Condom Catheters: A Guide
Condom catheters: When and How to Use
External urinary catheters are condom catheters that are worn like a condom. As it drains out of your bladder, they gather urine and transfer it to a collection bag strapped to your leg. Usually, they are used by men with urinary incontinence (not able to control their bladder).
Using a thin tube inserted into your urethra (Foley catheter) or a small incision in the skin above your bladder (suprapubic catheter), external urinary catheters are less invasive than internal catheters, which remove urine from your bladder.
For people who can’t stand up to go to the toilet or have difficulty emptying their bladder (urinary retention), internal catheters are used in hospitals.
Condom catheters are often favored by men over internal urinary catheters because they are easier to use, can be adjusted at home, and are non-invasive (i.e., nothing is inserted into their body).
Keep reading to find out who is a suitable candidate for an external condom catheter, how to use one, benefits and disadvantages, and more.
Who’s a successful condom catheter candidate?
Condom catheters are intended for men whose bladders can drain urine but who have difficulty regulating when it is released. Any of these situations are:
- Urine incontinence. This disorder happens when you no longer control your bladder and can not prevent urine from leaking out of the urethra.
- (OAB) Overactive Bladder. An OAB triggers random impulses, which you can not control, to urinate.
- Dementia. In the later stages of dementia, incontinence can develop.
- Mobility issues. Some accidents or situations make it impossible to get to the toilet on time or at all.
In unusual cases, condom catheters are also used, such as when:
- An individual goes through the withdrawal of alcohol and can not regulate their urination.
- To assess an adequate dosage of diuretics or other drugs, a doctor requires a precise calculation of the volume of urine passed on.
- An internal catheter (due to complications like urinary tract infections, bladder spasms, or bladder stones) will not or should not be used.
Both circumcised and uncircumcised men are willing to use condom catheters.
When an internal catheter is more appropriate,
If urine cannot drain out of your bladder, condom catheters aren’t helpful. An internal catheter is required in that case to circumvent whatever blocks the flow of urine.
Conditions in which an inner catheter is used include:
- Urinary restraint. A condition stops you from emptying your bladder fully.
- Neurogenic Bladder. A nerve problem may also stop the bladder from emptying, such as a spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis.
- Blockage of the Urinary Tract. Urine drainage may be blocked by bladder stones and urethral strictures (scar tissue that narrows the urethra).
What advantages would a condom catheter have?
Compared to internal catheters, condom catheters have many advantages. For instance:
- A catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is less likely to happen
- It is more comfortable
- Less restriction of movement
- Non-invasive (nothing in is inserted into your body).
- They are available (can be put on without a doctor or nurse) for home use.
What are the drawbacks of a condom catheter?
There are also several drawbacks to condom catheters. For instance, they:
- If you choose the wrong size and the fit is not right, it will leak.
- Skin irritation and breakdown from leakage of urine
- Condom catheters are more likely to fall off or leak than Inner catheters.
- An allergic reaction (from the latex condom) can potentially happen.
- Removal can be painful.
- Can be quickly replaced(which is not ideal for those individual with dementia)
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) can also be induced, but this is less likely than an inner catheter.