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Incontinence Support Blog

Catheter Alternatives

Posted by Mens Liberty

May 21, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Catheters can be a good alternative for men dealing with urinary incontinence. If you are tired of inconvenient adult diapers and incontinence pads, but not sure what else is available, learn more here.

Types of catheters

Catheters can be external or indwelling. Much like the names suggest, indwelling catheters are placed inside the body. A thin, hollow tube is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder where it can drain urine. If you have ever had surgery, this is most likely the kind your doctor used. Another type of indwelling catheter, the Foley catheter, can be used longer term, up to a month. This type of catheter differs in that in uses a balloon to remain in place. The bag used with the catheter can be emptied when full.

External catheters are placed outside of the body, often covering the penis in the same way a condom does. Urine is collected in a bag that is attached to the catheter and, as with the indwelling catheter, is emptied when full.

Indwelling catheters can encourage bacterial growth that leads to infection. Prolonged moisture on the skin, common with external catheters, can lead to rashes and irritation.

Men’s Liberty offers another option. An external collection system with significantly less risk for rash and urinary tract infection. This type of external catheter is effective for all male anatomy, regardless of size. You can even use it effectively whether or not you have been circumcised. Our patented system attaches to the tip of the penis using a skin friendly adhesive. Enjoy worry free days and nights with no fear of pop-offs or leaks. Apply once and day and conveniently empty the attached urine collection bag whenever you need to.

Men’s Liberty is easy and painless to apply. It is also discreet, so no one will even know you are wearing it, even under shorts. We designed Men’s Liberty with your freedom, convenience and dignity in mind. Use it to get back to the things you enjoy without the distraction of incontinence.

Men’s Liberty may be available to you with little to no out of pocket costs. Our product is covered by many insurance plans including Medicare and Tricare. Standard deductibles and co-pays apply.

If you are looking for a way to be free of diapers and lower your risk of rash or infection, try Men’s Liberty. With over 4 million units used by men around the world maybe Men’s Liberty is right for you too.

 

How to Apply An External Catheter

Posted by Mens Liberty

May 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM

External catheters are easy to use. With Men’s Liberty you can apply the catheter and achieve a secure seal in just a few minutes, regardless of the size of your anatomy. Use the following tips and instructions to apply for up to 24 hours of worry free wear day or night.

Start with a non-moisturizing soap

Use a mild cleanser such as Ivory or gold bar Dial soap to prepare the skin. Soaps without moisturizers are best because they will not reduce the effectiveness of the adhesive. Our skin friendly, secure adhesive protects you against irritation. Avoid using moisturizing soaps or lotions on or around the penis or hands when applying the Men’s Liberty external catheter. Be sure your skin is completely dry before beginning application.

No need to measure

No need to worry about getting the right size. Men’s Liberty is designed to fit men of all sizes. Our system also works for men with circumcised and retracted penises.

Place the catheter

Apply the catheter to the head of the penis. Men’s Liberty is designed for successful use whether or not you have been circumcised, and regardless of size. Follow these steps:

Wash the penis thoroughly with non-moisturizing soap (we recommend Ivory or Gold Dial Gold bar).

Dry the penis completely and apply BioPlus+ wipe. Allow 20 seconds for the skin to dry.

Position Men’s Liberty so that the vent is facing up. Align the center opening of the circular tube and petals with your urinary opening.

Remove release papers around the petals and attach the faceplate to the tip of the penis. The center opening should be directly in line with the urinary opening. Smooth down the petals.

Position the faceplate strip under the tip of the penis and center in the middle. Remove the adhesive backing and ensure the edge is over both the end of the clear circular tube and the tip of the penis.

Wrap the strip around each side taking care that it remains flat and smooth. Use your fingers to push the ridges and grooves so there are no air pockets. Press and hold in place for 10 to 15 seconds to secure the seal.

Men’s Liberty is easy to remove, too. We recommend applying FreeDerm to gently lift the seal or a warm washcloth to moisten the seal until it is milky white and rolls gently away from the skin.

Although Men’s Liberty is designed for hours of worry free wear, it should be removed and reapplied daily. Most men find it easy to apply after their daily shower or bath. Our hydrocolloid seal directs urine away from the skin and keeps you dry. Enjoy protection from embarrassing accidents, odors and irritation all day and all night.

External catheters offer the convenience of self-application for many users. Caregivers can easily apply Men’s Liberty as well. There is no need for assistance from a healthcare professional.

With a little practice, you can apply Men’s liberty in less than 2 minutes, which is just about the same amount of  time it takes to put on an adult diaper. Unlike adult diapers or incontinence pads, Men’s Liberty offers protection that is comfortable and gives you confidence. Our discreet system is designed to protect you from leaks, irritation and odors. Why not try Men’s Liberty today?

