Small washable pads tend not to be widely used. Although some women may find them useful in some circumstances, they perform poorly in comparison with other products for light bladder leakage 1
Small washable pads are sometimes called 'insert pads', 'liners' or 'shields'. They are usually shaped and are made from reusable materials. They have waterproof backing, unless they are to be used in combination with other products.
They are designed to be worn close to the body and secured in place by close fitting stretch pants or underwear.
They are designed to be washed and reused up to approximately 100 times.
They are generally unpopular and there is evidence from research that they leak more than other pads for light bladder leakage 1
It can sometimes be difficult to keep a small washable pad securely in place. Mesh or stretch pants can be fiddly to use.
More robust stretch pants are available – you may find these hold the pad in place more securely.
Even though they can be difficult to keep securely in place, some women find small washable pads to be a discreet product.
It is hard to say if a small washable pad will work well for you without trying it.
These pads might be worth trying if you:
Have very light bladder leakage and would prefer a washable as opposed to disposable product
Want a pad ‘just in case’
Are in a situation where leakage of the pad doesn’t matter hugely (e.g. at home).
Click on People for help working out how heavily you leak.
Click on Pads for more information about washable pads and bowel leakage.
•Click on Faecal Devices for information about other suitable products for bowel leakage.
Women generally find small pads easy to manage. Small washable pads don’t have an adhesive strip or wings; however, they do need to be securely fastened in underwear if they are to stay in place.
You may be able to try putting the pad into a specially designed pouch pant but this can also be fiddly.
If you can stand, even for short periods then small washable pads can be quite easily put in place by a helper.
If you are lying in bed they can be put in place by a helper if you can roll from side to side.
They will be very hard to change in a sitting position unless you can lift your bottom off the chair and move from side to side lifting one buttock off the chair at a time. It might take some practice with you and your helper to find a system that works for you both.
These pads do not perform as well as the other pad designs for light bladder leakage so there is a high risk of leakage from the product.
If they are not secured in place they can move out of position which can be uncomfortable and make them more likely to leak.
The cover stock material is generally made out of polyester, a material regularly used in other clothes. However, like most fabrics you could have sensitivity to it.
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