How to Get Incontinence Supplies Through Medicaid
This piece has been reviewed for accuracy by Mica Phillips, Director of Aeroflow Urology.
Urinary Incontinence, or the accidental loss of urine, is a fairly common condition in the U.S. According to the Urology Care Foundation, about 1 of 2 women and 1 of 4 men experience incontinence symptoms. It is especially common among women over 50. Despite how prevalent it is, adult incontinence carries a stigma that can be hard to overcome. Many people who live with bladder leakage experience embarrassment that can take a real toll on their quality of life. The good news is that for most people, there are simple ways effectively treat and manage incontinence.
If you or a loved one are experiencing urinary incontinence, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider. Depending on the type of incontinence symptoms you experience, you may benefit from simple lifestyle changes, medications, or pelvic floor exercises to train your bladder. You may also find that the use of discreet bladder control products can help maintain your freedom and mobility. Most Medicaid plans will cover the incontinence supplies needed to manage symptoms effectively for those with a qualifying diagnosis.
Types of Incontinence
There are several types of incontinence, each with its own unique symptoms.
Also known as overactive bladder (OAB), people with urge incontinence will feel a strong impulse to urinate that occurs suddenly, sometimes resulting in urine leaks. Conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and others can contribute to this type of incontinence.
People with overflow incontinence may not experience an urge to go, but still experience leaks caused by a weak bladder muscle or blockage when the bladder becomes too full.
If you sometimes experience urine leaks when sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, or exercising, you may have stress incontinence.
People with functional incontinence typically have a normal bladder and urethra function, but due to a mobility issue or physical or mental impairment, cannot reach the toilet in time to avoid urine leakage.
Mixed incontinence occurs when patients have more than one type of incontinence.
What Causes Adult Incontinence?
There are a variety of underlying conditions that contribute to bladder leakage. These include, but are not limited to:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Overactive Bladder Muscles
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or Enlarged Prostate
- Pregnancy and Childbirth
- A Disability or Mobility Impairment
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Kidney or Bladder Stones
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Weight Gain
Diagnosing Adult Incontinence
After seeing your primary care healthcare provider, you will most likely be referred to a urologist. It’s also common for women to see a gynecologist who has been specially trained in female bladder and urinary disorders.
You may be asked questions about whether you experience leakage while laughing or sneezing and how much caffeine or alcohol you drink. A bladder control diary can be incredibly helpful to have. Record the type and how much fluid you drink, how often you pass urine, the amount of urine you pass, and how many urine leakage episodes you experience.
Based on your medical history and symptoms, tests may be performed to rule out certain conditions that cause incontinence. Common tests include a cystoscopy to look inside of your bladder for abnormalities, measuring the pressure level in your bladder and stomach, a dipstick test to see if you have a urinary tract infection, a urodynamic test, and more.
Based on the results, your doctor will be able to create a treatment plan. Urinary incontinence treatment options vary based on the type and severity you are diagnosed with. Some options include simple lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine and spicy foods, doing kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, or taking medication.
Adult Incontinence Supplies
Once you begin to experience bladder control problems, it is important to contact your healthcare provider. In the meantime, you can explore options for absorbent products to help manage symptoms. Incontinence supplies are typically covered by Medicaid insurance plans for those with a qualifying diagnosis.
There are a wide variety of discreet incontinence products available with different features and levels of absorbency. Adult briefs may work well for some who need an overnight product or one that can handle heavy bladder or bowel leakage. They are also commonly used by people with mobility issues who require the help of a caregiver as they are designed for easy application and removal. Protective underwear, also called incontinence underwear, may work better for those who need a moderate level of absorbency and can be pulled on and off, similar to standard underwear. An incontinence pad, sometimes referred to as a poise pad or bladder control pad, is an option for those who need a product that is similar to a menstrual pad that can be secured to undergarments, but can hold more fluid. There are also absorbent products like underpads or bed pads available to help protect bedding and furniture.
Many people will find that some combination of incontinence products and treatments works well for their particular diagnosis, and it's important to work with a healthcare provider to find the best solution. No matter what type of adult incontinence you have, with the right products you can remain confident, clean, and most importantly, in control.
More About Adult Incontinence
Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology website is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care from a healthcare professional. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to continence care.