Benefits of External Catheters

Posted by Mens Liberty

May 15, 2018 10:19:58 AM

Urinary incontinence should not keep you from the activities you normally enjoy. There are many options available for UI and we recommend finding the best fit for your lifestyle. Options, such as external catheters, offer you more freedom and flexibility.

What is an external catheter?

Unlike internal catheters, which are placed inside the body, external catheters are applied outside of the body. Depending on the type of internal catheter, placement is often made by a medical professional. You may also be instructed by your healthcare provider on how to insert the catheter on your own.  Men’s Liberty is different. We have developed an external collection system that is easy and painless to apply. You get comfortable, long-wear protection, even at night.

Why consider an external catheter?

External catheters eliminate two of the biggest worries of incontinence, accidents and odor. They’re also discreet. Unlike adult diapers, external catheters create no bulk under clothing and don’t require frequent changing. Simply empty the urine collection bag whenever needed. Men’s Liberty external catheter:

Eliminates worry about odor – unlike with adult diapers or incontinence pads, urine is collected securely. Complete containment means no worries about odor.

Be accident free –  our secure, skin friendly adhesive gives you a secure seal. Leave the fear of running to the bathroom in a panic behind you. Sleep all night without bathroom trips or wet sheets.

Discreet – external catheters offer reliable protection without crinkle, odor or bulk. Apply with confidence and without fear that anyone will know.

Easy to apply – our external catheter can be easily applied once a day by the wearer or caregiver. No medical professional or special instruction is required.

Easy to change – caregivers don’t have to worry about lifting as with diapers. Men’s Liberty is easy to apply, easy to empty and easy to remove.

Reduced risk of infection – indwelling catheters have been associated with increased risk of infection and UTI. Use of an external catheter carries very little risk of infection.

Skin friendly – condom catheters can cause skin irritation, rash and discomfort. Men’s Liberty has developed a skin-friendly, proprietary adhesive that is secure yet gentle.

 Affordable – Adult diapers can be costly. External catheters are covered by most insurance plans including Tricare and Medicare. With benefits, you may qualify for Men’s Liberty with little to no out of pocket cost. Standard deductibles and co-pays apply.

Comfortable – External catheters have none of the discomfort associated with insertion that some internal catheters have. Since they direct urine away from the skin they also keep you dry and free of irritation.

 If you are managing urinary incontinence you want choices that protect your freedom and independence. You can enjoy your normal activities without fear of accidents or worry about odor and discomfort. Men’s Liberty is designed with these goals in mind. Give us a call to learn more about how our external catheter can help you have more peace of mind.

The Best Alternatives to Adult Diapers For Men

Posted by Mens Liberty

May 10, 2018 10:58:41 AM

 If you are managing incontinence, there are alternatives to adult diapers that preserve your dignity, freedom and your budget. Read on to learn about best alternatives for worry free incontinence management.

Treat Male Urinary Incontinence (UI) with lifestyle changes

Proactive behavioral strategies can reduce or eliminate problems of urinary incontinence. These include:

  • Losing weight – undue pressure on the bladder can cause stress incontinence.
  • Tweak diet – spicy and acidic foods can irritate the bladder thus worsening incontinence.
  • Manage fluid intake – time and space your fluid intake so you don’t overwhelm your bladder. Reduce alcoholic beverage intake.
  • Manage stress – chronic stress contributes to urinary incontinence.
  • Quit smoking – smoking also contributes to urinary incontinence.
  • Practice Kegel exercise – Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscle and urinary sphincter to improve bladder function
  • Double voiding – urinate twice within a few minutes to completely empty your bladder
  • Talk with your healthcare provider – gather and share as much information as you can about the symptoms and patterns or your incontinence for the most useful advice.

Not all types of urinary incontinence can relieved with behavioral changes. No matter the cause or duration of urinary incontinence Men’s Liberty is an excellent alternative for men to adult diapers.

Why Men’s Liberty?

Unlike with adult diapers, you stay dry 24/7 – Men’s Liberty directs urine away from the skin and features a latex free, hypoallergenic adhesive. That means better protection from rash or irritation common with diapers and condom catheters.

Reduced risk of urinary tract infection – Unlike the Foley catheter, Men’s Liberty is completely external to the body, so you don’t have as much risk of infection.

Discreet – Use Men’s Liberty without worry about bulkiness or bunching under clothing. You won’t have to worry about crinkling noises or odors either. Men’s Liberty offers long lasting protection for all day and all night comfort.

