Choosing Men’s Pads after Prostate Surgery

Choosing Men’s Pads after Prostate Surgery

  • On September 18, 2019
  • incontinence in men, prostate surgery

Surgery has been proven to be a very effective treatment for prostate cancer and prostate enlargement. However, one of the complications after surgery can be urinary problems.


How is Urinary Incontinence Related to Prostate Cancer Surgery?

The prostate lies underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra. Normally, the muscles and nerves around the bladder effectively work together with the muscles in your urethra. These muscles are known as the urinary sphincter. The urinary sphincter opens up to allow the release of urine from the body. On the other hand, when the urinary sphincter closes, this prevents urine from leaking out of the bladder. The removal of the prostate through surgery or the impact of radiation disrupts the bladder’s ability to hold urine when needed. Radiation can actually decrease the capacity of the bladder and cause spasms that force urine out.

Prostate surgery ultimately damages the muscles and nerves around the bladder, including the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles stretch from the public bone at the front of the body and reach the the bottom of your spine, meaning they have an important role in controlling urinary control. Another reason why surgery affects bladder control is due to scarring where the bladder neck sphincter and urethra join, making the join become narrow. This damage is known as a “stricture”.


Anatomy of the pelvic floor muscles


Key Terms

Urethra: the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body

Pelvic floor muscles: the pelvic floor muscles lie below the bladder. They surround the urethra and sit under the prostate and bladder neck sphincter

Urinary Sphincter: this surrounds the urethra and sits just under the prostate

Bladder neck sphincter: this is the muscle that opens and closes your bladder

Stricture: when the join becomes narrow due to scarring caused by surgery

During surgery, the urinary sphincter muscles can also be damaged. Urologist Patrick Walsh explains, “men have not one, not two, but three separate anatomical structures to control urine. We have a sphincter in the bladder neck, one in the prostate itself, and then there’s the external sphincter, below the prostate and near the pelvic floor”. He asserts, “Radical prostatectomy knocks out two of these, leaving only the external sphincter to do work of three.”

After your surgery, you will have a catheter inserted, which is a thin tube to drain urine out the body. You’ll usually have this catheter for around 10 days after the surgery. You may also be provided with a few incontinence pads to use short-term. However, it is likely that you will need to purchase your own products after the surgery.

Did you Know:

Leaking Urine Usually Improves Between 1 and 12 months after Surgery


Most incontinence caused by prostate surgery is not long-term, and often improves between 1 and 12 months after surgery. In some cases, incontinence can last years and become long term due to complications or health factors before surgery. If you still experience issues one year after treatment, you should consult your GP.

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Choosing Men’s Pads after Prostate Surgery


How Heavy is your Incontinence?

Avoid unnecessary bulk if you have light incontinence. The best incontinence pads for men with light incontinence are small and discreet. For heavy incontinence, ensure you choose a high absorbency level such as Super or Maxi. If your incontinence is severe, a slip (nappy style) pad would be more reliable.


How Active are You?

If you are very active, we recommend wearing a shaped pad with the required absorbency level. These can feel lighter and are anatomically shaped to provide a close, comfortable fit. If you have poor mobility levels, a slip design would be more ideal.


Do you Leak at Night Time?

If you are using a pad for night time leaks, you need to look for a pad with higher absorbency than one you would wear in the day. All in one pads are recommended for night time, particularly if you have heavier incontinence. Alternatively, try a shaped pad that has a higher absorbency than your usual product.


Do You have Sensitive Skin?

Particularly if you have sensitive skin, choose a pad that is breathable. If you are sensitive to latex, choose a pad that is latex free. Certain brands, such as Lille Healthcare, are hypoallergenic.


Are You on a Budget?

Incontinence products can add up. Fortunately, if you are on a budget, there are things you can do to save money in the long run. Firstly, you can consider more economical brands. These brands include Lille, iD Expert and Depend. Buying in bulk can also save you more money in the long run, as you have a better price per unit.

Dreading the Frequent Incontinence Shops?

Buy in Bulk with us to Save Time and Money


Recommended Pads for Men after Prostate Surgery

iD for Men Level 3

  • For light to moderate incontinence
  • Provide an extra close fit
  • 56% more absorbent than Tena Men Level 2

What is Special About Them?

iD for Men are perfect for those with more sensitive skin, as they offer a cotton feel back sheet. This provides more comfort, ensuring maximum breathability. iD for Men are also sold at an economical, affordable price.


Buy iD for Men Level 3 for £4.50

Attends for Men Level 4

  • For moderate incontinence
  • Very thin pads
  • Soft feel back sheet

What is Special About Them?

Attends for Men Level 1 and 2 feature an air laid core, enabling the pads to be super thin whilst ensuring maximum leakage.


Buy Attends for Men Level 4 for £4.35

Abena Abri-Man Premium Formula 2

  • For moderate incontinence
  • Textile feel backing
  • Super fit waistband for a comfortable fit

What is Special About Them?

A micro punctured top sheet, channel systems and Top Dry provide a fast dispersion of the liquid and a dry surface. The product is also fitted with a unique barrier system, with built-in pockets for additional protection.


Buy Abena Abri Man Forumula 2 for £2.75

TENA Flex Super

  • For heavy to severe incontinence
  • ComfiStretch elastics give a close, comfortable fit
  • Breathable waterproof backing


What is Special about Them?

TENA Flex are a popular option for managing heavier incontinence. This product lives up to the brand’s name, with an extra secure belt system and comfistretch elastics for freedom of movement.


Buy TENA Flex Super for £18.95


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