One question we often receive from customers suprised by our large range of incontinence products is “How do I find the right product?”
Unfortunately it’s very difficult to find the right product first time and often there is a level of trial and error, (which is why we offer our range of sample packs which enable customers to try a wide variety of products), and the general rule is to start with the least absorbent product, and increase absorbency used if you experience leaks.
However for Incontinence pants we have a slightly different recommendation. As the lightest Incontinence Pants (TENA Pants Discreet) are designed for lighter conditions, then they may not be suitable for many customers. Therefore with Incontinence Pants we recommend starting in the middle of the range (e.g. TENA Pants Plus or Lille Pants Extra). If the wearer finds they are still experiencing leaks then they should try the next absorbency level, Super or even Maxi.
As these items can be quite bulky, then if the starting product is more than adequate then the wearer may well want to try the lighter products such as TENA Pants Discreet, as these offer large benefits in terms of discretion, albeit at the expense of absorption, but this trade off is felt to be worth it for many wearers.
Following last week’s post re our You Tube channel for Incontinence Videos, we’ ve received a large number of emails asking if this also covers Tena Pants.
The good news is that it does and there is a video specifically for Tena Pants which can be viewed here. This covers the features and benefits of Tena Pants Discreet, Tena Pants Plus and Tena Pants Super.
Urinary incontinence is a very common problem that affects both men and women. Estimates suggest that more than 50 million people in the developed world are affected by urinary incontinence, although the true figure is difficult to determine as many people are reluctant to discuss their condition, even with their GP.
Severe cases of incontinence are sometimes treated with medication or surgery, but many people find that their condition improves with conservative treatment, including lifestyle changes, pelvic floor muscle exercises and bladder training. Here, we take a look at these conservative approaches, which can often greatly reduce or even remove the need for incontinence supplies.
There are several lifestyle changes that people can try to reduce the symptoms of incontinence, regardless of whether they suffer from urge incontinence – when leakage occurs when the person feels an intense urge to urinate – or stress incontinence, in which the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to prevent urination when the person coughs, laughs or sneezes.
One of the most common pieces of advice given to people with urinary incontinence is to reduce their intake of caffeine. The chemical increases the amount of urine produced by the body, thereby upping the frequency of visits to the toilet, and may also irritate the bladder. Alcohol consumption should also be reduced, as it stimulates the kidneys to produce more urine.
People with incontinence often assume that they should reduce their intake of water, but this can actually have a negative effect. Drinking too little fluid can affect the lower urinary tract and between six and eight glasses per day are recommended for sufferers.
Weight management may also be a useful approach. This can usually be achieved by eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and avoiding sugary, high-fat foods. In addition, regular exercise can help people to lose excess weight and low-impact activities, such as swimming and yoga, may be particularly beneficial for those with stress urinary incontinence.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises
One of the most effective ways to reduce urinary incontinence is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, as weak or damaged muscles can cause leakage. The pelvic floor muscles surround the bladder and urethra and are used to control the flow of urine. Exercises can be useful for both stress and urge incontinence and can easily be performed at home.
In order to do the exercises, you should sit, stand or lie down with your legs slightly apart. The muscles can be located by imagining you are attempting to stop the flow of urine. Once you have identified the correct muscles, slowly tighten them as hard as possible and hold this squeeze for up to ten seconds before relaxing. This should be repeated approximately ten times, and the set of exercises should be performed three times a day. Results will not be seen immediately as it takes time to strengthen the muscles, but benefits should be noticeable within a few weeks.
People with incontinence are also usually advised to try bladder training, which aims to increase the amount of time between the initial urge to urinate and the actual passing of urine. A bladder training programme can also help to increase the amount of urine that can be held by the bladder and improve control over the need to urinate.
Bladder training is often combined with pelvic floor muscle exercises. In addition, patients are usually taught to delay urination when they feel the urge, starting with a five-minute wait and increasing the length of time by concentrating on breathing and relaxation techniques until the urge passes. Another method of bladder training is to set a schedule of visits to the bathroom, so that the patient uses the toilet at set times, regardless of whether or not they actually feel the urge to urinate.
Self-help techniques can be effective at easing urinary incontinence, but it can often be several weeks before the benefits become apparent. In the meantime, people can choose from a range of incontinence products to help manage their condition and reduce the risk of embarrassing leaks. Both disposable and washable incontinence pads and pants are available, while people with night-time incontinence may want to consider bed protection products, such as washable bed pads or a mattress cover.
