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Thread: Switching from pads to pull-ups… to diapers?

  1. #1

    Question Switching from pads to pull-ups… to diapers?

    Brief history:
    I've always had to urinate frequently, and wet the bed most nights until college. Still have occasional nighttime accidents, usually when drinking alcohol. Began experiencing stress incontinence three years ago, which I was able to manage with pads (male guards) until a few months ago when I switched to store-brand pull-ups. I still try to use the toilet when I can, but lately I've found myself increasingly reliant on them, which I suspected would happen… and now I'm wondering whether I should just wear diapers, and avoid the hassle of trying to rush to the toilet altogether. I could probably go back to wearing pads (or at least stay in pull-ups), although I don't miss the inconvenience of changing so frequently… especially pads, which I would have to switch out every 45 minutes or so. I wore diapers every night growing up and I still enjoy wearing them to relax, so I'm not necessarily opposed to being diapered full-time. But I also know how much of a commitment it would be… changing in public, managing odor, using powder and vaseline, carrying wet-wipes and a bulky bag everywhere… I guess what it really comes down to is whether I want to accept that I'm basically incontinent… or make a conscious effort to retain some control. Which is exactly how I felt when going from pads to pull-ups. Right now, I feel the urge to urinate every five or ten minutes, along with involuntarily releasing smaller amounts of urine when sneezing, bending at the waist, etc. Fortunately, my co-workers, family, and girlfriend know about my bladder issues… so discretion isn't something I'm too concerned about.

    Things I am concerned about:

    I already drink lots of water, but I would imagine that a saturated diaper will have more of an odor than a pull-up. If I start wearing diapers I'll definitely be using powder to help with the smell, but should I consider plastic pants as well, or would that be unnecessary?

    There's a single-stall bathroom across the hall from my office at work, so having a place to change shouldn't generally be a problem. I'm pretty used to changing pull-ups in public, but I've only put on a diaper while laying down. It shouldn't be an issue with practice, though.

    My girlfriend and I are fairly spontaneous, and one of the benefits of wearing pads and pull-ups is that undressing is basically the same as with regular underwear. Has anyone felt a decrease in intimacy with their s/o after beginning to wear diapers? My g/f is incredibly understanding, but should I worry that having to un-tape and wipe off powder every time could lead to having less sex, or scheduling sex between changes, etc? And should I expect any change in physical sensation during sex from wearing diapers all day?

    Side effects
    I usually have four or five small bowel movements a day, almost always while fully emptying my bladder (on the toilet). Will I notice any sort of fecal incontinence, since I basically won't be holding my bladder anymore? Also, because already I go so frequently… is it always a bad idea to have a bowel movement in a diaper instead of using the toilet? Or is that somewhat common? For instance, if I'm walking home in a wet diaper and know that I'm going to change in twenty minutes, is it "acceptable" to mess myself instead of trying to find a public restroom? People who wear diapers for urinary incontinence — how frequently do you mess (if at all) and under what circumstances?

    All of the feedback on my first post really helped me think things through… so thanks again in advance! I'll read and reply to every response!

  2. #2


    Hi, mia here, I'm doubly incontinent 24/7 , have been since I was very small, but first thing I recommend is see a doctor, there could be secondary problems which might be causing this and you need to get a medical opinion.
    Containment wise.... if you leak with what you use now diapers maybe a better solution, transitioning to diapers isn't always easy, I moved from pull ups to diapers when I was quite young, my bowel movements needed proper containment and so did my urinary incontinence. when it came to attending school or going outside in general it wasn't great, they were bulky at the time and i got quite a few stares.
    Understand what kind of protection you need, it's important. some diapers are for sever incontinence as others are for mild,
    If you have a good diaper urine odor shouldn't affect it much as long as you change when it's time to change (when it's full), I have several bm's a day so I wear plastic pants to hide the smell prevent leaks, I attend classes at my college and if I have bm there I don't want to subject people to my smells.
    if you only have urinary incontinence changing should be okay, but clean up with wipes to protect your skin.
    Intimacy.... never been there,
    I have several bm's day and night and it it's not a good idea to go in your diaper if you can hold it, cleaning up for me is really challenging and to be honest after all these years still grossed out by it, I've said this in earlier posts and I can't say it enough.
    That fact that you go very often sounds like how your urinary incontinence started,
    But seriously I can't stress enough about how hard it is to be cleaning up after a bm.
    Good luck with finding an answer, and I recommend seeing a doctor.

