Department of Health

Continence Products

If you suffer from poor bladder and bowel control (incontinence), or care for someone who does, you'll be pleased to know that there is a wide range of products to help you manage bladder or bowel leaks and accidents.

Some products are re-usable while others can be thrown away easily. It may be worthwhile sampling a product first to check if it will meet your needs. Often you can obtain free samples by contacting the product company and asking for a sample to be mailed to you.

Types of products currently available include:

  • Absorbent pads and pants
  • Absorbent bed sheets and chair covers
  • Condom drainage and catheters
  • Products to assist toileting

Caring for continence products

All incontinence products should tell you how to dispose of them on the product or its packaging. If the product is a reusable item there should be washing instructions included that explains how to hygienically clean them. Follow these instructions carefully at all times as the absorbency of the product may be changed if it is washed or dried using the wrong temperatures or washing products.

Be careful with drying temperatures and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Tumble-drying is often okay, but you should not over dry or use high temperatures. Air-drying is preferable in most cases (when possible) without putting it in direct heat. Ironing and dry-cleaning are usually not okay.

Where the manufacturer says that the product is for single use only, only use it once. You may not be able to clean the product well enough for safe re-use. Be very careful about this, particularly when products are being inserted into the body, like catheters. Some products such as leg bags may be emptied and used again, but make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions.

What can I do?

For more information about continence products talk to your doctor or a continence advisor, additionally you may be eligible for a range of help with costs. For further information see: