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Best Way to Choose Women's Bladder Control Pads

Posted by Brianna Maguire on Dec 17th 2019

If you experience light to moderate incontinence and need a light, discreet solution that supports your everyday lifestyle, women's bladder control pads could be just what you're looking for. Cloth-like backing prevents noise, so you never have to worry that people know you're wearing a pad. Similar to the shape and fit of a menstrual pad, these are more absorbent and capture quicker liquids. Specially formulated technology absorbs moisture and keeps it away from the skin, making sure your skin stays healthy and odor-free.

Learn about:


What are women's pads?

Women's bladder control pads are an absorbent incontinence product that rests inside existing underwear to capture leaks. With an adhesive strip on the back, these attach to underwear and look similar to a menstrual pad.


Who should use bladder control pads?

Women’s pads are ideal for women that:

  • Have light to moderate incontinence, or light bladder leakage
  • Women with stress incontinence
  • Lead a relatively active lifestyle
  • Are caring for themselves
  • Prefer the style of menstrual pads
  • Have uniquely shaped bodies and can’t wear an incontinence product over their stomach
  • Are too large for a pull-up but don’t like the style of a diaper with tabs
  • Want more breathability

Who shouldn't use these products?

Women’s pads are not a good fit for:

  • Men
  • Someone who is severely incontinent
  • Those that are bedbound or have low mobility
  • Those looking for more all-around protection (over the belly and back)
  • Those looking for menstrual pads

How do they work?

Women's pads contain super-absorbent polymers (tiny beads) that trap moisture and lock it away from skin. Ranging from very light absorbencies - perfect for occasional leaks like from sneezes - to overnight protection, these incontinence pads provide protection without being very bulky. Since liquid is turned into a gel, these pads eliminate odor, so no one ever has to know you're wearing a pad.


Can I put a women's pad inside of a diaper?

You should NEVER put a pad inside of a diaper, unless it’s a booster pad.

Since bladder pads have a plastic backing, incontinence will not soak through to the diaper or pull-up. Instead, urine will leak out of the sides of the product, meaning more messes, and more laundry.

The first thing you should do if you want a boost of protection is look for a higher absorbency. Our pull-ups and tab-style diapers come in extremely absorbent capacities, so you never really need a booster pad.

If you’re going to put a pad inside a pull-up or tab-style diaper, though, you should always use a booster pad, not a regular incontinence pad. Booster pads do not have a plastic backing, meaning that incontinence can pass through the pad and into the pull-up or diaper.

Need a recommendation or have more questions? Call us at 855-855-1666 for help.


What features exist?

Elastic leg guards

Leg guards are strips of fabric inside the pad that hug the body for better fit and leakage protection.

Range of Thickness

Pads come in various absorbencies and thicknesses. In general, the more absorbent a pad is, the bulkier it is, and the thinner, more discreet pads tend to be less absorbent. However, because pads don't have sides or waistbands, they're generally the most discreet incontinence products - even the bulkier ones.

Feminine colors and designs

While the design of pads isn't typically visible as it is with pull-ups, many women's pads come in feminine packaging and colors, more closely resembling the menstrual products you're likely used to using.

Odor-guarding properties

Most of our bladder pads feature properties that stop odors, so no one ever has to know you're wearing a pad. The polymers, or microbeads, in many pads are pH balanced, meaning they counteract the odor-causing particles in ammonia.

Range of Length

Women's pads come in different lengths to fit your needs. In general, larger women will prefer a longer pad. Since longer pads offer a little more protection up the back and front, those with heavier incontinence needs should also look for a longer pad.


How do I choose?

  1. Figure out which features are the most important to you. Prefer the look and feel of a menstrual pad? Go for a more feminine packaging and design. Want a little more peace of mind? Look for a longer pad.
  2. Determine what absorbency is best for your needs. For occasional light leaks, a low absorbency is likely fine, but if you’re looking for some overnight protection, you’ll want a higher absorbency.
  3. Decide what size you’ll need. Unlike pull-ups and tab-style diapers, pad sizes are just about the length. A longer pad typically means it’s more absorbent, while smaller pads are more comfortable and discreet.
  4. Still can’t decide? Call our friendly Care Team at 855-855-1666. We’re product experts and we love to help!

Carewell Recommendations

When it comes to women’s pads, our customers love brands like TENA, Prevail, and Abena. 

For overnight incontinence, we recommend:

Perfect for heavy daytime protection or overnight needs, this pad can even protect against some bowel incontinence.


For moderate incontinence, we recommend:

These pads feature quick-wicking technology that soaks up moisture and leaves you feeling dry. With a built-in odor guard, you can feel discreet and confident.


For light protection, we recommend:

Ultra-thin and discreet, these TENA pads protect you from leaks, odor, and wetness, and hardly feel like they’re there at all.


Brittany's Pro-Tip

Never use a menstrual pad when what you need is a bladder pad. Since menstruation is much slower, menstrual pads cannot capture urinary incontinence. In other words, you'll leak!

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