  3. #3


    Hi, thanks for the quick response!

    I've seen both my regular doctor as well as a urologist, and the urologist seems to think that at this point it's about maintaining control… we're not optimistic that my incontinence will improve, and for the past few years it's been slowly worsening, especially urge. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol helps more than anything else.

    I've never had any problems leaking with pull-ups, but I do have to change about every 90 minutes. Easy enough (they're pull-ups lol) but still kind of a pain. The only leaks I have are if I wear a diaper at night when I think I might have an accident… I sleep on my side and sometimes I leak, but I don't drink alcohol much anymore, so this hasn't been a problem lately.

    As for fecal containment, I've only messed once, on accident in bed one morning… not something I'd like to deal with on a regular basis.

    I think my urinary incontinence is definitely tied to frequent bowel movements, so I'm hoping nothing will worsen in that regard if I decide to "upgrade" from pull-ups and make fewer trips to the toilet.

  4. #4


    inconsurferdude Your welcome, I've started using this forum often and i want to manage my incontinence better and stay active, I've no problem giving my advice/opinions
    If your changing every 90 minutes I think you should probably move to diapers.
    I have a solution for leaking out of the side, it happens with diapers too but anatomically it's only for girls :p, but I'm sure someone has a solution in this forum. I have sometimes one or even two bm's every night and I never manage to wake up for it, when I wake up in the morning my diaper is really full with both urine and bm's and changing and cleaning up is really hard, hopefully you can avoid that....
    If you do use diapers choose one for the amount of volume you give out. I use abena m4's, they are a little bulky but quite okay. I have no control or feel over my bladder or bowels so once it's full it must be flowing like a tap down there, and I don't notice unless the diaper gets warm, or filled. So abena m4's are really good if you have heavy to really heavy incontinence. I haven't tried anything much else though so maybe someone else can recommend something.
    If you don't mind me asking what were your peers thought of your incontinence before college. As a girl most people have been understanding during highschool and even now in college no one really gives me a hard time. only before highschool was a little tough socially.
    All the best
    Last edited by miapeters; 26-Nov-2016 at 14:18.

  5. #5


    miapeters Being able to stay active is definitely a big part of managing my incontinence. I'd always assumed that pads or pull-ups would be more manageable… but you're right, it's kind of hard to stay active when I'm changing eight or nine times a day. I'm probably going to make the switch to diapers full-time by the end of the year, so I'll be looking int the Abena, Molicare, all of that. Right now the diapers I have to wear at night are from CVS, so I'll probably require something a little more secure for constant use. So sorry to hear about your bowel issues, I can't imagine having to deal with that mess first thing every day… that really sounds awful. Glad that you're able to manage it. Before college I only wet the bed… my daytime incontinence didn't start up until after high school, so I never had too many issues with peers. Definitely during college it wasn't a big deal, as you know. Although I'm not bowel incontinent, which I'm sure makes it harder to deal with.

    I'm curious… when you have bowel movements in your diaper several times a day, how long do you spend cleaning up each time? At home in the shower is easy enough, but when you're in public do you use lots of wet-wipes to completely clean yourself after a mess, or do you just wipe most of it off with toilet paper and change into a new diaper, since you'll be dirty again in a few hours anyways? I'm not bowel incontinent, but part of the reason I'm thinking of wearing diapers instead of pull-ups is that at least I'll have the option of messing… as I said, I do have four or five bowel movements a day, and usually with a minute or two notice before voiding. Right now the idea of sometimes allowing myself to mess instead of trying to find a toilet kind of grosses me out, but if I start using diapers for everything and using the toilet less it seems like it wouldn't add too much inconvenience? Or maybe I'm being too optimistic about the possibility of not having to use the toilet at all if I switch to diapers, lol.

