Brands and countries

Show Notes:

For individuals experiencing incontinence, situations and the products used to address them differ from person to person. Anatomy, medical conditions, preferences, and life responsibilities all contribute to how one individual’s needs will vary from the other. In this episode of ‘Attached to Hygiene’, host Jack Hughes is again joined by Alan Cottenden, Emeritus Professor of Incontinence Technology at University College London. Jack and Alan chat with three North American consumers—Paul, Beth, and Twila—about their experiences with incontinence. How do the three manage day-to-day circumstances with the condition? What products do they use, and how? And what changes and innovations do they hope to see?

Managing incontinence with a variety of absorbent hygiene products

Incontinence can impact those with the condition in a variety of ways, from small leaks to a sudden and complete emptying of the bladder or bowels. Combine that with daily agendas that do—or don’t—allow easy access to a bathroom, and incontinent consumers may use several different products with regularity. Even so, finding adequate protection can be difficult. For example, those who experience high flow may not be able to find products that can absorb the volume quickly enough to avoid leakage.

Whilst all three of the panellists shared how being open and honest about their condition makes managing it easier, discretion remains an issue for each of them. Clothing may be selected based on the absorbent products they wear. They also worry about the sound of the product, such as crinkling ,becoming noticeable. Once the product is wet, several things can weigh on the user: Odour, the feeling of wetness, and even the fear of an additional release causing leakage. Another concern is changing articles in public restrooms, especially those that are not kept clean. Pull-on products in particular may offer excellent protection, but they can be impossible to change without removing pants or shoes. Sufferers would welcome anything that helps make the condition more manageable and reduces the stress that accompanies it.

Outline of the Episode

  • [03:51] Introduction to the three panellists and an overview of their types of incontinence
  • [13:33] Deciding when and how to be discreet or disclose their condition
  • [19:19] Each day’s activities determine the products that are needed
  • [22:22] The challenges of travelling with incontinence, especially by air
  • [26:04] The pros and cons of using menstrual products for incontinence
  • [30:04] Days are not always predictable … wearing extra protection just in case
  • [36:29] Discretion relies on controlling how you look, plus odour and sound
  • [43:16] The panellists’ wish list for absorbent hygiene product innovations
  • [57:44] Differences in managing incontinence now versus several years ago
  • [01:04:17] Benefits to being open about your condition and experiences


You can find Alan on LinkedIn. You may wish to leave him a message through our email at

f you'd like to donate to any of the preferred charities of our panellists, you can do so via the links below.
  Read more about incontinence on our website. Articles include: ‘The Many Faces of Incontinence’, ‘8 Product Needs That Are Important for Adult Incontinence’, and ‘Discreet Absorbent Hygiene Products Are Important to Adults’.

For additional information, download our 1-page PDFs, ‘Fit is Key to Comfort and Performance in Adult Incontinence’ and ‘Core Performance in Adult Incontinence’. Or, request a copy of our complete ‘Adult Incontinence' whitepaper.
Get Connected with Attached to Hygiene
Take our listener survey to receive our new CSR Whitepaper.

Sign up for our newsletter to get emails every two weeks with updates about new episodes, additional materials about what was discussed in the episode, and exclusive content we've created around topics like sustainability, absorbent core, feminine hygiene, and others. This will include whitepapers, glossaries, 1-pagers, and other helpful learning materials. So if you want to stay up to date on everything we know about important industry topics, click this link to sign up for our Attached to Hygiene newsletter.

Connect with Jack Hughes on LinkedIn. You can also find us at Disposable Hygiene Adhesives on LinkedIn or by visiting the Attached to Hygiene Podcast on our official website.

You can email us with questions, comments, or ideas for future episodes at
You can find Attached to Hygiene wherever you get your podcast
Host: Jack Hughes

Music by Jonathan Boyle

Produced and edited by: Jack Hughes with help from Paul Andrews, Michele TonkovitzEmory ChurnessNikki Ackerman, and Green Onion Creative.


Discover Other Popular Attached to Hygiene Episodes

49. Evaluating Baby Products to Earn Parents' Trust pt. 2 with Sharon Vinderine

Episode Page

47. What Millennial Mothers Expect from Sustainable Brands with Amrita Saigal

Episode Page

45. Trends in Absorbent Baby Products pt. 2 with Natalia Richer

Episode Page

43. HYGIENIX 2022 Conference Overview

Episode Page

32. Incontinence Product User Panel #2 with Alan Cottenden

Episode Page

36. The AMAS Market with Augusto Quiroz and Kelley Riegert

Episode Page

11. The Hygiene Industry in 2035 with DeeAnn Nelson, Nick Carter, and Darius Deak

Episode Page