A procedure that uses mesh tape to relieve stress urinary incontinence is more likely to be effective in premenopausal women than those who have been through the menopause, a study has found.
Stress incontinence is one of the most common types of urinary incontinence, which affects about 13 per cent of women to some extent.
It occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become too weak to prevent the leakage of urine, particularly when the bladder comes under pressure during coughing, sneezing, laughing or heavy lifting, and is common in women who have previously given birth.
Midurethral synthetic slings, such as the transobturator tape, have become the most commonly performed procedure for women with stress incontinence, according to background material in the article, which is published in the Korean Journal of Urology.
However, little is known about the relative effectiveness of the minimally invasive procedure in premenopausal women compared with postmenopausal patients.
To shed light on the issue, scientists at the Baskent University School of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey, studied 45 premenopausal women (average age 44) and a further 49 volunteers (average age 60) who had already been through the menopause.
All of the participants received treatment for stress incontinence between 2004 and 2010.
The researchers found that average operation times and hospital stays varied little between the two groups of patients.
Similarly, there was no significant difference in the rate of complications between pre- and postmenopausal women.
However, when asked about the extent to which they were satisfied with their operation’s outcome, premenopausal women tended to report higher levels of satisfaction than their older counterparts.
The study authors concluded: “The transobturator tape operation appeared to be more effective in premenopausal women with stress urinary incontinence.
“However, further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm our results.”
Urinary incontinence is a common condition, with research suggesting that around 13 per cent of UK women are affected to some extent. One of the most important known risk factors for female incontinence is childbirth, with a significant proportion of women relying on incontinence supplies during pregnancy, immediately after giving birth and, in some cases, for months or even years to come. Here, we take a closer look at the problem, possible reasons for the links between pregnancy, childbirth and incontinence, and ways in which women can manage their condition. 90
Incontinence during pregnancy
The extra weight that is placed on the bladder during pregnancy typically causes women to urinate more often than usual. However, some also experience urinary incontinence and depend on products such as Tena Pants Super. The reasons for this are not yet fully understood; it may be that the weight of pregnancy causes incontinence, or that hormonal fluctuations contribute to the problem. In most cases, the incontinence resolves itself soon after giving birth, although some women continue to experience problems.
Risk factors for persistent incontinence
A number of factors relating to pregnancy and childbirth can increase the risk of ongoing female incontinence. Pregnancy itself is a known risk factor for urinary incontinence, with research indicating that women who develop stress incontinence during pregnancy or in the first six weeks after their baby’s birth are more likely to still be experiencing problems five years later.
There is evidence to suggest that a vaginal birth – as opposed to having a caesarean section – may be associated with an increased risk of stress incontinence, although studies have produced conflicting results. For instance, a recent investigation published in the obstetrics journal BJOG by British scientists found that women who delivered exclusively by caesarean section were only slightly less likely to have urinary incontinence than those who only had vaginal births. In fact, 40 per cent of caesarean-only patients who took part in the ProLong Study still reported urinary incontinence.
Other pregnancy-related factors that may increase the risk of incontinence include giving birth to a high number of children and having babies with a higher-than-average birth weight.
Treatment and management
Women are usually advised to do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles that control urination and reduce the risk of stress incontinence. In order to exercise the muscles, women should pretend they are trying to stop the flow of urine, holding this squeeze for about ten seconds. This should be repeated for three or four sets of ten contractions each day in order to strengthen the pelvic floor musculature. Results will not be seen immediately, but women should start to notice the benefits within a few weeks.
Women who are still experiencing bladder problems several weeks after giving birth should speak to their doctor, as they may require treatment. This may include medication, such as the anti-depressant duloxetine, which is thought to interfere with chemicals involved in the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles around the urethra so that they contract more strongly.
In certain cases, doctors may recommend surgery to tighten or support the muscles around the urethra. Surgery usually has a high rate of success, but it usually not considered until other treatment options, including pelvic floor exercises, lifestyle changes and medication, have failed to provide relief.
