As you may already know, there are several different types of catheters – suprapubic, urethral, intermittent, and condom. Factors like patient’s symptoms, conditions, and how long the catheter must be worn determine which catheter is the best option.
A condom catheter, as the name suggests, is an external device that is worn exactly like a condom. It drains the urine out of your bladder and into a drainage bag that’s strapped to your leg. Since this is an external catheter, it is not invasive like an internal catheter which is inserted into the bladder through a thin tube (that’s inserted either into the abdomen or in the urethra).
Condom catheters are easier to use, painless, and can be changed at home without the assistance of a professional nurse or a caregiver. All these aspects make a condom catheter an attractive option for men suffering from urinary incontinence.
Who Can Use A Condom Catheter?
There are different kinds of incontinence issues; some men are not able to drain their bladder at all, while some can drain the urine but can’t control the release of the bladder. A condom catheter is designed for the latter.
You can use a condom catheter if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
- You have an overactive bladder; you get sudden urges to urinate that are impossible to control
- You can’t control your bladder; you cannot prevent urine from leaking out
- You are going through alcohol withdrawal and cannot control your urination
- You have a medical condition or an injury that makes it challenging to get up to go to the bathroom on time (or at all)
- You cannot use an internal catheter due to a medical issue (such as bladder stones, bladder spasms, or urinary tract infection)
Since condom catheters come in different sizes and with different features, please talk to your doctor before you buy one. Choosing the right size is important otherwise it may result in an injury or cause leakage issues.
How To Use A Condom Catheter?
Once you’ve found the right condom catheter, follow these directions:
- Always wash your hands with soap before handling a condom catheter. Also wash your anatomy with soap and warm water before applying the unit. Retract the foreskin (if present) and clean the area as thoroughly as possible.
- Rinse and dry the area completely.
- If you are using a sealant, apply it all over the pubic region and let it dry.
- Place the catheter over the tip of the anatomy and slowly unroll it until you reach the base. You don’t want the tip to rub against the condom so leave 1-2 inches at the tip.
- If the catheter has an adhesive, press it against the anatomy for 15-20 seconds.
- Put the sheath holder around your anatomy at the base. Keep it a bit loose to make sure blood flow doesn’t get hindered.
- Connect the tubing on the drainage bag to the catheter.
- Strap the drainage bag to your leg, below the knee.
- NOTE: Don’t wear the catheter if you notice any open sores or irritation on the anatomy.
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