Train your muscles

The first thing you can do is try and retrain your pelvic floor muscles, which can help if you suffer from stress incontinence. The most effective is Kegel exercises. This is where you contract and relax the muscles that support your bladder. These can be done discreetly wherever you are. Another way to train your muscles is yoga. A study found that those partaking in a yoga program, designed to help improve pelvic health, can reduce urine leakage by 70%.

Train your mind

While this won’t work for everyone, try to put yourself on a timed program, where you go to the toilet at set times. This way you’ll be going to the bathroom by the clock and not by urge, helping to give you a sense of control over the situation. You should try and schedule a bathroom break every two hours rather than three to four.

Watch your caffeine

Much like alcohol and carbonated drinks, caffeine is a known bladder irritant. The reason for this is that caffeine, found in coffee and tea, is a diuretic, which can increase your chances of having an accident. Therefore, try and avoid coffee and tea, or at least limit it to one to start your day. However, this doesn’t mean you should skip liquids altogether.

The right amount of liquid

Getting the right amount of liquid into your day-to-day life is paramount, even if you’re living with incontinence. While it may be tempting to cut back on fluids as much as possible to prevent your bladder from filling up, this can have an adverse effect as it can irritate your bladder. However, you’ll need to ensure you’re not drinking too much and should try and limit yourself to three or four glasses of water while at work.                

Wear dark clothing

Because darker clothing doesn’t show leaks, you’ll be able to hide any accidents that may occur a little easier.

Wear easy clothing

Curate your work wardrobe based around easy access. This means you’ll be able to get clothing on and off much quicker if you’re in a hurry while feeling more comfortable when wearing any incontinence products.

Always be prepared

From your car to your bag or locker, making sure you’re always prepared for any accidents is the most important thing when dealing with incontinence at work. Make sure you always have pads and other incontinence products you require with you at all times, alongside clean underwear and clothing. Aside from this, wipes and foams will also come in handy for helping to ensure your skin is clean, smell free and doesn’t become irritated.

Medication

It can be easy to get caught up in your work. However, if you’re taking medication for your incontinence you mustn’t miss it, as these only work when taken as directed. Try setting a reminder on your computer or smartphone so you don’t forget.

Relax and stay calm

If you do get the sudden urge to go to the toilet, it’s important to remain calm. Try taking a deep breath at first and if the urge doesn’t pass, make your way to the toilet calmly. It’s important not to run, as running can make it harder to control your bladder.

Talk to your boss

If you’re finding it hard to manage incontinence and your work, try talking to a more senior member of staff. This will allow you to discuss the situation at hand and make your specific needs and requirements more apparent.

For those with questions about managing incontinence at work, or our products, please get in touch.

You can do this by calling us on 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday and one of our members of staff will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can use the enquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.

The effects of prostate cancer on male incontinence 

The effects of prostate cancer on male incontinence 

Male incontinence affects millions across the UK, with many experiencing it following prostate cancer surgery – the most common cancer in UK men, 47,000 are diagnosed annually.

Below, we’ve outlined the basics of male incontinence following prostate cancer surgery, detailing why it happens, the most common forms of incontinence and what you can do about it.

Why does male incontinence occur after prostate cancer surgery?

To understand why male incontinence can occur following prostate cancer surgery, it is important to understand a little more about your anatomy.

Men have two sphincter muscles, which work to keep men continent. These are the internal urethral sphincter and external urethral sphincter. The former can be found at the bottom of the bladder and is referred to as the ‘bladder neck’, however, this isn’t under your control and is removed during surgery, as the prostate cannot be removed without removing this too.

The external urethral sphincter is found below the bladder and can be controlled by you. This is the muscle you use when stopping the flow of urine. While an external sphincter can be enough to remain continent following surgery, damage or dysfunction can be caused during radiation therapy. This can prevent the bladder from fully recovering, causing it to spasm, forcing urine out.

What types of male incontinence occur after surgery?

