Condom Catheter (External)|
Helps Men Manage Incontinence
A condom catheter, or external catheter, is a helpful
medical device for men who struggle with urinary incontinence. These can easily be applied at home and carry less
risk of complications than internal, or Foley catheters.
They are especially ideal for managing nocturia since
they can be put on at night and eliminate the need to make frequent trips to the bathroom. A condom catheter
gets its name from its appearance which is much like a traditional condom, except the end has a tip for
attachment to a drainage tube.
One of these catheters is applied much like a traditional condom. However, the
skin should be prepped first. This involves making sure the skin is clean, dry, and free from irritation. If
skin irritation is present, it is best to let it clear before using the condom catheter which might just
irritate it further. Skin ointment is applied first and allowed to dry. This acts as a barrier on the skin to
protect it from moisture and irritation from the catheter.
While the condom catheter is easy to apply, it might be difficult for the elderly
or those with arthritis or other conditions that make it difficult to manipulate their fingers and hands. In
addition to rolling the condom catheter in place, a medical adhesive should also be applied so it stays in
contact with the skin and doesn't leak.
While there is less risk that a condom catheter (external) will cause a urinary
tract infection than a catheter that is placed inside the bladder, the area and equipment should still be cared
for properly. If a urinary tract infection does occur, it may be best to leave the catheter off until the
problem is resolved.
Another important point to remember when using a condom catheter is to keep the
collection bag lower than the bladder so urine can drain out by gravity. If the bag is too high, or if it is
too full, urine may back up into the tubing and catheter and cause leaking or skin irritation. The tubing
should be kept free of kinks and twists for the same reason.
One benefit of the condom catheter is that you can wear it and be fully mobile by
using a leg strap that holds the collection bag against your leg. In this way, it is hidden from view and no
one will know you are wearing a catheter or have problems with incontinence. At home you can hang the bag from
a chair or bed rail as long as it is lower than the bladder, but doesn't sit on the floor.
Unlike an internal catheter, a condom catheter (external) can be used as a first
choice in the management of male incontinence as long as the user or caregiver can apply it and care for it
properly. It is recommended to change it daily or at least every other day and to keep an eye out for any skin
irritation so it can't develop into a serious problem.
The main disadvantage with the condom catheter is when it leaks. This can happen
if it is not securely applied or if the wrong size is chosen. A condom catheter may not be the ideal choice for
every man struggling with urinary incontinence, but for those who can apply it properly, it can restore the
confidence to resume normal social activities and eliminate dealing with wet bed sheets and embarrassing
From Condom Catherer To Adult Incontinence