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Incontinence Comes Out Of The Closet…With Style

By Julie Davis

It’s a medical condition that’s not life threatening the way cancer is, but it can threaten your way of life because of the social stigma involved—a stigma despite the fact that the number of Americans facing some form of incontinence is estimated to be at 25 million by the end of this year. However, advances in the over $1 billion business of the unfortunately nicknamed adult diapers is finally coming out of the shadows.

Urinary health issues are affecting not just seniors, but boomers as well and in significant numbers. According to the National Women’s Health Resource Center, of 40 million boomer women 33 percent—13 million women—experience stress urinary incontinence. According to the American Cancer Society, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, usually after age 40, and prostate health conditions are the leading cause of incontinence in men.

Incontinence Care Takes Center Stage

While incontinence products have been available for some time, it was only this past March that urinary conditions were elevated to water cooler conversation. In a much talked about 60-second commercial for Poise, the protective pad for the condition called light bladder leakage, Whoopi Goldberg let the genie out of the bottle…to the relief of millions. It took Whoopi’s larger than life persona to finally make it OK to talk about incontinence of any type, and the TV timing made for maximum exposure—the ad aired right before the Oscars started.

Now, in another bold move to erase the stigma of incontinence, Depend, the brand that just last year revamped its unisex design to accommodate both the female and male anatomies with separate products—DEPEND Underwear for Men and DEPEND Underwear for Women, has introduced a new line of incontinence briefs called Depend Underwear with Colors and Prints.

Extensive consumer research revealed that people managing incontinence are looking for a product that is more like real underwear, one that helps them feel more normal and self-confident. So Depend decided to follow up last year’s successful launch of its gender-specific adult absorbent underwear by creating products that are more aesthetically pleasing.

Thinking In Color

While all incontinence manufacturers have been focused on creating absorbent products that offer protection and the freedom to live an active lifestyle, the new gender-specific Depend Underwear In Colors and Prints is designed to meet wearers’ emotional and psychological needs as well, with a product that looks more like regular underwear, right down to the packaging and where it’s sold—in the underwear aisle rather than the adult incontinence product aisle of supermarkets, drugstores and other outlets, further helping to remove the stigma or embarrassment of shopping for these products.

Inside the Package

Each gender specific pack comes with six pairs of the underwear in a mix of colors and prints—masculine designs in colors of grays and blues for him and feminine designs in shades of lavender and honey for her. The underwear offers the same superior fit and protection of the traditional Depend with an even more subtle fitted elastic waistband.

Depend Underwear In Colors and Prints also follows the same Depend size designations consumers are accustomed to. Men have the option of small/medium and large/extra large in super plus absorbency and women can choose from small/medium and large in the extra absorbency.

The important message is to think of incontinence as any other medical condition—buy the products you need to address it and enable you to get on with your life, feeling confident and in control.