Following surgery for prostate cancer, two main types of male incontinence can occur. These are:

  • Urgency incontinence – this type of incontinence is when you feel the sudden ‘urge’ to go to the toilet but can’t make it on time.
  • Stress urinary incontinence – this is when urine leaks due to exertion or effort, often brought on by coughing, sneezing, heavy lifting, changing seating positions or exercise.

Do all men experience incontinence after prostate cancer surgery?

The simple answer to this is no, not all men experience incontinence following prostate cancer surgery. However, you must prepare yourself for some level of incontinence if you know you’ll be having surgery, as most men will experience some form of incontinence. Most men, however, will see an improvement after the first few months.

Despite this, male incontinence can remain an issue for some for more than a year following surgery.

Male incontinence exercises and prevention after treatment?

There are newer techniques that could help men regain control of their bladder and make an improvement to their quality of life following prostate cancer treatment. These are:

  • Pelvic floor exercises – more of a behavioural technique, if you’re experiencing male incontinence, this is the place to start, as it can help you train your bladder and take control of holding in your urine. Known as Kegel exercises, these are designed to strengthen the muscles you use when urinating.
  • Supportive care – another behavioural technique, this looks to make a change to your behaviour such as avoiding caffeine, alcohol, spicy food and drinking fewer fluids. You’ll also be encouraged to urinate more regularly, rather than waiting until the last minute. Sometimes, losing weight can help.
  • Medication – if the above techniques don’t work, there are several medications that can be prescribed. These can help to increase bladder capacity and decrease the frequency of urination.
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation – this is used to help retrain weak urinary muscles to strengthen them while improving bladder control. This procedure would see a probe inserted into the anus before a current, below the pain threshold, is passed through to cause contraction. You’ll then be instructed to squeeze your muscles when the current is on.
  • Surgery – alongside injections and devices, several different techniques can be implemented to help with male incontinence. One type of surgery that’s proved successful in some men includes placing rubber rings around the tip of the bladder to help hold urine in.
  • Artificial sphincter – this is a device you would control. Made of three-parts, you’ll find a pump, pressure-regulating balloon and a cuff that encircles the urethra and prevents urine from leaking. This has been found to cure or improve incontinence in around 70% – 80% of patients.
  • Bulbourethral sling – one of these can be used for certain types of leakage and is used to suspend and compress the urethra. Made from synthetic material or your own tissue, this will provide the required compression needed for bladder control.

Lifestyle changes to reduce male incontinence

Following prostate cancer surgery, several lifestyle changes can be made in an attempt to prevent the issue of incontinence, which can be done alongside the above. These include:

  • Avoiding fizzy drinks
  • Avoiding drinks containing caffeine (tea, coffee, cola)
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Drinking three to four pints of water a day
  • Drinking cranberry juice – some men have found this helpful

If you have any questions about living with male incontinence following prostate cancer surgery and you want some advice regarding the products we can provide, please get in touch, or if you want to find out more about incontinence and suitable products in general contact us.

You can do this by calling us on 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday and one of our members of staff will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can use the enquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.

What is incontinence?

What is incontinence?

Chances are, you’ve probably heard of incontinence and have an idea of what it may be. However, incontinence is something you probably don’t think about, and most probably won’t, unless it affects you.

Whether that’s directly or indirectly, if it does come into your life, you’ll be left wondering what is incontinence? Therefore, we’ve created an overview of what it is, what causes incontinence, the types of incontinence, how to treat incontinence and a few helpful tips for living with incontinence.

Affecting both men and women across the UK, incontinence is when you’re unable to control either your bowel or bladder, which can lead to accidental leakage.

Known as urinary and bowel incontinence, several types of incontinence fall under these two, with an estimated three to six million people in the UK living with a form of urinary incontinence alone.

What types of incontinence are there?

Incontinence doesn’t simply come in one form, and while millions of people across the UK live with the condition, each person may be living with a different form of incontinence.

