Is There a Difference Between Incontinence Pads and Menstrual Pads?

Unfortunately, many women with incontinence decide to use sanitary pads to control their incontinence. For some women, this is due to the fact they don’t know what products to use. For others, it is the embarrassment of being seen buying and using incontinence products.

Menstruation is becoming less and less of a taboo topic and it is considered normal for women to buy pads. However, with incontinence still seen as an awkward and taboo subject, finding the right products can be difficult. Today we’re going to discuss the difference between incontinence pads and menstrual pads.

Absorbent Polymers

The absorption level and rate of incontinence and menstrual pads differs wildly. Incontinence pads feature super absorbent polymer fibres that allow the pads to absorb fluid more quickly and efficiently. Even a small number of these fibres offer excellent absorbency. These fibres can also absorb and retain a large amount of liquid relative to their own mass. Finally, super absorbent polymer fibres absorb liquid at an extremely high speed, which is important for incontinence.

In comparison, the flow of menstruation is much slower than incontinence. As a result, menstruation pads feature a lower absorption power. While some menstruation pads claim to manage incontinence as well, most are only capable of holding 50-100ml. So it is cheaper to buy incontinence pads in the long run.

Incontinence Pads Help Prevent Infections

If your incontinence is not managed properly, it can lead to long term health issues. From urinary tract infections and renal disorders to skin irritation and pressure sores, you need to manage your condition carefully. Menstrual pads do not protect the skin against urine, putting you at a higher risk of infection.

Odour Control

In menstruation pads, the deodorant in them masks the odour. This does not always work for urine. Incontinence pads pull urine away from the skin and neutralises the pH levels. This not only eliminates odours but can also help prevent against skin irritation.


Incontinence pads are designed with a top sheet and distribution layers specifically for the rapid flow of urine. Menstrual pads, however, have an open design for thick liquids. Further, the top layers of menstrual pads are porous, allowing the gradual blood loss to be pulled away. In incontinence pads, the distribution layers work to quickly wick fluid away, keeping you dry.

Elastic Barriers

Incontinence pads utilise an elastic barrier that is made of a non-woven material with elastic inside. As a result, this helps prevent leakage onto the skin, which ensures better skin health. Further, the non-woven material prevents contact with the poly edges.

Menstrual pads, on the other hand, do not feature elastic which means they are less effective for preventing leakage.

While you may be tempted to use menstrual pads to help with bladder leakage. However, they don’t offer the same level of protection as bladder control pads. Generally, they are not going to keep your skin dry or prevent odour issues.

If your incontinence is not managed properly, it can lead to longer-term health risks, such as urinary tract infections, renal disorders, skin irritation, and pressure sores. As a result, wearing the wrong product can also cause more harm and emotional distress. It is important to wear the right incontinence products, like incontinence pads, to maintain your confidence and prevent embarrassing leaks.

Finally, using the right product has an enormous positive impact on your quality of life. By seeking out menstrual pads, instead of incontinence products, you are missing out on optimum protection by dodging incontinence products.

Looking for the right incontinence pads for you? Holistic Incontinence has pads available in a variety of sizes, lengths and absorbencies. Explore our online store, today, and enjoy our discreet shipping!