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What’s the Difference Between Bladder Pads and Booster Pads?

November 11, 2021

What’s the Difference Between Bladder Pads and Booster Pads?

With so many incontinence products on the market, knowing which ones to use can be overwhelming. Many products are similar, and it can be challenging to choose the right one for your specific condition. Booster pads and Bladder pads are very comparable and often confused, but they serve very different purposes. 

What are bladder pads? 

Bladder pads are disposable absorbent pads that resemble sanitary napkins (pads used for menstrual periods). They fit inside your regular underwear or special underwear designed to keep them in place. Most have adhesive backing. Male guards, a pad shaped for the male anatomy, also fall into this category.

When should I use them? 

In years past, bladder pads were designed for people who experience light to moderate incontinence. This is often referred to as stress incontinence or a little leak or dribble when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. These products typically hold 2 to 8 oz. of liquid. However, as absorbent technology has advanced, there are now more and more options available. Most of the products you find in stores, including overnight pads, typically hold 12-18 oz. of liquid. An example of this pad is the Prevail Ultimate Absorbency pad, which is out best selling pad.

Bladder pads tend to be a little more convenient and should be changed frequently to prevent overflow. There are products like Abena® Abri-San and Prevail® Pant Liner (not pantiliners) that can hold as much as, if not more than, a pull-up or diaper product. These products are better for people who have a hard time finding a full coverage product that fits or who experience skin irritation from reduced airflow in full protective underwear.

What are Booster Pads? 

Booster pads, also referred to as doublers or flowthrough pads, are changeable inserts used inside full coverage products (like a pull-up or diaper). They feature a flow-through design that allows the booster pad to fill up to capacity first, and then pass additional fluid to the brief or disposable absorbent underwear (or other absorbent product with a moisture-proof backing). They should never be used alone as they do not have protective backing. Booster pads provide new or added protection without having to completely change the pull-up or protective underwear. Like pads, they are easy to use and dispose. 

When should I use them? 

Booster pads have different absorbencies and shapes for different needs. They are an ideal product to use when you are out and about, as they are changed like a bladder pad without having to completely undress to change your full coverage product. Another feature of booster pads, unlike bladder pads, is that they can be stacked to give even more protection. They are also ideal for individuals with mobility issues or, for other reasons, cannot regularly change their incontinence garments.  

Aren’t Period Pads the same thing? 

Simply put, urine and periods are not the same types of body fluid, so the products to control them are not the same either. While both wick away moisture and odor from the body, incontinence pads are specifically designed to hold urine. Urine has a different consistency and leaves the body much faster, so a menstrual pad typically cannot absorb fast enough to capture the liquid. While it may be tempting just to grab a pack of maxi pads at the convenience store, it could turn out to be a big (and embarrassing) inconvenience not using the proper protection. 

If you have questions about which incontinence products are right for you, please call the knowledgeable Product Experts at Rely Medical Supply  toll-free at 1-888-529-2308. Our phones are answered Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Standard Time by our helpful and compassionate Product Experts. They are specially trained to help you select the right products for your personal needs, so you can stay comfortable, clean, and dry. 




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