Below, we’ve highlighted the various types of incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence – This is when you leak urine after your bladder has been put under stress from laughing or coughing.
  • Urge incontinence – This is when you have the sudden urge to urinate, with urine often leaking out before you have the chance to reach the toilet.
  • Mixed incontinence – Some people live with a combination of both stress and urge incontinence, meaning they experience the symptoms of both.
  • Overflow incontinence –This is used to describe a form of incontinence which you’re unable to fully empty your bladder. This can then lead to leakage. Overflow incontinence can also be associated with the bowel, especially if a person is suffering from constipation.
  • Bowel incontinence – Also known as faecal incontinence, this is when a person is unable to control movements of their bowel. This that can result in the involuntary passing of stools.
  • Nocturnal enuresis –Most commonly known as bedwetting, this isn’t something that only affects children. The symptoms of bedwetting are similar to those of urge incontinence.

What causes incontinence?

While there are many different forms of incontinence, there are a variety of elements that contribute to both urinary and bowel incontinence.

These can include:

Urinary incontinence

  • Overactive bladder
  • An enlarged prostate in men
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Changes to the nerves controlling the bladder
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles
  • Neurological conditions like Parkinson’s
  • Certain medication
  • Too much caffeine or alcohol
  • Urinary tract infections

Bowel incontinence

  • Weak bowel muscles
  • Bowel problems from birth
  • Changes to the nerves
  • Diarrhoea
  • Medication
  • Childbirth
  • haemorrhoids

How can you treat incontinence?

As mentioned, incontinence is a very individual thing, which comes down to the various types of incontinence that can be experienced by a person.

Therefore, there are several ways to help a person manage a weak bladder and incontinence. However, these won’t work for everyone and in some cases, there isn’t anything that can be done.

Some treatments can include:

Tips on living with incontinence

Although treatments can’t and won’t work for many living with incontinence, there are several ways you can prepare yourself to ensure you’re living well with incontinence.

Our key tips for those living with incontinence are:

  • Be prepared – make sure you always have a stock of incontinence products at home, in your car or in a bag that you carry around with you to ensure you’re always ready should anything happen. This is extremely important if you’re travelling on a long journey too.
  • Skincare – incontinence, if not treated properly, can lead to problems with your skin. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’re washing and drying regularly and properly, removing any residue and helping to prevent broken skin and infection.
  • Dress code – make sure you always dress for comfort and to allow easy access should you need to change any incontinence pads when you’re out and about. Spare clothes are always handy to have with you too.
  • Constipation – if you have urinary incontinence, try and prevent constipation through eating fibre-rich foods and drinking plenty of liquids to ensure you have regular bowel movements, as constipation can put added pressure on your bladder.
  • Stay hydrated – unless instructed to, drink normally. This means getting enough water while cutting back on caffeine and fizzy drinks as you don’t want to dehydrate yourself through the worry of incontinence.

If you need any advice on what causes incontinence, or incontinence care products, please get in touch today.

You can do this by calling us on 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday and one of our members of staff will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can use the enquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.

The best exercises for urinary incontinence sufferers 

The best exercises for urinary incontinence sufferers 

While urinary incontinence affects millions of people across the UK, for certain people some things can be done.

Working on your pelvic floor muscles will help to strengthen them, and while it won’t cure incontinence, pelvic floor exercises can benefit those living with incontinence.

There’s a common misconception that stopping while mid-urination can help strengthen the muscles. However, this isn’t true and could result in you not completely emptying your bladder. Therefore, we’ve highlighted some exercises men and women can do to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

Pelvic floor exercises for women

There are several different pelvic floor exercises that women can call upon to help them to strengthen their pelvic floor. We’ve listed five of our favourites you can do at home below.

Kegel

You’ve probably heard of Kegel exercise before, and that’s because Kegel exercises are when you practice contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. Also known as pelvic muscle training, you can practice these by contracting the muscles and holding for five seconds and releasing for another five. It’s best to do these 10 times, three times a day.

Squats

An exercise we all know, this is one that engages the largest muscles in the body, while providing a huge payoff for your strength. To see results from undertaking squats, you should aim to do at least 15 each time.

