Urinary Incontinence: The Difference Between Men and Women

Urinary incontinence affects more than 33% of older women and 15% of older men. The combined number of affected older adults is more than 20 million (18 million women and 3.4 million men being impacted). In recent posts, we shared the top 5 incontinence products for men and women but what is the difference between the products themselves? Below is a summary of what differentiates men and women’s incontinence products.

What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence (UI) is the involuntary loss of urine. It is common with older adults and the types vary from: Stress (physical pressure), urge (difficulty emptying), functional (physical or mental conditions), mixed or a total loss of control.

Differences Between Male and Female Incontinence Products

All incontinence products serve the primary purpose of absorbing and holding urine. These products will help prevent urine from irritating the skin and damaging clothing. Product design from wearable pads or liners that can be washable, disposable and feel like underwear exist for both men and women. The products we listed in our top 5 summaries are sold by the same brands for men and women: Depend, Prevail, Attends, Tena, Tranquility and Because.

The urinary incontinence products themselves are designed differently, however, to meet the male/female needs. These differences include the following:

  • The area of absorbency varies for men and women. For men, the front of the underwear is more absorbent and for women it is at the bottom part of the underwear.
  • The style of the product is significantly different based on the typical style of male vs. female underwear, as well as the color and design.
  • The fit of the product is different to comfortably sit on the waist, legs, hips and protect the surrounding skin from urinary leakage.

The differences summarized above are needed to give your aging parent confidence when wearing them and reduce the stigma of incontinence products.

How to Assess Urinary Incontinence Products?

Consider and think about the questions noted below about your lifestyle. These factors will help you appropriately select the incontinence product that meets your needs.

  • How active are you?
  • What are your day-to-day activities?
  • What type of clothing do you typically wear? Will it be easy to pull over?
  • Do you spend most of your day out of the house?

The companies creating incontinence products have designed variations to meet the needs of men and women with wide ranging symptoms of severity and frequency. These variations are captured in the fit, style and need of the product. Check out our top 5 product listing for both men and women to find the right one for your aging loved one.


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