Incontinence pads

Incontinence pads

Leaking urine is common after prostate cancer surgery. It usually happens  for a week or so after the urinary tube (catheter) is removed. 

Talk to your specialist nurse, public health nurse or a pharmacist about getting a supply of male continence pads. Make sure you have a supply at home before the catheter is removed. Pads vary in size and absorbency and you may use a different one during the day than at night. They fit best into neat, almost tight underpants (Y-fronts). Read the tips below and talk to your urology nurse or public health nurse for advice.

Where do I get pads?

  • Pharmacies. Most pharmacies can provide a supply of pads. They may need to order them in for you. It's best to talk to the pharmacy staff to find which one suits your needs. 
  • Online. Lots of pharmacy and medical supply websites have pads for sale online. 
  • Public health nurse. If you have a medical card your public health nurse may be able to get the pads for you. Ring your local health centre to find out. 

Getting advice: You may be able to get advice about how to cope with urinary leakage from your public health nurse or a continence advisor at your local HSE health centre.

How do I choose the right pad?

  • The size, shape and absorbency of pads varies. Try out different types until you find the one that suits you best. A lot of men find ‘Level 3’ mens' pads give the best protection after prostate cancer surgery.
  • Some companies produce a male pouch-style pad alongside a larger pad.
  • Net pants are available from pad suppliers – these can help to keep your pad securely in place. Supportive underpants can work too. 
  • Wear the smallest size pad that you need. Using a pad that absorbs more than you need can lead to sore skin, as the pads contain a substance which can dry out the skin. 
  • As your leakage reduces you can wear a smaller pad that holds less.
  • More absorbent pads are also available for heavier leakage or for night-time.
  • Bed protectors are also available if you are concerned about leakage at night time.
  • At this time you may find it easier to wear loose trousers, which are not as restrictive as regular trousers.

Caring for your skin

  • Wash the area with warm, non-perfumed soapy water.  Try to use a liquid soap with an in built moisturiser, if possible.
  • Rinse and pat your skin dry – avoid rubbing the skin. 
  • Use an appropriate absorbent pad that keeps the urine away from your skin. 
  • Use a pad that is right for the amount of leakage that you have. Using a pad that absorbs more than you need may make your skin dry. 
  • If you develop any rash or redness of the skin, use a water-based protective skin cream and talk to your doctor or public health nurse.

For more information

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1800 200 700

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