External Catheters & Supplies

External catheters, also referred to as condom catheters or penile sheath catheters, are urinary catheters that are worn by men externally, eliminating the need for insertion into the urethra. External catheters are typically easier to use than indwelling catheters because they are gently rolled over the penis like a condom. 

External catheters are the most noninvasive type of catheter and are worn by men who experience urinary incontinence. External catheters can be worn for up to 24 hours at a time, and there are a variety of condom catheter sizes to ensure the correct size and fit for the individual.

How to Use an External Catheter

Using an external catheter may take a bit of practice, but catheterization will become easier each time you do it. Remember, as with any catheter type, remaining clean and sanitary is the most important step in preventing infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs). Condom catheters will come with kits that contain everything you need for sanitary use.

  1. Wash your hands and penis with a non-moisturizing soap and make sure both are completely dry before placing the condom catheter.
  2. If you’re using a skin sealant, apply it to your penis, and allow it to dry. Your skin should be smooth and slippery when it is dry. Skin sealant protects your skin from urine and moisture which can help prevent skin irritation. When you remove your external catheter, the layer of sealant will also be removed.
  3. Hold your penis and place the rolled condom catheter over it. Slowly unroll it over your penis until you reach the base of the penis. Make sure to leave enough space at the head of the penis (1-2”), to prevent the penis from rubbing against the condom.
  4. If your condom catheter has self-adhesive to hold it in place, place the adhesive against your skin for 10 to 15 seconds and make sure there are no wrinkles or air bubbles.
  5. Connect the catheter tubing from the tip of the catheter to the drainage bag.
  6. Attach the drainage bag to your leg, below the knee, by wrapping the straps around your leg. It is important to place your collection bag below your bladder to prevent backflow of urine.

How to Remove Your Male External Catheter

External catheters should be replaced at least once every 24 hours. External catheters are not reusable and should be disposed of after removal. However, urinary drainage bags are typically designed to be reusable. Your drainage bag should be emptied when it is about two thirds full, depending on the size of the bag. Clean your leg bag at least once a day with warm water and a cleaning solution.

How to Clean Your External Catheter

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Carefully disconnect your urine collection bag from the condom and empty it.
  3. Place a warm, wet washcloth over the penis to loosen the adhesive. Then, slowly unroll the condom from the penis.
  4. Use a gentle adhesive remover if any adhesive is left on your penis after removal of the condom catheter.
  5. Wash your penis with soap and warm water and dry.
  6. Discard the external catheter.

How to Clean Your Drainage Bag

  1. Wash your hands with warm soapy water.
  2. Disconnect the drainage bag from your catheter tubing.
  3. Drain any urine from the bag and wash your hands again.
  4. Fill the bag with warm soapy water and swish the soap around.
  5. Wash the valve with warm soapy water, as well.
  6. Drain the collection bag and thoroughly rinse all of the soap away.
  7. Hang the bag up to air dry completely before use.

Check Your Eligibility for External Catheters Through Insurance

Discover a variety of quality external catheters from trusted brands like Coloplast, Cure, and Bard. Aeroflow Urology will work with your insurance provider and healthcare provider to ensure that you get the best benefits from your insurance policy. Our easy to use form is only 2 steps, and if approved, one of our Continence Care Specialists will contact you to discuss your coverage options.

Check Your Eligibility

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Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology website is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care from a healthcare professional. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.