When you first experience a bladder leak, it’s easy to mistake it for your run-of-the-mill vaginal discharge. And a quick check underneath the sink will produce a pantyliner or menstrual pad, sending you on your merry way on that leisurely bike ride you have planned.
Until you realize that the pantyliner isn’t doing the job, and it’s actually your bladder leaking. It may be tempting to upgrade to a maxi pad to help with incontinence, but we’ve got the scoop on why that isn’t your best bet for telling your bladder who’s boss.
3 Reasons To Swap Out That Pantyliner
We’ve got you covered with the top 3 reasons why you should skip the period pads and liners when it comes to bladder leaks.
Stop The Leaks From Leaking
While pads for periods and for leaks both absorb liquid, not all pads are created equal. A menstrual pad is meant to catch and hold blood, while an incontinence pad is meant to absorb urine. Typically, pads for leaks can hold a lot more liquid than a menstrual pad, thanks to things called Super Absorbent Polymers (SAP). This material turns into gel when liquid touches it, allowing the bladder leak pad to more quickly absorb fluid. Pantyliners and period pads aren’t designed to absorb a fast-flowing liquid. Plus, most pads for bladder leaks have elastic on the sides to prevent drips from sneaking out.
In other words, using a period pad or pantyliner instead of one designed for bladder leaks will cause the leaks to leak. What’s the point if the leaks leak? Nobody has time to deal with that. Plus, with a period pad, you’ll have to change the pad a lot more frequently. That means more trips to the bathroom and more money out of your wallet. You should keep those bills. We’re pretty sure you’ve got better things to do with them.
Avoid The Itch And Burn
Using period pads and pantyliners for bladder leaks can cause skin irritation because of the acid in urine. Pads for bladder leaks neutralize this acid to keep things as comfy as possible. A menstrual pad doesn’t do that. The materials in pads for leaks also helps keep liquid away from you skin, making sure you stay nice and dry instead of high and dry — and don’t get a rash.
Keep Your Nose Happy Too
Unless you’re in a rose garden, you probably don’t want people around you asking, “What’s that smell?” Using pads and liners specifically designed for bladder leaks will make sure that doesn’t happen. This is because bladder leak products eliminate odor, while menstruation products do not. Period pads and pantyliners might have scents that sort of cover up the smell of pee. But, that’s like trying to Febreeze your way out of doing the laundry; it’s just not the same. Pads for bladder leaks work better because they actually neutralize the odor.
What About Bladder Leaks On Your Period?
Because it’s possible to get bladder leaks while you’re on your period, deciding what product to use is tricky. We recommend using tampons and a bladder leak pad, but not everyone can use tampons or a menstrual cup. If you’re not feeling that approach, we recommend using a bladder leak pad and changing it frequently.
Word to the wise: blood has a tendency to stay on the top of the pad when it dries. So you might give yourself an accidental Brazilian wax when it needs to be swapped out if you aren’t careful. So be careful out there.
But I don’t want to be seen in that aisle
Many women use a menstrual pad or pantyliner for bladder leaks because buying incontinence products can be uncomfortable. We get it. Standing in line at the checkout counter can be awkward. Even more so when the checker turns out to be your tennis partner’s son. And you’re not alone. Nearly half of women between 45 and 60 experience leaks and almost all of us are a little uncomfortable talking about it.
Fortunately, Lily Bird is giving awkward a way forward. If you’re ready to tell your bladder who’s boss, get pads and underwear for leaky laughs and dribble dilemmas delivered right to your door from Lily Bird.