More on Pee and Why Bladder Control Pads are Better Than Period Pads

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my full disclosure.)


I got a few comments on my Pee! Panties! Poise! post asking, why a pad specifically for bladder control? What’s the difference between a bladder control pad and a pad used for a period?

Not all pads are created equal. Why using a pad designed for your period for bladder leakage might not be a good idea | Period Pads vs Bladder Control Pads: What's the Difference? via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

I didn’t have an answer so I decided to figure it out. I was honestly expecting to find out it was a bunch of propaganda spewed by companies selling bladder control products to get people to buy something that wasn’t totally necessary, so I searched for an answer from an unbiased source. The following explanation is from the Women’s Incontinence page of the National Incontinence website; however, each brand website I visited essentially stated the same thing:

The main difference between the two pads is the type of fluid they’re meant to absorb. Menstrual pads are designed to absorb menstrual flow, which comes out much slower than urine. Bladder control pads, on the other hand, are designed to absorb the rapid dispersion of urine. They’re made with polymer fabrics that pull moisture away from the skin so that you stay dry, comfortable, and odor-free. Bladder control pads neutralize acidic urine, which can cause skin rashes if left unchanged. Some incontinence pads, such as Prevail Pads, feature a special gel that prevents skin infections caused by long exposure to urine.

So although you may be tempted to use sanitary napkins to help with urinary leakage, they won’t offer the same level of protection and comfort as incontinence pads.

Have you ever experienced a pad bulking up on you if it absorbed something other than your period? I have. Now I know why. And I will also throw it out there that things did get a bit itchy if I couldn’t change the pad right away. (Gross, but I’m trying to be honest.) I’m going to be rethinking my liner/pad of choice if I get pregnant again.Not all pads are created equal. Why a pad designed for your period might not be the best for bladder control issues. | Bladder Control Pads vs Period Pads: What's the Difference? via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

Poise isn’t the only brand out there. I grabbed it because I saw that brand being promoted more than others. Maybe it was the fact they used Kirstie Alley as a spokesperson versus a Jane Doe? I don’t know. Here are the other brands I looked into for this post:

  • Poise seems to be a leading brand — check out how you can #RecycleYourPeriodPad! (as much as I’d love a fluffy frame, I still need my pads, but this was a good chuckle).
  • Always sells period pads, but also has a line for those with bladder control issues, called Always Discreet.
  • JustGoGirl sells pads for those who experience incontinence when exercising. I’d never heard of them before, so I thought I’d pass on their info.
  • Depend underwear — For some reason I thought they also sold pads for women, but it turns out they only have them for men (actually they use manly words such as “guards” and “shields” instead of “pads”). Their website also had a bunch of useful information about incontinence.

And here are some products I didn’t know existed until I started researching (please note I didn’t research these, but I’ve included the links in case you want to):

  • Poise Impressa: a tampon-like product that helps stop bladder leaks before they happen!
  • Vaginal Weights: from the sound of it, insert the weight into your vagina and do your Kegels!
  • Kegelmaster: this thing looks like a vibrator but opes up to apply pressure to your vaginal walls while you do your kegels. It’s also supposed to heighten sexual pleasure, so WIN! (I guess?)

I didn’t find anything saying you can’t wear a Lady Time liner or pad for the occasional leakage, so if it’s working for you I say great! I can see how it wouldn’t make sense to buy a totally different product for something that happens only a handful of times a month. This is my first time using a product for incontinence, so I really can’t say which brand I prefer. And of course the days I’ve actually remembered to wear a liner have been the days I haven’t had a leakage issue, so I can’t vouch for how the product is working for me so far, though I do love knowing my panties are protected just in case while I’m over here sneezing and coughing up a lung as various viruses take their toll on us this winter.



18 thoughts on “More on Pee and Why Bladder Control Pads are Better Than Period Pads

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad I looked into it. It’s good to know there IS a reason why two different kinds of liners/pads are sold.

  1. I have found a few different posts saying that for urine leakage it is best not to use sanitary pads. I was wondering about the other way round. I have quite heavy periods and do not like the slim or winged towels that are taking over the shelves. Can urine pads / pants be used for menstrual times?

    • Ugh, I can’t stand the winged pads! I’ve also noticed an increase of them on the shelves and I’m not to thrilled about it either!

      My guess is that if a period pad isn’t ideal for urine leakage then the ones for leakage aren’t idea for your period. I haven’t tried it though :o/

      • This post is old but I thought I’d weigh in. I have horrible periods sometimes lasting several months non stop and super heavy. Even 12-13 inch long pass didn’t help much when my flow wants to go off to the side or shoot up my back (I know, gross!) I recently tried Depend underwear which helps a lot but a bit uncomfy around my upper thigh area, about to try Prevail. Anyway just wanted to say they help me a lot! Not sure about just pads but the briefs work great.

    • I’m on vacation and was in the store with my guy cousins and had to pick up some pads so I just grabbed the first “Always” package I saw. Well I am home now going to bed and just realized that the package I bought was for “sensitive bladder protection” and not periods so I will let you know how they work as period pads. But of man do I feel dumb for not reading the package in the store haha

        • Alrighty, so the results are that they do actually work. You can use a bladder protection pad in place of an actual period pad. However, it does soak in differently. Period fluid doesn’t get absorbed into the urine pad as well as it would a regular one. It’s a lot slower. But other than that, it worked just the same! A little bulkier than the normal pad, but nonetheless it works! Haha! So if anyone ever accidentally buys the wrong pads while at the store in a rush, don’t worry, they work just the same!

  2. I have recently started using poise tampons. I have to say for me it didn’t work. I tried the 3 sizes, they work great with the leaks but unfortunately it takes away the good and the bad. It hurted me, the first time I had to removed one it was bloody and it continue happening. I decided to stop using them I used them for 3 weeks to be sure it was the tampons that were making me bleed. I haven’t used them in 4 weeks but I have the daily spotting, I made a doctors appointment just to have it checked. Do any of you have anything positive or negative to say about Poise the tampons?

    • Oh my! That doesn’t sound pleasant at all. Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience on the Poise Tampons 🙁 To be honest, I’m a little nervous about putting something up there when I’m not on my period. You’ve got me wondering what other women have thought of them, so hopefully someone will read your comment and weigh in!

      I hope your doctor has some answers for you!

  3. There are period panties designed for heavy bleeding and incontinence. I have a set during my heavy-flow days for menstruation. I insert a reusable menstrual cup though for stronger support.

  4. Would love to know if anyone has found a dual purpose pad. I am post-menopausal but have recently started HRT and am having issues. I have pretty bad stress incontinence. I have had a cold for over a week and every time I cough you know what happens. I have tried incontinence pads and they don’t absorb the blood and when I use menstrual pads a couple of coughs and I’ve wet my underwear.

  5. I seem to be allergic to every menstrual pad I have tried. I don’t know if this allergy just started or if they all started using some new ingredient/material. I accidentally picked up incontinence pads at the store, and I wasn’t allergic. I use the medium absorbency. They work great. Even before the allergy I always have problems with leakage at night. The incontinence pads are more cup shaped, and I have had no night time leaks. So, yeah, they work great, and if you find yourself allergic or sensitive to regular menstrual pads try the incontinence pads.

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