  6. #6


    inconsurferdude over time I have managed to deal with it, but until high school my mother used to help me with changing a soiled diaper because it was so nauseating and terrible situation to deal with. Even now it manages to gross me out, so I really recommend for you to hold onto whatever bowel continence you have. When you loose control know that there are ways to deal with it but try to find it's cause medically, you might find a solution.
    Dealing with bowel incontinence takes time, cleaning up for me takes between 20-60 minutes. Depends on how I've had the accident. If i'm sitting while having an accident it spreads all over. The diaper contains it but it spreads, cleaning that takes time. Cleaning up as soon as possible to avoid rashes is really important, And some situations could be uncontrollable. When i go to attend classes or go home to my apartment by bus and i have a bm i have to walk around in it which is another thing better to avoid.
    When I go home after the semester is over I'm sitting down for hours in an airplane, and cleaning and changing in a tiny toilet is impossible. I have to wait until we land and do it at the airport. Luckily two plastic pants seal the odor. Plenty of barrier cream to avoid rashes, and a booster to avoid liquid leaks.
    I'm not trying to scare you but bowel incontinence can be tough and when your urine incontinent too it can be hard to deal with sometimes. Hold onto your continence, and if you haven't been able to don't worry take it day by day :p
    I clean up pretty thoroughly so I have no problems with smell, I think people have a misconception that people in diapers are dirty and smelly which is not true at all, my hygiene is very good, i may be a clean freak at these times but it works.

  7. #7


    miapetersWow, I didn't realize it would take so much time to clean up. I'll definitely leave that as a last resort instead of an option. I need to find out which diapers would be easiest to re-tape, so that I can still use the toilet for bowel movements. One other thing. I don't usually wet the bed, and so I don't usually wear diapers to bed… but several nights a week I'll find myself waking up between 2:00 and 4:00 am to have a small bowel movement. I definitely feel less rested the day after these nights. Would it be a really bad idea to wear a diaper to bed and mess without getting up? I hadn't even considered it until you mentioned that having bowel movements in your sleep was the worst part of being incontinent… I thought "huh that sounds nice" lol. Do you still get rashes even if you use barrier cream every night? I wouldn't mind sacrificing some clean up time in the morning to have uninterrupted sleep the night before, but I'm not sure if my bedroom would start to smell bad, etc. How long are you in a messy diaper at night before you change in the morning? Or, what's your morning routine like?

  8. #8


    Sorry i didn't even read the question fully, at home it's easy I have a bidet shower and if it's really bad yes having a shower is the best solution. When I'm out mainly wipes and toilet paper from my "bag".
    I made a post about incontinence in general and I've put more details about how I deal with it, it's on the diaper talk forum it's called incontinence questions, ask away.
    If you have a questions adisc is the best place to post for them, plenty of advice from people.
    I recently went swimming for the first time with a combination of swim diapers suggested by one of the members here, they worked great for me. This is a place of support and so far it's been got to me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I really don't know when I have the accidents at night, but so far I've gotten rashes very few times as I said earlier I clean and clean and clean :p. Although my diaper is also soaking wet when I get up so it's a really bad feeling.
    I usually get up and go straight to the bathroom empty the stuff from the diaper to the toilet and wash up with the bidet shower and go for a wash, if my diaper leaked I wash the plastic pants that's that. When I work late at night on assignments I have a small bm. I change and go to sleep and the next day it's the same situation I'm guessing I have an accident really late night/early morning.

  9. #9


    Personally I'd avoid alcohol before bed if its causing the wetting. Store brand pullups are at best ok, at worst you are better off with better pads. getting a good fit is whats important with protection... which is why tab style briefs even at their worst are almost always better as you can get that kind of fit. I won't lie they are significant a bigger pain in the butt if you plan to use a urinal (you almost always have to unsnap the top of your pants) and if it's a poly brief there virtually isn't a point even trying to take it off unless its for #2 that said spots are less often and significantly less noticeable. Briefs for the most part do a good job on odors especially if you drink enough water. Can't really help you on sex but if your gf understands your problem whats it matter. it takes about 10 seconds most to pop the tapes on a cloth like brief. Anyway having Ibs, I'll say it this way... if there's a way to avoid having it in the diaper... do it... sometimes it isn't an option, if you're out it happens, sometimes its very hard to properly clean up, nevermind the smell sometimes. Clorophyll and plastic pants help only so much and even with barrier cream if you can't change fast enough sometimes you get a wicked diaper rash

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by rennecfox View Post
    Personally I'd avoid alcohol before bed if its causing the wetting.
    I am definitely not drinking more than a few times a month, so it's less of an issue than when I was in college lol

    I think I'm going to order a package of Abena S4 to try during the day, as those seem to be the go-to and I have only ever worn store brands except when I was younger (Tranquility ATN, which I always remember clumping overnight)

    I read some more posts from other people with IBS and going toilet-free doesn't seem appealing now, but I may start wearing something like the Abena during the day (S3 maybe?) instead of pull-ups if I can stay comfortable without having to change as often.

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