Bridge

Great for your glutes, the bridge can also activate the pelvic floor muscles. Simply lie on the floor, keeping your back flat, bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, keeping your arms straight at your sides. Then pushing through your heels, raise your hips from the ground by squeezing your glutes, pelvic floor and hamstrings. For success, pause for one to two seconds before returning to your starting position. Do at least 10 – 15 and two to three sets, resting for around a minute between each set.

Split tabletop

A foundation of many Pilates workouts, this is a great way to activate your hips and pelvic floor. Start with your back on the floor and your knees bent and legs up and touching. Then slowly split your legs so the knees fall outwards. Do 10 – 15 at a time and three sets.

Bird dog

Requiring balance and stability, this full-body move will help you to engage several muscles, including your pelvic floor. Start on all fours, with wrists under shoulders and knees under hips and your back straight. Brace your core, draw your shoulder blades down and back towards your hips, then move by straightening your left leg and right arm at the same time, while keeping your pelvis neutral. Hold for two seconds without raising or lowering your head. Switch to your other arm and legs and do these 10 times for three sets.

Pelvic floor exercises for men

While there are less pelvic floor exercises for men than women, below, you’ll find three different ways to strengthen your pelvic floor without leaving your home.

Kegel

Kegel exercise is great for both men and women. Try tightening your pelvic floor muscles for three seconds at a time and then relaxing them for three seconds. Do these three times a day. You can find your pelvic floor muscles by stopping urination mid-flow or by tightening the muscle that stops you from passing gas.

Slow-twitch

This involves using the muscles you use to stop passing gas. Close and draw the muscles as you would if you were trying to stop yourself passing gas while ensuring you don’t tighten the buttock muscles. Then, draw up the muscles around the urethra as though you’re trying to stop urinating midflow. Trying to hold this for a count of 10, then relax for another count of 10 and repeat until you feel tired.

Fast-twitch

This follows the same process as above. However, rather than holding to the count of 10, try holding for one second and then relaxing for one second. Repeat until tired.

Exercises to avoid

If you have a weak pelvic floor and you’re working on strengthening it, there are certain exercises that you should avoid in general. These exercises may have the opposite effect and could even weaken the pelvic floor muscle.

Therefore, you should wait until you’ve undertaken several months of pelvic floor training before entertaining any of these exercises:

  • Weightlifting
  • Sit-ups with straight legs in the air
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Double leg lifts
  • High-impact activities

If you have any questions regarding your pelvic floor muscles or incontinence products, please get in touch today.

Contact us from Monday – Friday between 9 am and 5 pm on 01204 895410, and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Latchkey Incontinence – Everything you Need to Know

Latchkey Incontinence – Everything you Need to Know

Incontinence affects millions of people of all ages across the UK and the world. However, incontinence isn’t the same for everyone and many different forms could affect your day to day life.

One form you may not have heard of is ‘latchkey’ incontinence. If you’re sat there wondering ‘what is latchkey incontinence?’ we’ve outlined everything there is to know about it below, alongside tips on how to keep it at bay.

What is latchkey incontinence?

To understand ‘latchkey’ incontinence, you first need to understand that it’s a type of incontinence known as urge incontinence.

This condition is defined as the sudden urge to urinate, often followed by the involuntary loss of urine. The reason for it being called urge incontinence is that it’s an intense sensation of needing to go to the toilet immediately, which occurs due to the bladder muscles beginning to contract, sending a signal that a person needs to urinate even though the bladder isn’t full.

When it comes to ‘latchkey’ incontinence, this often affects those that already have poor bladder control, and refers to those who have a sudden, intense urge to use the bathroom as soon as they get home and put the key in the door.

Knowing you’ll be close to your toilet causes the bladder to contract in the way it does with urge incontinence.

This can be problematic for an individual, as the urgency to go to the toilet can affect the quality of life as much as the incontinence itself.

What causes it?

As mentioned, urge incontinence is caused due to abnormal bladder contractions. This can occur due to several reasons, which can differ from person to person. However, some people never find out what the cause of their incontinence is.

