Condom Catheters: A Non-Invasive Solution for Incontinence

Angela Breslin, RN
June 7, 2024
min read


Condom catheters offer a non-invasive solution for managing urinary incontinence, a condition where individuals experience involuntary leakage of urine. Here’s a quick overview for those in a hurry:

  • Fits over the penis and collects urine into a leg bag.
  • Easier to use and less likely to cause infections compared to other catheters.
  • Ideal for home use, offering comfort and convenience.

Urinary incontinence can be a challenging and often embarrassing issue, affecting millions worldwide. It can disrupt daily routines and impact emotional well-being. However, it's important to know that incontinence is not an unavoidable part of aging, and there are effective treatments available.

One of the most accessible and non-invasive options is the condom catheter. This device is a simple yet highly effective tool that fits over the penis like a condom and directs urine into a collection bag. It's particularly useful for men who want an alternative to more invasive catheter types like indwelling (Foley) catheters.

How Condom Catheters Help Manage Incontinence - condom catheter infographic cause_effect_text

What is a Condom Catheter?

A condom catheter is a non-invasive device designed to manage urinary incontinence in men. Unlike traditional catheters that are inserted into the urethra, a condom catheter fits over the penis. It looks and functions much like a condom but has a tube that connects to a urine collection bag.

External Catheters

Condom catheters, also known as external urinary catheters or penile sheath catheters, provide a way to collect urine without inserting anything into the body. This makes them a less invasive option compared to indwelling catheters, which can be uncomfortable and carry a higher risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Urine Collection

The device works by channeling urine through a tube into a collection bag, which is usually strapped to the leg. The collection bag can be emptied as needed, making it a convenient solution for those with mobility issues or who have undergone recent medical procedures that limit movement.

condom catheter - condom catheter

How to Use:1. Roll it on: Like a regular condom, roll the catheter onto the penis, leaving about half an inch of space at the tip.2. Secure it: Ensure the fit is comfortable yet secure. Some models come with self-adhesive properties, while others may require a skin-safe adhesive.3. Connect the bag: Attach the catheter to a urine collection bag and strap the bag to your leg.

Pro Tip: Always wash your hands before and after applying the catheter to maintain hygiene. Change the catheter daily to prevent skin irritation and infection.

For those with latex allergies, silicone options are available. Sizes vary, so measure the circumference of the penis at its base to ensure a proper fit.

By offering a non-invasive and easy-to-use solution, condom catheters help men manage urinary incontinence effectively, allowing them to maintain their dignity and comfort.

Benefits of Using Condom Catheters

Less Invasive

One of the biggest advantages of using a condom catheter is that it's non-invasive. Unlike indwelling catheters, which need to be inserted into the bladder, a condom catheter is worn externally. This reduces the risk of urethral injuries and discomfort. Simply roll it on like a condom, and you're good to go.

Lower UTI Risk

Using a condom catheter can significantly lower your risk of developing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs). Since these catheters aren't inserted into the bladder, the chances of introducing bacteria into the urinary tract are minimized. According to ProMed DME, external catheters can significantly lower the chances of developing UTIs.

Home Use

Condom catheters are designed to be user-friendly, making them perfect for home use. You don't need a medical professional to help you put it on or take it off. Many users find this aspect particularly appealing as it allows for more privacy and independence.

Customer Tip: Grape seed oil works wonders for removing the adhesive without causing pain.


Comfort is crucial when managing urinary incontinence. Condom catheters are designed to fit snugly and securely, making them more comfortable than invasive options. Some models even use a hydrophobic pouch and silicone-based adhesive to provide a secure and comfortable fit. These can be worn for up to 24 hours without causing skin irritation.

User Review: "After seven months of 24/7 use, I am finally getting some sleep. No leaks and no issues."

By offering a non-invasive, comfortable, and easy-to-use solution, condom catheters help men manage urinary incontinence effectively, allowing them to maintain their dignity and comfort.

Next, we will discuss how to properly use a condom catheter for the best results.

How to Properly Use a Condom Catheter


Applying a condom catheter at home is straightforward. Start by removing any previous condom catheter. Always roll it off gently to avoid skin irritation.

Step-by-step:1. Wash your hands with soap and water.2. Clean your penis thoroughly with mild soap and water, including under the foreskin if necessary.3. Dry completely to prevent skin irritation and ensure good adhesion.4. Inspect for sores or irritation. If you see any, it might mean the condom catheter is too tight.


After your penis is clean and dry, it's time to apply the catheter:

  1. Apply any sealant if you're using one, and let it dry.
  2. Roll the condom catheter onto your penis, leaving a small space at the tip to allow for urine flow.
  3. Hold in place for 10-20 seconds to let the adhesive set.
  4. Wrap the sheath around the base of the condom loosely to ensure blood flow.

Next, connect the catheter to the collection bag:

  1. Attach the tube from the collection bag to the catheter.
  2. Strap the collection bag to your leg below the knee. Make sure it's secure but not too tight.

