Use a Condom Catheter

Manage Male Bladder Incontinence

A condom catheter is a type of external urine collection device that is available for men who suffer from bladder incontinence. It consists of two separate parts.

As its name implies, that part that attaches to the body looks like a regular condom except at the end is a connection port that connects to the catheter bag that collects the urine. At the base of the sheath (or condom) there is usually an adhesive strip to assure for a water resistant fit.

The bag that collects the urine can either be attached to the leg (under the pants) or to the side of the bed to collect urine at night. The bag must always be kept lower than the level of the bladder so urine does not flow back up and weaken the adhesive strip.

This type of urine collection system is effective in managing nocturia, a condition referring to an increased need to urinate at night, often resulting in incontinence.

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Application Tips

  • Always wash your hands with soap and hot water both before and after application.

  • Make sure the penis is clean with each change.

  • Cover the shaft of the penis with a protective ointment (not petroleum jelly) and allow drying time prior to application of the condom sheath. The ointment will help protect the skin from contact with urine.

  • Gently unroll the sheath completely and press at the base where the adhesive strip is located.

  • Attach the drainage bag after the sheath is attached.

  • Always double check that there are no kinks or twists in the tubing and that all clamps are open.

  • Place the collection bag lower than the level of the bladder at all times.

The sheath should be changed every day or at least every other day. The bag should be emptied when three quarters full to assure that there is no chance for urine to run up the tube. Inspect the skin with each change. If there are any signs of sores or irritation, the device should not be worn until the skin is healthy and intact.


There are many benefits of using a condom catheter. Urine can be emptied directly into the toilet from the bag so there is less garbage, laundry and odors. It is effective for keeping acidic urine off from skin that has a rash or bedsore and helps prevent infection of these wounds. If the adhesive is securely attached, there will be no unsightly wet stains on clothing.

For active adult men with bladder incontinence, the leg straps allow them to continue to lead an active lifestyle while hiding the collection bag under their pant leg. Because it is an external application, there is less risk for Urinary Tract Infections as compared to using an indwelling catheter.


Drawbacks are usually due to poor or faulty application leading to leaks and urine back flow, caused by kinks or twists in the drainage tube or a full bag. Also, a condom catheter should not be used if your loved one has a Urinary Tract Infection, so always check with your doctor.

As with every treatment and management option, look at the benefits and any associated risk and determine what is best for your situation.

You know your loved one best and which subjects are taboo and which aren't. It could be that using a condom catheter is just the right answer for both you and your loved one.

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