Given that we’re the midst of a pandemic that shows no signs of slowing, one of the only safe things to expect is that this summer stands to be much different than any before it for a number of reasons, not least of which is the ways we interact with one another. By now, you may have ventured out into the world to take a socially distant walk with a friend, have a picnic, or even hike alone, breathing in fresh air while trying to remember what real life is like. And if you were out there long enough, you may have noticed one MAJOR inconvenience: a lack of public bathrooms.
This is a big enough issue that portable urinals like Travel John are flying off the shelves, becoming an unsuspecting new quarantine It-item. (Seriously, Google searches for “portable urinal” have been on a steady increase since March.) And that, friends, leads me to wonder: Will wearing adult diapers become as ubiquitous as wearing face masks (or, rather, as ubiquitous as wearing face masks should be) during the next phase of social distancing?
Because even if public bathrooms near you are available, safety concerns exists around using them: Thanks to the horror that is toilet plumes, we’ve learned that COVID-19 can spread through the air through aerosolized droplets of fecal matter. Closing the lid when you flush is a fix, but trusting other people to do the same is iffy. Hence, a backup plan of wearing adult diapers.
To be clear, in raising the notion of wearing adult diapers for socially distant hangs this summer, I’m not advocating for casually doing your business during an outdoor seated dinner…or ever. Consider it as more of a Plan C (not even a Plan B) that allows you to hydrate confidently during a big day out when you’re not sure when you’ll be able to hit up a restroom. Because, for vulva-owners especially, not peeing when you need is connected with adverse health effects: UTIs can commonly occur due to the fact that the urethra is so short, which means you’d be wise to not hold it—whether while wearing an adult diaper or not.
“Bladder infections can also be provoked or induced by lack of hydration flushing the bladder clear, and holding one’s urine for too long.” —OB/GYN Lucky Sekhon, MD
“Bacteria from the skin surrounding the urethra and the outside environment, in general, has a shorter distance to travel to get into the bladder and cause infection,” says board-certified OB/GYN and fertility specialist Lucky Sekhon, MD. “Bladder infections can also be provoked or induced by lack of hydration flushing the bladder clear, and holding one’s urine for too long, which leads to the accumulation of stagnant urine, where bacteria can proliferate.”
To summarize, hydration is still incredibly important and holding in urine can be detrimental for your health. Furthermore, wearing adult diapers can help with common incontinence issues—women are twice as likely to have bladder control problems compared to men—connected with pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.
So, if you’re ready to give wearing adult diapers a shot (or at least have an emergency Plan C stash of them in your picnic bag), try TENA stretch ultra briefs ($38) or Unique Wellness Absorbant Underwear ($20). That these may become a hot commodity, or even a #lewk, is certainly a bold claim, but I think we can all agree that it coming to fruition would hardly be the most bonkers to happen this year.
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