Cost – Disposable adult diapers are costly and cause environmental harm over time. Cloth adult diapers consume valuable time with laundering. Men’s Liberty offers a freeing option. You can enjoy the convenience of Men’s Liberty with little or no out of pocket cost with insurance coverage.

Convenience – Men’s Liberty is easy to apply. That’s a benefit for caregivers and users alike. No more wet linen, struggling to change diapers throughout the day or carrying a change bag everywhere.

Men’s Liberty offers a skin saving alternative to adult diapers. Our easy to apply, long wear design provides worry free protection from leaks and accidents. Regain your dignity and freedom with Men’s Liberty. Give us a call today to get started.

Alzheimer’s and Incontinence

Posted by Mens Liberty

May 3, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Alzheimer’s disease, a common form of dementia, is a result of plaque build-up that destroys brain tissue. Many men with an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis also have incontinence.  Here’s what you need to know.

Be a detective

Urinary incontinence is not an inevitable fact of Alzheimer’s.  If incontinence becomes a concern there are some things you can do to improve outcomes.

Look for causes and clues:

  • Medications – certain medications can worsen or induce urinary incontinence or UI.
  • Infections – urinary tract infections are linked to incontinence.
  • Cumbersome clothing – if you or a loved one is managing UI opt for clothing that is easy to manipulate and remove.
  • Memory – Later stages of Alzheimer’s may make remembering where the bathroom is located difficult. Do what you can to make the bathroom stand out more. Ideas include leaving the door open or the light on at night.
  • Constipation – aim for adequate fiber and fluid intake. Constipation can contribute to incontinence.
  • Poor mobility – declining motor skills may make it difficult to comfortably get to or use the toilet. Remove any obstacles or items likely to cause a spill along the path to the bathroom. Use bars, raised seating and other supports to make toileting safer and easier.
  • Establish patterns – notice when accidents typically happen and offer prompts to toilet in advance.
  • Prostate health – problems with prostate can lead to incontinence. Talk with your healthcare provider for treatment of prostate problems.
  • Inability to recognize the need to urinate – again, offer prompts if the ability to notice the need to void become apparent.

Managing incontinence can be stressful and requires patience and creativity for everyone involved. What’s most important to remember is that UI can be managed. Millions of men are living active lives with urinary incontinence. New options, such as Men’s Liberty, are making it easier even with Alzheimer’s disease to do so with more dignity, freedom and confidence.

Obesity and Urinary Incontinence

Posted by Mens Liberty

May 2, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Obesity is often a cause or contributing factor to urinary incontinence. Extra weight means undue pressure on the muscles of the pelvic floor, which can cause urine to leak and incontinence

What’s going on?

Pressure from extra weight causes an urge to urinate even when the bladder is not full. Moreover, obesity increases the risk of chronic illness such as diabetes. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage that makes it difficult to sense when the bladder is full and/or to empty the bladder completely. In both instances leaks and accidents can occur. The good news is studies have shown that symptoms of urinary incontinence can sometimes be improved with weight loss. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to develop an appropriate weight loss plan. For some people ongoing obesity can significantly increase the risk of urinary incontinence.

Getting started

Healthy weight is often measured by BMI or body mass index, a measure of body fat.  Generally, a BMI of 30 or above is considered to be obese.  A BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight. BMI is calculated using weight and height - BMI = weight (lb.) divided by height (in) squared x 703. Online calculators such as the one offered by Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov let you plug in your numbers and quickly get your BMI.

Start with small steps

Weight loss will not happen overnight but it will happen. Increase your chances of success by consulting with your healthcare provider on nutrition and exercise advice. For many people, making too many big changes all at once is overwhelming. Instead you might try simply cutting back portions or adding an extra serving of fruits and vegetables with every meal. For example, you might have only one piece or toast (instead of two) and a handful of berries with breakfast. At lunch you might have a small, rather than large helping of fries and add a salad with your sandwich. Small changes can add up to big change overtime.

Exercise in a way that works for you. Do chair exercise or take a brisk walk to burn extra calories.  As you develop your weight loss plan, share it with someone who will encourage you and hold you accountable for sticking to your goals.

Lose weight to improve symptoms of incontinence

Weight loss can be an effective way to eliminate or reduce urinary incontinence. If you have a BMI of 25 or higher, talk with your healthcare provider about next best steps.

Back Pain and Incontinence – Is There a Link Between Them?

Posted by Mens Liberty

May 1, 2018 9:18:27 AM

There is a link between back pain and back injury, and incontinence. The body is a complex system. We don’t often think about it but our activities of daily living are supported by hundreds of intricate inner workings. When one of these functions fails there can be a cascade of effects. Such is the case with back pain or back injury.