Take a few steps to ensure everything is comfortable and in place.

Daily Replacement

For hygiene and skin health, it's crucial to change your condom catheter daily:

  1. Remove the catheter by gently rolling it off.
  2. Clean your penis as described in the application section.
  3. Inspect your skin for any signs of irritation or sores.
  4. Apply a new catheter following the same steps.


Maintaining good hygiene is essential to prevent infections and skin issues:

  1. Wash your hands before and after handling the catheter.
  2. Clean the skin around the catheter daily with mild soap and water.
  3. Avoid using creams or powders near the catheter area as they can cause irritation.
  4. Drain the collection bag every few hours or when it's half full to prevent backflow and leakage.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage urinary incontinence with a condom catheter, ensuring comfort and reducing the risk of complications.

Next, we will discuss how to choose the right condom catheter for your needs.

Choosing the Right Condom Catheter

Choosing the right condom catheter is crucial for comfort, functionality, and preventing complications. Here’s what you need to know:


Condom catheters come in various sizes to fit different penis circumferences. Using the wrong size can lead to leaks or even injury.

Tip: Measure the circumference of your penis at the base using a measuring guide. A healthcare supply specialist can help you find the best fit.


Silicone Catheters: These are hypoallergenic and ideal for men with latex allergies. They are flexible and comfortable but might be a bit pricier.

Latex Catheters: These are more elastic and provide a snug fit. However, they are not suitable for individuals with latex allergies.

Adhesive Types

Self-Adhesive Catheters: These have adhesive already applied inside the sheath. Just roll the catheter onto the penis, and the adhesive keeps it in place. They are convenient and easy to use.

Non-Adhesive Catheters: These require an additional adhesive like medical tape or skin glue. They offer more control over the fitting process but add an extra step during application.

Fit and Comfort

A proper fit is crucial to prevent leaks and skin irritation. Here are some tips:

  • Leave Room at the Tip: Ensure there’s 1 to 2 inches of space at the tip to prevent rubbing against the condom.
  • Use a Sheath Holder: This keeps the condom in place without cutting off blood flow.
  • Skin-Prep Sealants: These products keep your skin dry and can be pulled off by the adhesive instead of your skin, reducing discomfort during removal.

Customer Reviews

Many users have shared their experiences to help you make an informed decision. For instance, one user mentioned, "We successfully used this going and back without the condom coming off or leaking at all." Another highlighted, "The collection bag that comes with this is very large... make sure of size."

By considering these factors, you can choose the right condom catheter that suits your needs and ensures comfort and effectiveness.

Next, we’ll address some frequently asked questions about condom catheters.

Frequently Asked Questions about Condom Catheters

Why would you use a condom catheter?

A condom catheter is a great option for managing urinary incontinence. It's especially useful for:

  • Urinary Incontinence: If you can't control when you urinate, a condom catheter can help keep you dry and comfortable.
  • Ease of Use: You can put it on and take it off at home without needing a healthcare professional.
  • Non-Intrusive: Unlike urethral catheters, it doesn't go inside your body, making it less uncomfortable and reducing the risk of infections.

How long can a condom catheter stay on?

You should replace a condom catheter every day. This daily change is crucial for:

  • Hygiene Practices: Keeping the area clean helps prevent infections and skin irritation.
  • Skin Health: Regular changes ensure that the adhesive doesn't damage your skin and that the catheter remains effective.

Do you need a doctor's order for a condom catheter?

In most cases, you don't need a doctor’s order to buy a condom catheter, but there are a few things to consider:

  • Prescription Requirements: While a prescription isn't usually necessary, consulting with your healthcare provider is a good idea for personalized advice.
  • Medicare: Unfortunately, Medicare and other insurance plans often do not cover the cost of condom catheters, meaning you'll likely need to pay out-of-pocket.
  • Medical Necessity: Your doctor can help determine if a condom catheter is the best option for your specific situation, especially if you have other health conditions.

By understanding these FAQs, you can make an informed decision about whether a condom catheter is right for you.


Navigating catheter supplies can be daunting, but at ProMed DME, we're here to make the process easier and more comfortable for you. Our commitment to exceptional customer service means you’ll always have knowledgeable support at every step of your journey.

We understand that each person's needs are unique. That’s why we offer a wide range of high-quality products, including different sizes and types of condom catheters. Our team is dedicated to helping you find the perfect fit, ensuring both effectiveness and comfort.

Quality assurance is at the core of what we do. All our products undergo rigorous testing to meet the highest standards, so you can trust that you’re getting the best. We also provide comprehensive instructions and support to ensure you can use your catheter confidently and safely.

Choosing ProMed DME means choosing a partner in your healthcare journey. We’re more than just a supplier; we’re here to support your path to optimal health. Our external catheters page offers a comprehensive selection and detailed information to help you make the best choice for your needs.

Thank you for considering ProMed DME. Together, we can ensure your catheter care is as straightforward and comfortable as possible. Visit our external catheters page to get started.

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