Some causes amongst men and women include:

  • Damage to the nerves of the bladder, which can be caused by strokes or medical conditions such as MS and Parkinson’s
  • Bladder irritation, which can be brought on by urinary tract infections
  • Constipation as a full bowel can put pressure on your bladder, making incontinence urges worse

Additional urge incontinence issues can include:

  • Age
  • Having a prostatectomy
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Severe injury to the bladder

While these are the key causes of urge incontinence as a whole, ‘latchkey’ incontinence can be caused by a force of habit.

This has been argued by many experts who’ve said that we associate objects with actions. Therefore, the urge to go to the toilet can be triggered by the sound of running water. And, due to use being taught from a young age that the bathroom is associated with urinating, the closer we get to our homes can activate deep-rooted psychology that we need to go to the toilet.

When it comes to ‘latchkey’ incontinence, it’s associated with the sudden urge to use the toilet as soon as you put your key in the front door.

Over time this could get worse, causing you to leak or pee before you even get through the front door.

Can you cure latchkey incontinence?

While there isn’t a cure for urge incontinence, there are a few theories on how to stop latchkey incontinence before it gets too bad.

A study at the University of Utah* found that because the mind can be a powerful factor when it comes to bladder issues, cognitive therapy has proved helpful when breaking the pattern of needing to use the toilet once you’ve put the key into the door.

Alongside this, techniques such as using a different door to help decrease the urge have also proved helpful. Other distraction techniques that have been suggested to help you ignore the pounding of your bladder include:

  • Emptying your bladder before you leave to go home, as you’ll know it’s your brain sending false signals, as it takes three to four hours for your bladder to fill up
  • Making dinner as soon as you get in
  • Opening the mail or other small tasks

These techniques could help you to gradually wait to use the toilet to help prevent ‘latchkey’ incontinence.

However, when it comes to urge incontinence, this isn’t as simple, but there are ways you can attempt to prevent the urge to use the toilet. These include:

  • Relaxing the mind
  • Cutting down on caffeine
  • Prolonging the time you wait to use the toilet
  • Pelvic floor exercises

If you need any advice on urge or ‘latchkey’ incontinence, or if you require some guidance when it comes to incontinence care products, please get in touch today.

You can do this by calling us on 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday and one of our members of staff will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can use the inquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.

*https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2014/06/062614_mind.bladder.php

The Costs of Incontinence Products

The Costs of Incontinence Products

Bladder weakness can affect anybody. Whether you’re young, old or someone close to you is living with a disability, it’s something that affects people from all walks of life.

It actually affects an estimated three to six million people in the UK alone.

With disposable products being the most popular, this can be very costly. But, switching to reusable incontinence pads and pants could save you a large sum of money, while also being good for the environment.

The cost to you

With approximately 66 million people living in the UK, with between 5 and 10% of the population using incontinence products, the sales show it’s a hugely lucrative industry.

In 2016 alone, the sales of incontinence products reached a staggering £180 million.

While these products have most likely become a weekly purchase for those living with or caring for someone living with bladder weakness, it’s a cost you probably overlook, counted as an essential in the same way you would a loaf of bread or washing powder.

But, these costs accumulate, and when looked at, you’d be surprised at how much they’re costing you. Based on the current market, the average incontinence pad costs between £0.38 and £0.50.

Usage guides are that a pad is changed every 3-4 hours, based on this an incontinence sufferer could up spending up to £900 on incontinence products every year.

Of course, this doesn’t account for anyone having to pay out for more expensive brands or product designs, such as those for youths and teens, which could be setting you back a lot more. In fact, the average UK resident living with bladder weakness spends approximately £422 a year on incontinence products.

The cost to the environment

Aside from the cost to you, these products come at a cost to the environment too.

The average pad can take up to 400 years to decompose when sent to a landfill, while the only other way of disposing of them is by incineration. This, however, contributes to air pollution.

When you consider that more than one billion incontinence products are sold in the UK every year, it’s pretty alarming.

