Right now, sustainability is a hot topic for both consumers and big companies making products. People are choosing paper and metal straws, bringing their own bags to the grocery store, and looking for products that are reusable to reduce the amount of waste they create. Another surprising market that is working its way into the sustainable and waste-reducing trend is the feminine hygiene market, specifically products designed and sold for urinary incontinence. 

What is Urinary Incontinence

What is Urinary Incontinence

So what is urinary incontinence anyways? That’s a complicated question with several answers and various treatments that you and a healthcare professional must decide on. Depending on your symptoms you may be suffering from a number of urinary problems like Overactive Bladder (OAB), Overflow Incontinence, Urge Incontinence, or Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). Let’s take a look at what each of these are: 

 

Overactive Bladder (OAB) – This is best described as a group of symptoms, not necessarily one specified “disease”. You may experience the urgent need to go, frequent urination, and nocturia with OAB. In the case of OAB, your bladder releases urine regardless of how full it is either because of a physical muscle contraction or because there was a miscommunication between your bladder and your brain. 

Overflow Incontinence – This is when your bladder does not empty fully, causing leaks, especially because your brain may not send the message that your bladder is full in the first place. This also leads to increased volume in the bladder, as residual urine is not properly passed. 

Urge Incontinence – Exactly as the name implies – Urge Incontinence is the sudden, urgent need to go that cannot be put off, which may lead to leaks. This is also referred to as OAB in some cases. 

Stress Urinary Incontinence – SUI occurs when the bladder and/or urinary tract is put under “stress” or pressure, resulting in a small leak. This can be anything from a small laugh or cough to jogging or doing yoga. While both men and women may experience SUI, it is much more common in women as symptoms are often tied to pelvic floor health, which may be compromised during childbirth or menopause. 

Pads and Liners

Pads and Liners

One of the most common products women turn to to help disguise their incontinence during the day are pads and liners. They’re familiar to a lot of women – you use them much like a menstrual pad or liner, placing it on your underwear and changing every few hours to prevent infection, irritation, and odor. The main difference is that incontinence pads were designed to soak up urine specifically, as compared to period pads and liners that are designed for a different kind of liquid. As concern continues to grow for our planet and environmental health, many women have stepped up and demanded changes to the feminine hygiene products that are so regularly bought. Companies are trying to use less plastic packaging, using sustainably sourced cotton, and investing in recycled and compostable packaging. In addition to these environmentally-friendly moves, companies are also striving to create reusable products to reduce waste. Women have the option to purchase these products, use them, wash them, and then use them again, saving money and reducing waste. Of course like any female hygiene product, regular changing and cleaning is recommended for both vaginal and urinary health. 

Undergarments 

Undergarments

On the other side of the same coin, some women that suffer from light bladder leaks have also been turning to reusable incontinence undergarments. These are especially useful for those experiencing overnight leaks and those who are unable to change a pad or liner as often. These products are used much like regular underwear and come in a variety of colors, fabrics, and prints to make sure you still feel beautiful, regardless of a little light bladder leak. After use, the undergarments are simply washed and worn again like a normal pair of underwear. Like the pads and liners, these undergarments need to be changed and cleaned on a regular basis to avoid any infection or irritation and to protect vaginal and urinary health. 

Revive®

Revive® is a device that was designed for women suffering from SUI that is easy, effective, and reusable. The bladder support device is made of soft, flexible silicone that is inserted through the vaginal opening like a tampon. Once inserted, Revive is designed to comfortably support the bladder to reduce leaks for up to 12 hours a day! After use, simply remove Revive with the retrieval strings, clean and store in the provided travel case until the next time you need to use it. Every box of Revive comes with a month’s supply of retrieval strings, meaning you can reuse Revive up to 30 times before needing a new one. Available without a prescription at a retailer near you! Use our store finder to find a location.