Rubber Incontinence Pants: Pros, Cons and Alternatives
If you suffer from urinary incontinence, you may be searching for products that will help manage involuntary leaks while you’re sleeping, or indeed during the daytime. Rubber incontinence pants will likely be a product you come across early in your search.
These products have been around for a long time. They are usually sold for more severe cases of incontinence—both urinary and fecal—and they are sold for women, men and children. But before we dive deep into how they work, let’s briefly look at what incontinence is.
What Is Incontinence?
Incontinence is a broad term for any involuntary leakage or either the bowel or the bladder. Urinary incontinence is by far the most common kind of incontinence. It affects over 200 million people worldwide.
In women, there are 5 types of incontinence and it’s worth understanding them. Rubber pants may be better for managing some types of urinary incontinence than others.
How Do Rubber Incontinence Pants Work?
Originally designed for hospital use, rubber pants can be worn both as fixation pants for disposable pads and as additional protection over diapers, acting as a diaper cover. The rubber pants themselves are usually washable and reusable.
They offer an excellent and impermeable seal to prevent urine from leaking and are usually designed to provide full coverage. Rubber incontinence pants are designed to be worn night and day to provide protection from urine or fecal leaks.
Pros and Cons of Rubber Incontinence Pants
Like any product, rubber incontinence pants have some pros and cons. Let’s look:
- Washable and reusable
- Excellent leak protection
- Can be used at night
- Must be used with disposable products like diapers or pads
- May ‘stick’ to the skin and cause discomfort
- Can be quite bulky underneath clothes
- May make “squeeky” noises
- They do not actually absorb liquid - you need another product for that
- May irritate or chafe at the elastic seams
- Not very stylish
What Type of Incontinence Do Rubber Pants Work for?
Rubber incontinence pants will likely not be your first choice of ways to manage your incontinence, and indeed they may not be necessary.
If you are a healthy and active individual, rubber pants may not match your style or lifestyle. Perhaps you want to wear form-fitting clothing or you want more of a semblance of normal underwear rather than going the full ‘adult diaper’ route.
Moreover, if you only experience occasional light bladder leaks, rubber pants are probably more protection that you need. However, they are a good option for the following:
1. Functional Incontinence
Functional incontinence is the type of incontinence that might find an excellent management solution with rubber incontinence pants. Functional incontinence occurs when a patient is unable to make it to a washroom, or unable to recognize their need to go.
This kind of incontinence can have neurological or psychological causes. It might be a mental health issue that causes a person to ignore their urge to pee, or a disease like Alzheimer’s disease that can impact a person’s self-awareness or judgement.
But it can also be caused by physical impairments which prevent a person from acting on their need to urinate. These can include physical obstacles, such as spinal cord injuries and mobility issues.
Functional incontinence most often affects the elderly, and treatment often includes nursing assistance that includes bathroom reminders. Changing physical settings to ensure easy access to bathrooms may also help. Other treatments can involve medications and therapies to improve the person’s physical and mental wellbeing.
2. Nocturnal Enuresis / Adult Bedwetting
If you suffer from adult bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis and find other solutions inadequate, rubber incontinence pants may help prevent you from soiling your bedding / mattress.
Again, this would be for more extreme cases rather than mere light bladder leaks. But whether it’s tied to functional incontinence or has another cause, this might offer a way to manage the effects of bedwetting.
While rubber incontinence pants offer a way to manage urinary and fecal incontinence, they are not a treatment plan. We recommend you work with your healthcare provider to better understand the kind of incontinence you’re experiencing and discuss treatment plans beyond lifestyle products.
Alternatives to Rubber Pants
If you experience light bladder leaks, rubber incontinence pants may be more product than you really need. If you experience stress incontinence or urge incontinence, leaks may be managed and treated more readily.
It’s still important to talk to your doctor about your experience. They’ll likely recommend a treatment plan that includes pelvic floor exercises, lifestyle changes and other medical treatments (even surgery).
However, there are underwear products more suited to managing light bladder leaks than rubber incontinence pants. Super absorbent Knix Leakproof Underwear can hold up to 8 tsp of liquid (whether that’s sweat, blood or urine).
Products like these can be a game changer for those experiencing female urinary incontinence, allowing them to remain active and social while exploring treatment options.