Disposable pouches are pocket-shaped pads which the penis fits into. They are one of two male-specific pad designs (the other is the leaf design).
Click on the purple tabs below for information about large washable pads and all-in-ones.
Disposable pouches are held in place by close-fitting underwear.
Like many other small disposable pads, most pouches have an adhesive strip on the back to help secure them to underwear.
Disposable pouches have been found to perform worse than each of the other pad designs for men with light bladder leakage 1
They can be difficult to keep in place.
The penis can easily slip out, and if you have a shortened penile length or penile retraction they are unlikely to be useful.
Once they are wet, it can be difficult to re-insert the penis as the absorbent pad swells up and effectively ‘closes’ the opening to the pocket.
It is hard to say if a pouch will work well for you without trying it, but if you have light or occasional incontinence and have good use of your hands then a pouch might suit you.
Some manufacturers of disposable products will send you free samples in the post for you to try. Look out for advertisements in magazines and on the internet and you can ‘try before you buy’.
Click on Amount for help working out how heavily you leak.
Pouches are usually only available in a few absorbencies. You will find that it is best to start with the lowest absorbency, if necessary you can then increase the absorbency until the pouch is right for you.
However, as the absorbency increases so does the thickness and sometimes the size and bulk of the pouch.
Click on Pads for more information about washable pads and bowel leakage.
Click on Faecal Devices for more information about which products work well if you have bowel leakage.
Some men do find pouches fiddly and if you have problems with your hands you may find it tricky to put your penis into the pouch.
This can be a particular problem once the pouch is wet, for example if you are using a toilet whilst you are out.
The adhesive strip on the back can be tricky to remove from your underwear if you have any problems with your hands or grip.
If you are dependent on a helper/carer for fitting and changing your pouches, you will have to consider finding a pad that suits you and is easy to change.
Pouches can be quite easily put into place by a helper/carer.
Guides to fitting pouches are usually available on the manufacturer’s website.
Some people find that they are allergic to some of the materials that disposable pouches are made of and find that they have to stop using them.
They easily move out of position and therefore there is a high risk of leakage onto clothing.
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