With a growing focus on global warming across the world at the moment, the move into using products such as washable incontinence pads could, therefore, prove hugely beneficial to our environment.

This is a trend that’s been seen with similar products. Recently there’s been a resurgence in the use of cloth nappies, while feminine hygiene products such as menstrual cups and cloth sanitary pads have also been increasing.

Environmentally friendly incontinence pads

As the trend continues to progress, it would only seem natural that an increase in reusable incontinence pads and pants would be next.

Of course, several benefits come with using these pads, which include:

  • Comfort – while you may be accustomed to disposable pads or pants, reusable ones don’t compromise on comfort, in fact, they feel just like regular underwear
  • Discreet – they also look just like regular underwear, meaning you’ll be able to wear them without worry
  • Ease – due to them being washable, you won’t need to stock up regularly either
  • Cost – with a one-off cost, you won’t need to buy weekly or monthly anymore, helping to save on your cash flow
  • Environment – with 90% of incontinence product waste ending up in landfills or worse, re-using products will provide an instant benefit to the environment

However, while there are advantages, there are some things you’ll need to be aware of, which for some could be considered a downside. These include:

  • Temperature – you’ll need to ensure you have a washing machine that can wash on high temperatures. Most washable incontinence pads need to be washed on at least 60 degrees
  • Absorbency – some reusable incontinence products can have a lower absorbency than some disposable products. This could, therefore, be a problem if you, or someone you’re buying for, lives with severe incontinence problems
  • Supplies – you’ll need to make sure you have enough to hand to keep you going. Of course, you’ll be aware of how many you use at the moment, which will help to inform how many reusables you’ll need to buy

With all of this in mind, if you are thinking of moving away from disposable products, there are plenty of reusable incontinence pads and pants out there, which come in sizes designed for all ages and needs. This will help you manage the costs of incontinence products.

If this is something you’re considering for yourself or someone that you look after, and you need some guidance, we are always happy to help.

Contact us from Monday – Friday between 9 am and 5 pm on 01204 895410, and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Incontinence Products Online recommend these brands

Incontinence Products Online recommend these brands

Across the world, there are millions of people living with varying levels of incontinence. Close to 8 million of those living in the UK, with one in four women and one in five men affected.

But there are items out there to make day-to-day life with incontinence much easier. 

More incontinence products and brands

Previously we discussed a range of products for those either living with or caring for those with incontinence.

However, when it comes to these products it’s not a one type fits all solution.

If you find the products in the previous blog aren’t right for you, there are other brands to choose from.

Including everything from items you wear to accessories made for beds and chairs, read on to discover them all.

id expert

Offering comfort and discretion, iD Expert is part of the Ontex Group. With items for both men and women, you’ll find a wide range of incontinence products here

Developed from 107 references, the company has been innovating for more than 40 years to ensure each product matches a person’s specific needs. From light incontinence pads to premium underwear and adult pants to shaped, belted and male-specific products, they make them all.

With advanced absorbing technologies to offer absolute protection, these dermatologically tested, breathable, cotton-like products have proved popular throughout the 110 countries where they’re sold.

Discover iD Expert incontinence products here.

Kylie

Made in the UK, Kylie has been supplying those living with incontinence for over 40 years.

Always striving to create better products for users, these are comfortable, discreet and washable. With quality and the environment at the heart of everything they do, you’ll find a wide range of Kylie items for both men and women.

Alongside this, you’ll also discover products created for use on beds and chairs, helping to keep those in need comfortable at all times, wherever they are.

You’ll find our range of Kylie incontinence products here.

Lille

Designed to help manage a wide range of incontinence levels, Lille is part of the larger Ontex Healthcare group.

Supplying products to more than 100 countries across the world, Lille is used everywhere from care homes to hospitals.

Breathable and hypoallergenic, each item is designed to provide comfort, security and discretion to the wearer. With three different ranges to choose from, which include Suprem, Classic and Ganmill, you’ll find incontinence products in the shape of boxers, pads and pants alongside items created for beds.

Find Lille incontinence products suitable for you here.

