› What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the medical term for “any involuntary leakage of urine."It’s extremely common and both men and women can be susceptible. In fact there is an estimated 5.1 million people in the UK who suffer from incontinence, so you’re not alone. You can read more about it here.aa
› Can I go swimming in DEPEND®?
No, unfortunately, we don't have products you can use in a swimming pool at this time. However, if you look on the internet, you’ll find lots of suitable swimwear.
› How often should I change my DEPEND® product?
That depends on you and how often you go throughout the day. However, Depend® products use more super absorbent polymers (SAP) to ensure they can withstand multiple wettings of varying amounts. This means you don't have to change them as often as less-expensive, non-premium brands.
› Are DEPEND® Brand products washable?
No. While Depend® products are made to withstand multiple wettings of varying amounts during one wearing, they are designed for single use only. They should be disposed of after each use and should not be washed and worn a second time.
› Can I try DEPEND® before I buy?
Yes. You can order a free sample now.
› Does menopause affect bladder control?
Yes, it can do. During and after the process of menopause, levels of the female hormone oestrogen drop significantly. Besides controlling your monthly periods and body changes during pregnancy, oestrogen helps keep your bladder and urethra healthy. Lack of oestrogen may cause the pelvic muscles responsible for bladder control to weaken, resulting in urinary incontinence.
› What is the prostate gland?
The prostate is a small gland in men that's part of the reproductive system. It's about the shape and size of a walnut. The prostate rests below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. The prostate helps make semen, which carries sperm from the testicles when a man ejaculates.
› What are the most common prostate problems?
The most common prostate health problems men encounter include:
- Prostatitus. This is an infection (usually bacterial) that can be treated with antibiotic.
- Enlarged prostate gland. The prostate grows in almost all men as they age. In some cases, the enlargement can become troublesome—a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This a common problem, affecting more than 50% of men in their sixties. BPH has many symptoms that vary from person to person, and it can be treated in many different ways. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, BPH can be managed with lifestyle changes, medication or surgery, and some of these treatments, especially surgery, can lead to incidences of incontinence.
- Prostate cancer. This is when a malignant tumor forms in in the prostate gland, which can spread throughout the body and cause significant health problems. Next to lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in men. Close to 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, and it is fatal in 30,000 men.
› How do I practice good prostate health?
There are several things you can do to improve your prostate health, including:
- Watch your diet. Men who eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day are at lower risk of developing cancer of any kind, including prostate cancer.
- Get active. It's recommended you exercise for at least 30 minutes daily.
- Have an annual physical. Make it a practice to have a physical every year so you can detect prostate cancer and other health issues before they get out of hand.
› Why do prostate cancer treatments cause urinary incontinence?
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra. Because enlarged prostate glands can obstruct the urethra, a man with an enlarged prostate can have urination retention or other problems with urination. Removing the prostate through surgery or destroying it through radiation (either with an external beam or with radioactive seed implants) disrupts the way the bladder holds urine and can result in urine leakage. Radiation can decrease the capacity of the bladder and cause spasms that force urine out. Surgery can, at times, damage the nerves that help control bladder function too.
› How should I dispose of used DEPEND® products?
Depend® Brand products are designed to be used once and then discarded in a bag or other waste container. Please do not flush down the toilet.
› How are DEPEND® products made?
Depend® products feature a thin, absorbent pad made of super absorbent polymers (SAP) that draws wetness in, away from the skin. All are latex-free and contain no lotions or fragrances.
› Do you have specific products for Men and Women, or are they unisex?
We make both kinds of Depend® products. Because men and women have different needs, we have designed some products specifically for each gender, and some that can be used by both men and women. Use our product finder to find the best product for your needs.
› What causes urinary incontinence?
There are many causes of urinary incontinence. Some include weak bladder muscles, complications from surgery, stroke, or chronic diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson's disease. Other diseases that affect the bladder nerves or spinal cord could also cause urinary incontinence. Women may also become incontinent because of pregnancy, childbirth, hysterectomy, and men through prostate problems.
› How does my bladder work?
Your body stores urine in the bladder. During urination, muscles in the bladder tighten to move urine into the urethra – a tube below the bladder. At the same time, the muscles around the urethra relax and let the urine pass. Incontinence occurs if the urine leaves the bladder and urethra without you knowing or having any control.
› Are there different types of incontinence?
Yes, there are four main categories: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overflow incontinence and functional incontinence.
› Is there anything I can do to control my incontinence?
There are several simple things you can do including:
- Urinate regularly and don't delay having bowel movements.
- Monitor your fluid intake. Drink at least six to seven 8-oz glasses of water a day to keep your bladder healthy. When you drink less water, your urine is more concentrated and may irritate the lining of the urethra and bladder.
- Pay attention to your diet. A lot of things—including caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods (like tomatoes and citrus fruits) and drinks, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, hot spices and carbonated drinks—can irritate your bladder. Take time to learn what foods and drinks trigger your leakage and then remove them from your diet.