 

Causes of lower back pain that lead to incontinence include:

Cauda Equina syndrome

The Cauda Equina is a bundle of nerves at the base of the spinal column. Damage to these nerves such as from a degenerative condition, illness or injury can result in loss of bladder function.

Lesions or tumors

Tumors or lesions on the spinal cord can interrupt nerve communication signals that support normal bladder function. Other causes of back pain and problems such as herniated disc, spinal stenosis and fractured vertebra have been implicated in urinary incontinence.

Low back pain and pelvic floor function

Poor pelvic floor function contributes to urinary incontinence. Studies have shown a correlation between low back pain and reduced pelvic floor function. Low back pain may be related to poor posture, excessive weight gain or trauma – say, from a fall. Kegel exercises can improve pelvic floor function. Weight loss, yoga and rest can relieve some kinds of back pain.

Kidney problems

Kidney trouble, including stones, will cause lower back pain. Another symptom is frequent urination or urge incontinence.

Prostate

Prostatitis or inflammation of the prostate can cause lower back pain and frequent urination or urge incontinence as well. Prostate cancer is also a cause of lower back pain and incontinence.

Chronic illness

Chronic health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis are other causes of lower back pain and urinary incontinence.

Researchers do not have a definitive answer for the relationship between lower back pain and urinary incontinence. The most likely cause is interruption of communication. Nerve impulses governing urinary function that originate from the base of the spine, or lower back, are communicated less efficiently or not at all with the pelvic organs. When the bladder doesn’t receive signals about holding and releasing urine, incontinence results.

Particularly if your lower back pain is with acute onset you will need to contact your doctor immediately. Cauda Equina syndrome, untreated, can lead to permanent nerve damage and urinary incontinence. Lower back pain that develops over time should also be addressed. Visit your doctor to rule out any serious health problems and get advice for treating incontinence.

Are Your Medications Increasing Incontinence?

Posted by Mens Liberty

Apr 24, 2018 10:26:07 AM

Urinary incontinence may start or worsen with certain types of medications.  Sometimes referred to as drug-induced incontinence, solving the problem may be as easy as changing dosage or medications.

Medications and incontinence

Talk with your healthcare provider if you suspect that something in your medicine cabinet is the source of your incontinence. Here are some medications to look out for according to Harvard Health:

  • Blood pressure medications or alpha-blockers (e.g. Hytrin). These relax bladder muscles and can cause stress incontinence or urine leakage with laughing, standing, coughing and sneezing.
  • Antihistamines like Benadryl. These cause overflow incontinence, the term used when the bladder retains urine.
  • Diuretics, also called water pills (e.g. Esidrix). These increase the volume of urine and can cause stress incontinence as well as overactive bladder or frequent urination.
  • Muscle relaxants and sedatives like Valium or Ativan. These lead to frequent urination and urge incontinence. Also, because of the sedative effect, motivation to get to the toilet may be impacted.
  • Narcotics, such as Percocet. Narcotics can cause overflow incontinence and, like muscle relaxants, a sedative effect that reduces desire to get to the bathroom.

 

You may be able to switch to a comparable medication with fewer unpleasant side-effects. If there is no option to switch:

  • Make lifestyle changes such as avoiding liquids at least an hour before bed time and/or sex.
  • Try double voiding (urinate then stand and wait a few minutes before trying to urinate again) to be sure your bladder is completely empty.
  • Talk with your doctor about available medical interventions.
  • Do Kegel exercises three times a day to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Find the muscle by interrupting your urine midstream or tightening the muscles that keep you from passing gas. Don’t continue to stop your urine after you have identified the muscle. Doing so may increase your risk of a urinary tract infection. Contract the muscle for a few seconds, release and repeat. You can do Kegels anywhere discreetly so do them regularly for best results.
  • Consider Men’s Liberty. We offer a comfortable, skin-friendly alternative for worry free incontinence management. Our male external catheter keeps you dry 24/7 and is designed to maximize freedom to enjoy your normal activities without fear of accidents.

Certain medication can impact the ability of the bladder to hold or fully expel urine. If you notice symptoms that seem related to your medications keep a journal in advance of your doctor visit. Doing so can help your doctor get a full picture of the patterns and problems with your incontinence. The more information you can share the more useful the feedback you receive will be.

Top 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Adult Diapers

Posted by Mens Liberty

Apr 24, 2018 12:00:00 AM

If you are managing incontinence, chances are you have explored adult diapers as an option. Although adult diapers are probably the most known option, they are not necessarily the best one.  Consider these reasons for not using adult diapers.

