Advice on urge incontinence and whereing pads and underwea2

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I am 17 and have urge incontinence and i have to where high capacity pads and incontinence underwear. I am worried and nervous that some one will see my underwear or see my spare pads in my bag. Dose anyone have advice. for example what to do in college, on holiday or with my frends im realy nervous any advice would be grate.

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  • Posted

    Hi Marcus. I’m in my early thirties now but started to have to wear protection when I was a bit younger than you. I have to wear all in one (diaper/nappy) pads now but started off with medium ish pads and gradually needed more protection.

    You are not alone and have done really well to ask advice here.

    I will send you a longer message later today with a few ideas and tips that have helped me.

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  • Posted

    Hi Marcus. First point, stop that anxiety, you are wearing incontinence protections, you are not a criminal! If anyone finds out, it wouldn't be the end of the world, probably they would be more understanding than teasing you. Irony is a powerful tool to downplay seeming hard situation, I would just use it.

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    • Posted

      Thanks when one of my good friends found out i felt very embarrist he understood but i feel like if other people in my course in colledge find out the will mock me and make fun of me because that sort of people they are. Also at the moment the pads i use make it look like my privates are humugus and people will notice look and stair at me.

      Thanks for your help

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  • Posted

    Hi again Marcus.

    I second what Mary says in that you are using something you need because of your medical condition to manage it in the best way, and nobody should have to feel ashamed of that. However incontinence sadly is an issue that’s stigmatised and we do come across people’s bad reactions at times and that is very upsetting. Maybe if people seem shocked or laugh it’s sometimes because they don’t know how to react not that they want to be nasty.

    I’ve also found though, that people can be much more understanding than I expected.

    Incontinence is talked about a bit more than it was - for example there are ads on TV for pads and pants which you didn’t see 5 years ago. That brings it a bit more into the realm of an everyday thing nobody need be embarrassed about. Sadly the ads still tend to suggest it only affects women which isn’t true.

    Here are a few things that have helped me, and a few thoughts:

    My approach is that it’s always better to have adequate protection you can rely on, no matter if you think it’s a bit or a lot more visible to others than a lighter protection that isn’t sufficient to keep you and your clothes clean and dry. Isn’t any potential embarrassment you feel about protection being noticeable going to be less than the embarrassment that you would feel if inadequate protection leaks and you wet your pants or make a puddle on the floor?

    Even with the right protection, at first I used to feel sure as soon as I wet myself that “everybody is looking / knows”. Fairly soon I came to realise nobody knows! I recently told one person I had known for 7 years and she had had no idea even though I’ve been wearing protection every time she’s seen me. You may feel at first that everyone is looking or paying attention more than they really are.

    I chose to tell a couple of friends I really trusted. Choosing to tell meant I could do it in my way, rather than it coming out unexpectedly. I chose people who I knew would respect my confidentiality. It’s your body and nobody should blab about your incontinence or any other medical information. Once a couple of people knew, I felt less ashamed, and although I still chose to keep the issue private, I then didn’t feel it would be so awful if someone else found out. Actually, I felt able to share my experiences with another less close friend when it became relevant. How did you feel when you told your friend? Did it make you less worried or not really?

    Practical ideas:

    Carrying pads - can you put them in an inconspicuous package within your college bag? I can fit mine into a bag that looks like it’s my lunch, or a large plain washbag, which I carry within my main bag. Us ladies do have an advantage in that we take our handbags into the loo with us whereas gents clearly don’t smile However as you’re at college you likely have a backpack on you anyway so it isn’t unusual to take it with you? If it’s a problem is there anywhere you could leave your supply of pads (locker?) and retrieve one at a time when needed hidden in eg a zip up i pad or tablet case?

    A different approach could be to try to find a higher capacity pad which will get you all through college day without changing. Although whether this is possible will depend how long your college day is and how heavy your incontinence. Much higher capacity pads are available online than in most chemists.

    Different pads have bulk in different places so it’s worth trying more than one brand.

    Covering up pads - I think it’s easier for us ladies to hide our pads than for men as we can wear skirts or looser trousers. I’ve read that some guys find wearing close fitting shorts or compression shorts over pads can reduce their apparent bulk. However this can also affect how well the pad absorbs so you should try this out at home first. Maybe some men could weigh in on this thread and share some ideas. Also dark colour trousers will hide the shape of pads better than light colours. Longer tops work too.

    Travel: what specific situations are you thinking about? a big anxiety for me with travel or unfamiliar places is “where will there next be a toilet?” So I tend to opt for heavier pads than I might usually wear so that if I have to go longer between changes, or if I am nowhere near a bathroom and so have more accidents, it doesn’t matter.