MIP

Starting life in Canada more than 40 years ago, MIP now provides products to those living with incontinence in more than 27 countries.

Back in 1977, MIP became the first manufacturer and supplier of reusable briefs for adults. Their product range has continued to go from strength to strength as the years have gone by, continually innovating to provide comfort to users.

With a mission to improve the day-to-day life of users, while enhancing the effectiveness of healthcare, their products can be found in care homes and personal homes and include everything from clothing and bedding protection to pillows, duvets and towels.

Our range of MIP Incontinence products can be found here.

Soffisof

Designing and producing products for those living with incontinence, people across the world have benefitted from Soffisof since 1972.

Creating a wide range of items for men and women, each one is heavily researched to ensure those using them are as comfortable as can be.

From pants, diapers and panties to incontinence accessories, it’s easy to see why these have been a favourite for nearly 50 years.

Take a look at the range of Soffisof incontinence products we stock here.

As you can see, there’s a much larger selection of incontinence products on the market than you may have once thought. And, if you need any help or guidance when it comes to finding the right products for you, or someone close to you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Please contact on 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday and one of our members of staff will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can use the enquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.

Coping with incontinent visiting relatives this holiday season

Coping with incontinent visiting relatives this holiday season

Christmas is a fun but stressful time for everyone with buying presents, cooking and travelling.

If you have relatives staying this can add extra pressure, but, if that person is living with incontinence there are additional things to consider to make sure they’re comfortable. Below, you’ll find a few helpful tips on how to implement incontinence care this year.

Be prepared

While this may sound like the most obvious advice, the most important thing you need to do is to be prepared. Whether you have someone staying for the night or just a few hours, there are plenty of things that can be done when it comes to incontinence care.

If they’re staying for a few hours, you may feel it’s necessary to invest in furniture protection for your chairs and seats. Underpads are extremely helpful as they are suitable for all levels of incontinence and can be bought in a variety of shapes. These can be extremely helpful if the person visiting is living with another health problem that may cause incontinence.

For overnight stays, make sure you provide clean towels and bedding just in case anything happens during the night. Meanwhile, mattress protectors and specific bed pads can also be purchased to add that extra layer of incontinence prevention. Placing them in a room near to the bathroom will also be hugely beneficial, while flushable wipes, soap and air fresheners are supplies to stock up on for bathrooms.

Think about food

Something you may not know is that certain food and drink can aggravate bladders, which can have a negative effect on those living with incontinence.

While you may be rustling up an epic Christmas dinner, take the time to think about other foods you may be serving throughout the festive period. Avoid serving spicy foods and stick to healthier snacks and make sure there are enough high-fibre foods by offering the following:

  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Grain-based food such as pasta, breads and cereals
  • Non-citrus fruits like apples, pears or raspberries

Meanwhile, the following foods have been noted to aggravate the bladder by doctors and should be avoided:

  • Caffeinated food and drinks
  • Spicy food
  • Citrus fruit and juice
  • Milk or milk products
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages

This isn’t always possible, so, if you’re not 100% sure about how to manage everything, consult with the person who’s visiting to find out if they need anything specific when visiting.

Bathrooms

When someone is living with incontinence, getting to a bathroom is highly important. Therefore, they’ll need to know where the bathrooms are at all times, so make sure you show them when they first arrive so they can excuse themselves when they need to.

Again, try to place them in a room close to the bathroom to make things easier at night and first thing in the morning. To make things a little easier, you should endeavour to show them where the washing machine is and how to use it should they need to.

Be discrete and sensitive

Aside from being prepared, the most important thing you can do is to be discrete and sensitive to those who are visiting.

Making sure you have all the correct supplies is a start, while not making a big deal about the situation is the next stage. But, if you’re not 100% sure on what needs to be done or how to manage the situation, try talking to the person beforehand to see if there’s anything you can do to make things easier.