Women with pregnancy-related incontinence have a range of products to choose from to help manage their condition on a day-to-day basis. Products include disposable incontinence pads, such as Cottons Comforts Pantyliners and Cottons Comforts Light, and washable products such as Ladies Cotton Briefs with extra absorbent built-in pads. Selecting the right incontinence supplies can greatly improve women’s quality of life and enable them to get out and about without fear of embarrassment.
Scientists in the US are conducting a study to see whether a new approach may benefit men undergoing prostate cancer surgery.
Around 37,000 men are affected by prostate cancer each year in the UK and many require surgery to remove the gland.
Figures suggest that as many as one in five men who undergo radical prostatectomy to remove their prostate gland subsequently experience minor long-term urinary incontinence,
while a further five per cent have more serious problems.
Surgeons at the Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine believe that a biodegradable ‘sling’ may help to prevent this outcome and reduce the chances of male incontinence after prostate cancer surgery.
They are conducting the first study to test the approach, which provides support to the bladder neck and urethra after the prostate gland has been removed.
Around 80 patients are taking part in the study at the IU Health University Hospital and the IU Health North Hospital.
Half of patients had a ‘sling’ inserted during their robotic prostate surgery, while the remaining 50 per cent received standard care and no sling.
Participants are now being followed for a period of time to see whether or not they develop lasting urinary problems.
If found to be effective, the technique’s use could become widespread to help reduce the risk of incontinence in men with prostate cancer.
Dr Chandru Sundaram, professor of urology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, explained: “The most important concerns for patients coming in for a prostate removal are twofold: incontinence and erectile function.”
The expert added that the sling concept itself is not new, but that this is the first time it has been used to reduce the risk of male incontinence following prostate cancer surgery.
Women who are overweight when they give birth appear to be at greater risk of developing ongoing stress urinary incontinence than those with a lower body mass index (BMI), a study has found.
A significant proportion of women develop incontinence either during their pregnancy, immediately after giving birth, or several years later.
There are several reasons for this, including damage to the nerves that control the bladder during pregnancy and childbirth, and the movement of the urethra and bladder to accommodate the growing baby.
These problems can lead to stress incontinence, in which the pelvic floor muscles become too weak to prevent urination, causing leakage when the woman’s bladder comes under pressure, such as when they cough, sneeze or laugh.
Scientists at Donostia Hospital in Guipuzcoa, Spain, set out to investigate factors that may increase the risk of persistent stress urinary incontinence during the first two years after giving birth.
They recruited 272 women, all of whom were pregnant for the first time, between April and October 2007.
Of these, 26 women (9.5 per cent) were still affected by stress urinary incontinence two years after giving birth.
In the majority of cases, the stress incontinence was slight or moderate and women reported that the impact on their quality of life was small.
When the scientists looked for possible risk factors, they found that the only one associated with an increased risk of persistent stress urinary incontinence was BMI.
Publishing their findings in the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, the study authors concluded: “Higher BMI in pregnant women at term was an independent risk factor for the persistence of stress urinary incontinence from pregnancy to two years post-partum.”
Men who undergo surgery for prostate cancer at a late age appear to have an elevated risk of post-surgical complications, such as male incontinence, compared with their younger counterparts, a new study has found.
Prostate surgery is already known to increase the risk of urinary incontinence, as the nerves surrounding the gland can be damaged during the procedure.
For this reason, many men choose not to have surgery unless their tumour is growing aggressively.
Scientists in the US and Germany, recently conducted a study which discovered that the risk of incontinence and other complications may be greater among surgical patients who are over the age of 75.
The researchers analysed data on 115,554 patients, all of whom underwent a surgical procedure called open radical prostatectomy between 1998 and 2007.
Of these, 2,109 (1.8 per cent) were 75 years of age or older.
Publishing their findings in the journal BJU International, the study authors revealed that over-75s were more likely to need blood transfusions and were more likely to experience post-surgical complications.
Seventeen per cent of older men experiencing complications following their operation, compared with just 12 per cent of younger men.
The researchers concluded that adverse outcomes were “more often recorded in the elderly”.
Lead researcher Dr Quoc-Dien Trinh, a urologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, was interviewed by Reuters news agency about the team’s findings.
He told the news agency that the higher rate of complications among older study participants was unsurprising.
The expert also noted that treating early-stage prostate tumours can do more harm than good, as men can be put at increased risk of male incontinence when their tumour might have been slow-growing and non-life-threatening.
