There are a wide range of innovative urology and incontinence products available today, for both men and women.
Intermittent catheters (such as Curan Lady) are an excellent way of managing a bladder that does not empty completely. The catheter may need to be inserted up to 5 times a day, depending on bladder function. Intermittent self-catheterisation can promote continence, relieve the person from urgency and frequency and also prevent urinary tract infections and kidney problems. A Continence Nurse Specialist usually teaches the person how to perform self-catheterisation and will offer ongoing support.
Special incontinence pads are available to buy in most supermarkets, chemists and via the internet. It is important when selecting a pad to ensure that it is the right size and absorbency. Check your local NHS continence service policy to see if you are eligible to receive free incontinence pads. Many continence services do not provide small pads for light incontinence and have a policy with an upper limit for the number of pads that can be provided
Hand held urinals or a commode at the side of the bed can help to promote continence for some individuals. There are many types of urinals available, some with drainage bags attached for ease of use. Contact your continence service for advice and information.
Indwelling catheters should be a last resort for continence care as they carry a risk of infection. However, for some individuals, a catheter is a necessity and can make a big improvement to quality of life. It is recommended that, for long term use, a supra–pubic catheter is the preferred option. This is inserted through a small incision in the lower abdomen rather than through the urethra, is usually easier to manage and carries less risk of infection.
Vaginal devices are available to help women with stress incontinence. They work by putting a little pressure on the bladder neck and this helps to prevent leakage. They are ideal for women who perhaps only leak when they play sport, but should be used with the advice of a Continence Nurse or physiotherapist.
Ring pessaries are sometimes inserted for prolapse and these can also help with incontinence. There are a wide range of pessaries available, and some are specially designed to help with stress incontinence.
Sheath systems for men with urinary incontinence. These are like a silicone or latex condom that stick snugly around the penis and attach to a drainage bag that is usually fastened discreetly to the thigh or lower leg. An alternative is the BioDerm external continence system for men.
Home delivery services
Many people choose to have their continence products delivered by a home delivery service like SecuriCare, instead of going to the chemist. Home delivery services are usually free of charge, and deliver your product discreetly and efficiently to your door. They often provide complementary extras such as wipes and disposal bags. Ask your health care professional for information about home delivery services.