What to do if you’re visiting

Of course, if you’re visiting then there are a few things you can do to ensure you feel comfortable and confident throughout your stay. These include:

  • Overpack: while you’ll have a selection of clothes with you for your stay, always take a few extras just to be safe
  • Call ahead: if there’s anything specific that you need, in terms of products or food and drink, call ahead and just make your relatives aware, this will also help to remove any embarrassment on either side
  • Supplies: even if you call ahead, make sure you take some home supplies with you, just in case your relatives don’t buy the right brands or enough items

By following these simple steps in incontinence care, everyone should be taken care of this Christmas period, helping to remove any awkwardness to ensure that everyone has a wonderful Christmas time.

If you have any further questions when it comes to visiting relatives, or if you need any advice, please get in touch with us by calling 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday, or through our enquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.

Flu season – what to know and how to stay safe

Flu season – what to know and how to stay safe

Everyone has heard of the flu, and if you’ve ever had it, you know it can feel absolutely horrific.

Each year, around 8,000 people die from flu, particularly older adults, small children and those living with underlying health conditions. At the end of 2019, more than 2,000 Britons were hospitalised because of the virus.

However, there’s no need to be scared as cold and flu prevention isn’t too difficult. To ensure you’re taking care this winter, below, we discuss what the virus is, how it’s spread and what you can do to prevent getting it.

What is the flu?

A viral infection of the respiratory tract, those with the flu will usually experience several different symptoms, ranging from headaches to fatigue and aching muscles. The symptoms tend to take hold quite quickly, with a full list including:

• Fever of 38C and above
• Dry cough
• Fatigue
• Aches
• Headache
• Difficulty sleeping
• Stomach pain
• Diarrhoea
• Loss of appetite
• Runny nose
• Stuffy nose
• Children also have similar symptoms but can experience ear pain and appear less active than usual

The flu is highly infectious and spreads quite quickly, and can even be passed on by those experiencing little to no symptoms. But how does the virus spread from person to person?

How the flu spreads

When it comes to the spread of the virus, most experts believe it happens primarily from the spread of small droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets make their way into the noses and mouths of those nearby, which is then inhaled into the lungs before spreading.

It’s thought that the flu can actually be spread to others who are up to six feet away.

While this is the most common way for the flu to be spread, it can also be spread via touch. This happens when a person touches a surface or object that has the flu virus on it, which can live up to 24-hours or longer when on metal or plastic surfaces, before touching their mouth, nose or eyes.

How to keep the flu at bay

Despite the flu being easy to spread, and dangerous for some in society, there are several ways that you can keep the virus at bay, which we’ve outlined below.

Wash your hands

One of the easiest ways to try and prevent the spread of flu is to wash your hands as much as possible, especially after touching someone else’s hand.

Don’t touch your face

With your nose, eyes and mouth being the most common areas for germs to enter your body, touching your face is one of the main ways the flu virus can get you. Biting your nails is another way this can happen as germs live here.

Use hand sanitiser

Of course, sometimes you won’t have a sink and soap close by, and you can’t go through the day without touching anything That’s why having hand sanitiser gel or foam with you at all times is a sure-fire way to help kill germs while you’re out and about. Look for alcohol-based sanitisers as these are far more efficient.

Flu jab

Make sure you get the flu jab, especially if you’re entitled to it, as this works to keep you protected from the virus. The flu vaccination is being offered to:

• Those aged 65 years and over
• Those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
• Pregnant women
• Those living in a residential or nursing home
• The primary carer of an older or disabled person
• Children aged two-three (on 31 August 2019) and all primary school-aged children

Sharing food

Be wary when it comes to sharing food and drinks, especially with office parties and gatherings being popular this time of year. Double dippers and all those hands touching food are rife for the spread of germs, so be careful.

While these will help you to stay as safe as possible in the face of the flu, you may still get it. If you do, remember to keep well rested and stay warm, ensuring you sleep lots and drink lots of fluids alongside taking paracetamol and ibuprofen.

If you need any help or advice when it comes to products used to prevent the spread of the cold and flu virus, get in touch. You can do this by calling 01204 895410 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Friday, or through our inquiry form here, and someone will get back to you within 24-hours.