- Consider the weight factor. A 5% to 10% weight loss can help relieve the added pressure excess weight puts on your bladder and surrounding muscles and aid in controlling your incontinence.
- Practice pelvic floor muscles exercises, also known as Kegels, to strengthen the muscles that help control urination.
› If I have urinary incontinence, should I see my doctor?
Yes, and there’s no need to feel embarrassed – your doctor will be very familiar with your situation. Before going, it’s a good idea to keep a diary about how much fluid you drink and when you drink, how often you urinate, when you experience incontinence and under what circumstances (exercising, lifting something heavy, laughing, coughing or sneezing). If you're feeling embarrassed or find it difficult to talk with your doctor, write down your questions at home before you go to the doctor's office. You might even want to practice saying these questions out loud when you're alone. That will make it easier to say them during your appointment. Here are some questions you might consider:
- Could what I eat or drink cause bladder leakage?
- Could my medicines cause bladder leakage?
- What are the treatments to regain bladder control? Which one is best for me?
› What’s the best protection for bladder leakage?
Depend® have many products specifically designed to protect women and men. They’re made of super absorbent polymers (SAP) so they can absorb more fluids and prevent odours escaping. And our new style, cotton-like briefs look and feel just like ordinary underwear.
› How do I talk to my loved ones about incontinence?
First, choose a good time and place to talk. Look for a quiet, comfortable environment where you'll have privacy—and be sure to give yourselves enough time. Think about what you're going to say in advance. You'll want to explain the nature of your condition, why it has happened, how it affects you, and what treatment you're trying. Plan to give your loved ones a chance to ask questions. Experts say people with incontinence often overestimate how much the news will embarrass or upset their loved ones. Yet by trusting them enough to tell them, you could make your relationship much stronger than before.
› How do I manage incontinence at work?
- Use the right incontinence product. Modern incontinence solutions, like Depend® products, use super absorbent polymers (SAP) that lock in urine and hold more fluid so they're more protective. We have a comprehensive range of styles, sizes and absorbency levels designed to fit your needs and lifestyle. Use our product finder to find what suits you best.
- Avoid the caffeine or water. The caffeine in coffee makes it diuretic, which increases your need to go.
- Wear dark-coloured business attire. It's a timeless look, and it hides a multitude of things, including little stains.
- Practice pelvic floor exercises (Kegels). You can do these discretely without anyone knowing – even in meetings.
› I have a pretty active life. Do you have any tips for changing on the go?
Yes. Here are some simple things you can do to always make sure you're ready, no matter where you are.
- Carry a Spare. Our products are discrete enough to fit into your handbag or pocket.
- Keep plastic bags on hand for disposal. Get darker ones to mask what's inside if you need to dispose of it in public. You'll be able to find these bags, or special deodorized disposal bags, in most stores or online.
- Keep a couple of "emergency" changes in your glove box.
- Keep a gym bag full of essentials in your trunk.
- Set a schedule for regular changes
- Locate bathrooms ahead of time—especially in places you visit frequently. Planning ahead makes all the difference.
› What can I do to treat my urinary incontinence after prostate cancer surgery?
There are many things you can do—both large and small—to improve your symptoms after prostate cancer surgery. These include:
- Pelvic floor treatments. A popular set of exercises, called Kegel exercises, strengthens the muscles you squeeze when trying to stop urinating mid-stream. These exercises can be combined with biofeedback programs that help you train these muscles even better.
- Supportive care. This treatment includes behaviour modification, such as drinking fewer fluids, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, or spices and not drinking at bedtime. People are encouraged to urinate regularly and not wait until the last possible moment before doing so. In some people, losing weight may result in improved urinary control. Supportive care also involves changing medications that interfere with incontinence.
- Medication. A variety of medications can increase bladder capacity and decrease frequency of urination. In the near future, newer medications will become available to help stop some other forms of urinary leakage.
- Neuromuscular electrical stimulation. This treatment is used to retrain and strengthen weak urinary muscles and improve bladder control. With this treatment, a probe is inserted into the anus and a current is passed through the probe at a level below the pain threshold, causing a contraction. The patient is instructed to squeeze the muscles when the current is on. After the contraction, the current is switched off.
- Surgery, injections and devices. A number of techniques may improve bladder functions. These include:
- Artificial sphincter. This patient-controlled device is made of three parts: a pump, a pressure-regulating balloon, and a cuff that encircles the urethra and prevents urine from leaking. The use of the artificial sphincter can cure or greatly improve more than 70% to 80% of patients.
- Bulbourethral sling. For some types of leakage, a sling can be used. A sling is a device used to suspend and compress the urethra. It is made from synthetic material or from the patient's own tissue and is used to create the urethral compression necessary to achieve bladder control.
- Other surgery. Your doctor can also do a surgery that has helped some men. It involves placing rubber rings around the tip of the bladder to help hold urine.