The fundamental definition of absorbency is a material’s ability to soak up and hold a liquid. When it comes to the liners, pads, underwear and under pads you use to manage bladder leakage, absorbency is clearly a critical attribute. You want to be sure leaks are locked up, but you also want to feel as dry and fresh as possible.
A healthy adult bladder can hold up to 2 cups of urine. But the level of protection you need is highly personal and can vary day to day, even event to event, based on the type of incontinence you experience. Not all products—including those billed as “leakproof underwear”—absorb leaks at the same rate or in the same amount. So for your specific needs, you’ll probably want to choose products that come in a range of options—covering from light to heavy protection—as well as offer an effective absorptive core.
What you choose to use when you’re at your desk for the afternoon might be different than what you wear to yoga class. Underwear worn under work clothing can absorb more liquid. A liner is good for lighter, unexpected leaks but will need to be changed more frequently. In any case, you want to be sure you have the level of absorbency suitable to your situation so that you worry less about leaks and can stay focused on other things. And when it’s time to turn in, the use of larger absorbent under pads on bedding can offer extra overnight reassurance that ups your odds of getting a good night’s sleep.
Ultimately, you can think of absorbency not as a product feature but more as an overall strategy you customize based on your changing needs. Some days—maybe when you know you’ll need to make it through a long meeting or night at the movies—you’ll want the extra protection and capacity. Other times you might prefer using liners or pads—better options when you’re more active. Always pack some extras, along with personal cleansing wipes, to help keep you fresh and dry anywhere. Decide what options work best for your situation every day and you’re sure to enjoy more comfortable, confident days and nights.