Disposable pants are sometimes called ‘protective underwear’ or ‘pull-ups’. They are a popular design of pad for women.
Click on the purple tabs below for information about disposable pants.
Disposable pants were first introduced as a unisex product. More recently, different versions have been designed specifically for men or women. ‘Female’ disposable pants are now available in pretty flowery designs and colours.
Other features of disposable pants:
• Pull- up - disposable pants are put on in the same way as normal underwear which generally makes them easier to put on that e.g. an all-in-one pad.
• Tear strip - disposable pants can be torn down the side for easy removal without removing clothing.
• Elastication - some disposable pants are elasticated across the front and rear of the pant to give a close fit.
Generally, disposable pants perform well. They are the most popular pad design for women who prefer them to other pad designs (e.g. all-in-ones, T-shape pads) for use during the day and at night 1
However, they are relatively expensive. You may therefore wish to use them only when you need a very discreet pad e.g. during the day and / or when away from home, and use a cheaper disposable (or washable) pad at other times.
It is hard to say if disposable pants will work well for you without trying them. The leakage performance of this pad design is good and women tend to prefer them.
Click on Amount for help estimating how much you leak.
Disposable pants are available in several different sizes and absorbencies. It is a good idea to start with the least absorbent pant and see if that works for you before moving to the higher absorbency pant if you need to.
Disposable pants get bulkier as the absorbency increases so you want to find the right balance of absorbency and discreetness that works for you.
You will need your waist and/or hip measurement to find the right size pant. To give the pants the best chance of working effectively they need to be comfortable and fit well.
Disposable pants may be suitable for you if you have bowel leakage or combined bladder and bowel leakage.
However, they do have a waterproof backing necessary for bladder leakage but not usually necessary for more solid bowel leakage.
Click on Pads for guidance about pads for bowel leakage.
Click on Faecal Devices for information about other products for bowel leakage.
If you have good use of your hands and can stand, even for short periods, you should find disposable pants easy to put on. They are pulled on and removed in a similar way to normal underwear.
A disadvantage of pant-style pads is that when you change them you may have to remove your lower clothing. Alternatively you can tear the pants down the side seams and wrap them like a pad for disposal.
Disposable pants are relatively easy for a helper to change if necessary. This is easier if you can stand. However, even if you are lying in bed, large disposable pants can be put in place by a helper if you can lift your bottom off the bed.
All types of pads are 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.
Guides to fitting pads are usually available on the manufacturer’s website and on the pad packets.
Putting on disposable pants may involve removing lower clothing. Disposable pants can be removed by tearing the strips down the side and rolling them like a standard pad. Taking them off also requires removal of lower clothing.
Some people find that they are allergic to some of the materials that disposable pads are made of and find that they have to stop using them.
Occasionally women also find that they can experience chafing or rubbing from raised or elasticated parts of the pad.
As with all pads there is always the possibility of leakage beyond the pad onto clothes or furniture; no pad is guaranteed to contain leakage completely all the time. You will need to work out the most effective product or combination of products for you.
Large disposable pants
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