Environmental Impact

The manufacture and disposal of adult diapers exacts a high environmental toll. As with other high use disposable products like water bottles, eliminating or minimizing use is an important way of reducing your environmental footprint.

Skin discomfort

Adult diapers hold moisture and can lead to skin irritation or rashes. Consider alternatives, such as Men’s Liberty, that direct urine away from the skin so it stays dry and protected.

Odor

Especially when urine is concentrated (such as when fluid intake is low), or with certain medications urine may emit a strong odor.  Adult diapers offer little to no protection against odors, a potential cause of embarrassment.

Limited wear time

Adult diapers must be changed frequently to avoid skin irritation, leaks and odor. Why deal with diaper change disruptions when you can opt for a long use option? Men’s Liberty can be worn for up to 24 hours and throughout the night for uninterrupted sleep and all day, giving you the freedom to enjoy your regular activities without worry.

Expense

Adult diapers can be costly and can run up to $300 per month out-of-pocket as they are not covered by most insurance plans. They are also bulky, which makes them a hassle to pack and carry. You could save money each month by using Men’s Liberty external male catheter because it’s covered by Medicare and most private insurance. Men’s Liberty is designed with your liberty and convenience in mind.  You can enjoy worry free protection with little or no out of pocket cost (standard copays and deductibles apply); and no bulky changing bag to carry.

Leaks and accidents

There is always the potential for leaks with adult diapers. Diaper material may also bunch with wear, causing embarrassing bulges in certain types of clothing. More discreet options, such as Men’s Liberty are available. Our patented system is appropriate for all men including retracted and circumcised anatomy.

Limits

Adult diapers can make it more difficult to do the things you love with confidence.  Why worry about odor, leaks, bulging, changing or rashes when a more convenient option is available? Men’s Liberty offers an easy to use system for men that is discreet and offers long lasting protection.  Call today to learn why men in over 20 countries depend on Men’s Liberty to enjoy convenience and peace of mind. Get out of the adult diaper rut. Our system may be the right one for you, too.

What kind of incontinence do I have? Stress, Flow or Urge

Posted by Mens Liberty

Apr 19, 2018 10:59:10 AM

Although urinary incontinence impacts 1 in 6 men in USA and millions of men annually, how it impacts them individually can vary. Learn more about the kinds of incontinence here.

Types of Incontinence

If you are managing urinary incontinence it probably looks like one of the types described below.

Stress incontinence - This type of incontinence is typically caused by undue pressure on the bladder as with lifting, coughing, laughing or sneezing. Stress incontinence and associated leakage of urine is common in men immediately following prostate surgery. Obesity is also a frequent cause of stress incontinence as the pressure of extra weight (particularly abdominal fat) places a strain on the bladder. Weight loss has been shown to be effective in reducing or eliminating some urinary incontinence. Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and urinary sphincter also provide some relief.

Urge incontinence – With urge incontinence bladder contractions produce an urgent need to toilet. The urge may feel so great that accidents and urine leakage may occur because of inability to reach the bathroom in time. This type of incontinence is common in men who have had radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Other common causes of urge incontinence are bladder inflammation, brain injury (for example, stroke), bladder cancer and spinal cord injury.

Mixed incontinence – Some men experience more than one kind of incontinence. Managing both stress and urge symptoms of incontinence is called mixed incontinence.

Overflow incontinence – If you are experiencing overflow incontinence your bladder does not empty completely with urination. It may also be difficult to sense when the bladder is full. Overflow incontinence symptoms include leaks and maybe even wetting the bed. Certain medications, enlarged prostate, nerve damage (such as with Parkinson’s disease) and diabetes are common causes of overflow incontinence. Urinary tract infections are common with overflow incontinence as bacteria proliferate when urine stands in the bladder for long periods.

Managing incontinence

In addition to making lifestyle changes such as:

  • Avoiding foods that irritate the bladder (acidic or spicy foods)
  • Losing weight if your BMI (body mass index) is greater than 25
  • Quitting smoking

You can also make behavioral changes such as daily Kegel exercises, timed drinking, timed toileting and double voiding. To double void, urinate and wait a few moments and urinate again to completely empty the bladder.

Your healthcare provider is a good source of information about the latest available medications and surgical options. You can also talk with your doctor about Men’s Liberty. We offer an easy to use, discreet incontinence management system. Covered by many insurance plans including Tricare, Medicare and most private insurance you may be able to enjoy stress free protection at little or no out of pocket costs (standard deductibles and copays apply). Give us a call if you have questions. We are here to help.