Female Incontinence Patch OK'd

Federal regulators have approved over-the-counter sale of a small, disposable foam patch for women suffering from stress urinary incontinence.

The UroMed Patch, originally approved for prescription use two years ago, is about the size of a quarter and has an adhesive coating on one side. The device is placed over the urinary opening, where the adhesive forms a seal to help reduce urine leakage.

A spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration says that during clinical studies, the average age of women using the device was 49. Most of the 10 million cases of urinary incontinence are stress-related, medical experts say.

Normally worn for two to three hours during the day, the patch can be worn though the night and may be helpful to women suffering from urinary leaks due to coughing, laughing or heavy lifting, a Food and Drug Administration spokesman says.

The patch is not designed to control heavy urine leakage and may not always control moderate leakage, the spokesman says. Women who use it may still need to wear additional protection such as panty liners or pads.

Print Article