Below is a description of the different levels of incontinence protection, along with categories of incontinence products with the different absorbencies.
Light protection (absorbency) products refers to protecting against light incontinence, which is slight leakage or dribbling in men or in women. This is the lowest level of absorbency. Stress incontinence is an example of this. A woman with stress incontinence might leak a small amount of liquid when coughing or sneezing. Light incontinence in men can be caused by an enlarged prostate. Whatever the cause, the incontinence protection for this level of incontinence is a light pad and it usually takes care of this issue.
Moderate protection products protect against moderate incontinence, which is more urine loss than light incontinence, but not full bladder loss. Incontinence products for this level absorb more than do light incontinence products. Moderate incontinence can be a steady stream of fluid or it can be urge incontinence, where the person has a sudden need to urinate. Moderate incontinence requires a heavier pad or pullup underwear. A brief with tabs can also provide protection for this incontinence level. Moderate incontinence is more common than most people realize.
Heavy Protection products works with heavy incontinence, which is complete loss of bladder control or continuous drainage. At this level, a lot of liquid must be taken up by the incontinence product. There are many medical causes for this type of incontinence, from injury to prostate problems. The protection for this level is usually a heavy or overnight brief with tabs or pull up underwear.
Overnight Protection products work with overnight incontinence, or heavy loss of liquid at night. Often, the incontinence product takes in a full bladder loss from the user. Overnight incontinence has causes similar to heavy incontinence, including weakening of the bladder muscle due to illness or injury. The product for this type of incontinence is usually an overnight level brief with tabs or pull up underwear.