Dr Trinh told Reuters: “Radical prostatectomy in men aged 75 or older should be an exceptional event.
“They should at least seek the care of an expert surgeon/institution, especially when we know that they are at higher risk of complications than their younger counterparts.”
Bladder weakness and male incontinence affect more men in the UK than people realise, an expert has claimed.
Many people regard urinary incontinence as a predominantly female condition, because it is often associated with a history of childbirth.
However, Zoe Brimfield, brand manager for Tena Men incontinence pads, revealed that male incontinence and bladder weakness is more common than people think, with one in nine men in the UK experiencing the condition to some extent.
“That’s around 3.6 million men – enough to fill the stadium at Twickenham 44 times over and Lord’s Cricket Ground 128 times over,” she pointed out.
Ms Brimfield noted that bladder weakness can seriously affect a man’s quality of life, leading them to feel isolated and embarrassed about their condition.
But she revealed: “Tena Men pads specifically designed for male bladder weakness can help men feel fresher, more comfortable and ultimately more confident.”
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK, affecting around 37,000 men every year. Approximately one in ten men will develop prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime, with the majority of cases occurring in men over the age of 75. The good news is that the majority of patients live for at least five years after their diagnosis and many do not even need treatment if their tumour is growing slowly. Treatment for those with faster growing tumours can also be effective. However, some men experience complications such as urinary incontinence after receiving treatment, which can have a negative impact on their quality of life.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located beneath the bladder in men. It surrounds the urethra – the tube through which urine and semen pass – and is responsible for producing some of the fluid in semen. The prostate often gets bigger as men get older – a condition known as prostate enlargement that affects around one-third of men over the age of 50. Another condition that can affect men is prostatitis, which occurs when the tissues of the gland become inflamed, causing pelvic and testicular pain. The third main condition that can affect the gland is prostate cancer, which is discussed below.
Prostate cancer – signs and symptoms
Prostate cancer accounts for one in four cancer diagnoses in England and Wales, according to NHS figures. The causes of the disease are largely unknown, but older men, those with a family history of the disease and men of black African and Caribbean descent are known to be more at risk.
Men should ensure they are aware of the possible symptoms of prostate cancer, as early diagnosis can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of treatment. According to Cancer Research UK, symptoms include an urgent need to urinate; difficulty in passing urine; and frequent visits to the toilet, particularly at night. Occasionally men may also experience pain when passing urine or blood in their urine or semen. All of these symptoms can also be symptoms of an enlarged, non-cancerous prostate, but men should visit their GP for tests.
Treatments for prostate cancer
The most appropriate treatment will depend on whether or not the cancer has spread from the prostate gland to other parts of the body. Some men opt to have radiotherapy, while others may be eligible for surgery to remove the gland. The different treatment options have both advantages and disadvantages and each patient’s choice of treatment will usually take the possible side-effects into account. For instance, radiotherapy can cause bowel and urinary problems, tiredness, skin irritation, sexual problems and infertility, while surgery – known as radical prostatectomy – can also cause urinary incontinence and other side-effects.
Urinary incontinence following prostate cancer treatment
Urinary problems are unfortunately not uncommon after treatment for prostate cancer. Many men experience urinary incontinence and the need to pass urine regularly at night after undergoing radiotherapy or surgery. This male incontinence is often temporary and can be managed effectively using incontinence supplies until the problem resolves itself. However, about 20 per cent of men who undergo radical prostatectomy to remove their prostate gland experience minor long-term urinary incontinence, while five per cent have more serious long-term male incontinence.
Managing male incontinence
Incontinence can greatly affect an individual’s quality of life, causing embarrassment, a reluctance to socialise and even depression. However, there are many products that can reduce the condition’s impact on a day-to-day basis and help men to maintain an active and sociable lifestyle.
For instance, Men’s Pull-up Incontinence Pants, such as Lil Pants Maxi, can be worn just like normal underwear, while those with light to moderate male incontinence may prefer to use Tena Men incontinence pads, which can be used with their own underwear. Items can also be purchased to protect bedding against night-time leakage, such as a PVC Washable Mattress Cover.
Men may also benefit from maintaining a healthy weight and performing pelvic floor treatments to strengthen the muscles in their pelvic floor, while certain medications can increase bladder capacity and reduce urinary leakage.