    I have lived with incontinence for a long while now and it does get less embarrassing with time. College is a very hard situation and when you get through it, future situations may seem comparatively easier! I know that doesn’t fix things right now.

    I hope that helps a bit. Please feel free to ask anything you want to or for any specific advice.

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    • Posted


      When i told my friend it made me a bit more nervous as he did notice when i was whereing pads then i was waering some baggy shorts with out pads or pants you cant see anything but with pads and pants you could see a lot of bulge and he noticed this. Also when i told him he did not know what to say because as you said the adverts mainly show incontinence as for women and old men and women.

      For carrying pads i dont put much in my bag so a wash beg would be conspicuous. I ushaly when i change it is when im in my college room and i dont take my bag. But when i go i sneaky reach in my bag and grab my pads or pants depending on how bed the incontinence and i go to the disabled toilets to change underwear or swap a pad. And there are no lockers to hide my pads and pants. My college day is normally 10- 5:15 and my pants last all day but if i have a big leek of pee or i completely fills i will swap it. My pads can last a day at a push but i can fell we on my body for the rest of the day and i am all Ready on the biggest pad and pants. I have tryed all types of pads from tescos and Sainsbury's own to tenna and depend.

      At the moment i where close fitting black trousers but dont know and never heard of compression shorts how would this affect the abstinence .

      Whith travel i am talking about going on holiday with big groups of people the do not know and going in to pools and the beach e.g. how to change on the beach, can i go in the pool and how to where under swim shorts when on the beach. I play field hockey whitch puts stress in that area and i cope by wearing the movement depend pants.and i also go camping witch again puts stress and i where a pad and pants so if the pants get full i take them of and i still have the pad.when traveling on a plain i go to the tolite when ever i can and use the same technique as camping

      I have also hade this for a while now and i did have a circumcision which stoped it for a week and it came back hard.

      Thanks and i hope i can get some help form some men as well.:-)

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    • Posted

      Hi again. You did really well to manage discussing it with your friend. I wonder if when he has had a little time to get used to the idea - which as you say isn’t often realised - that incontinence can affect anyone any age, it may get less awkward. I wonder also if he probably feels bad for you for what you’re going through, rather than thinking badly of you at all.

      It sounds like you’ve found some ways that work to be discreet when carrying pads and changing. It’s good your room is private for changing (I actually didn’t realise you live at college) and your idea of wearing a pad and pants so you discard one and still have the other is great too.

      If once you’ve had an accident you are feeling wet for the rest of the day, I think more absorbent pads might help you and also need fewer changes. Unfortunately the higher absorbency products aren’t readily available in supermarkets and chemists and you tend to need to order them online. For example online you can get higher absorbency Tena pads pants and “slips” (pants you tape at the sides) as well as many other brands. Attends are a brand I use (cheaper than Tena, very thin and comparatively very absorbent) as well as Tena in their higher capacity products, and ID Expert (thicker, but the right ones can be good at lasting for extended wear). You can get even more absorbent than these.

      I find it is really worth it for the fit comfort and absorbency and they can sustain multiple wettings and you don’t have the damp feeling that happens when you soak cheap pads (or if you do it’s usually when you are really wet after some hours and need to change). They are more expensive per pad but this often balances out as you use fewer.

      Compression shorts - I hope a guy might comment as they will know more but I understand they are like thin fitted shorts, a bit like cycling shorts. I don’t use them but know others do. Some sports players may wear them under their main shorts to hold things in place? smile They can also hold a pad in place and make it less bulky. I imagine briefs would do similar. I always wear underwear over my pads even when using taped pads or pants, because it keeps them in place better. The problem with wearing too tight compression garments is they can stop the pad absorbing. When the pad absorbs pee, the material in it expands and locks the moisture in. You’ll have noticed how when you have wet, your pad swells and is bulkier than when it is dry? If you have too tight a pair of pants over the top, the pad material can’t expand and work as it should. This means pee can be squeezed out of the pad at the leg openings, especially when you sit down, and you get leaks on your clothes. Underwear to keep the pad in place is important but it’s a good idea to check things out at home to make sure you don’t get leaks.

      I will drop back later with a couple of comments about swimming and traveling.

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    • Posted

      Hi again. 

      I have found some ways to change at college but I just do it in a disabled toilet so I can put them in the sanitary bin. I looked at my comment and my phone auto corrected my classroom to college room I don't live on site. when I have multiple accidents I feel wet for example I think it takes about 2 -3 full bladder leeks to feel wet. I will try the attend slips and see if that helps. I have tried some Nike compression shorts and I noticed some difference and there was no leaking but it worked and I am using them more often. Thanks for all your help and if you could tell me about traveling and swimming is I am going on a holiday soon and I will be swimming a lot that would be good.


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