External Catheters

Everything You Need to Know About the Best External Catheters

Angela Breslin, RN
July 3, 2024
min read

Effective Solutions for Urinary Incontinence: A Product Roundup of the Best External Catheters

Dealing with urinary incontinence can be challenging, but choosing the right external catheter can make all the difference. If you're searching for the best options, here's a quick look at top external catheters on the market:

  1. QiVi Male External Catheter: Constant suction prevents CAUTI and incontinence-associated dermatitis.
  2. Men’s Liberty Acute: Non-invasive, strong adhesion, and leak-proof.
  3. Versette Female External Catheter: Comfortable low-pressure suction and latex-free.
  4. PureWick Female External Catheter: Designed for a snug fit and effective vacuum system for urine collection.

Urinary incontinence can significantly impact your daily life. External catheters offer a less invasive solution compared to internal catheters, providing comfort and reducing the risk of infections. At ProMed DME, we specialize in providing a variety of high-quality external catheters tailored to meet your specific needs.

Ready to find the best catheter for you? Keep reading for an in-depth guide on the top choices available, ensuring you make an informed decision for better bladder control and improved quality of life.

Best External Catheters Comparison Chart - external catheters infographic pillar-4-steps

What Are External Catheters?

External catheters are devices designed to manage urinary incontinence by collecting urine externally. They are less invasive than internal catheters and offer a comfortable solution for both men and women. Let's dive into the different types of external catheters and understand how they work.

Types of External Catheters

Condom Catheters: Also known as penile sheath catheters, these are worn over the penis like a condom. They connect to a drainage bag that collects urine. Available in silicone and latex, they offer flexibility and comfort. Silicone options are hypoallergenic, while latex catheters are softer but may cause allergic reactions.

Female External Catheters: These come in different designs to fit the female anatomy. Some cover the vulva and use a soft, absorbent pad that drains into a collection bag. Others, like the PureWick™ system, use a curved tube with absorbent wicking material, running from the pubic bone to the buttocks. These catheters often use a slight vacuum to draw urine into a collection container.

Bodyworn Products: These include specialized underwear or adhesive patches that discreetly attach to the body. They offer convenience and mobility, especially for individuals with limited movement or those who prefer a more integrated solution.

How External Catheters Work

Urine Collection: External catheters channel urine away from the body into a collection bag. For male catheters, the device is rolled onto the penis, and for female catheters, it is positioned near the urethral opening. Urine is diverted through tubing into a drainage bag, which can be attached to the leg or bedside.

Adhesive Application: Some condom catheters come with built-in adhesives for easy application, while others require separate adhesive or skin glue. It's essential to clean and dry the skin before attaching the catheter to ensure a secure fit.

Vacuum System: Female external catheters like the PureWick™ system use a slight vacuum to draw urine into a collection container. This method is particularly effective when sitting or lying down.

Urine Drainage: The collected urine is stored in a drainage bag that needs to be emptied regularly. Proper hygiene practices, including daily cleaning of the bag and tubing, help reduce odor and prevent bacterial buildup.

External catheters provide a practical and non-invasive solution for managing urinary incontinence. By understanding the different types and how they function, you can choose the best option for your needs.

Ready to find the best catheter for you? Keep reading for an in-depth guide on the top choices available, ensuring you make an informed decision for better bladder control and improved quality of life.

Top 5 Best External Catheters

Choosing the best external catheter can be overwhelming due to the variety of options available. To make your decision easier, we've rounded up the top five external catheters based on comfort, effectiveness, and user reviews. These products are designed to provide reliable urine management and improve your quality of life.

QiVi Male External Catheter

The QiVi Male External Catheter is known for its constant suction feature, which helps prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs).

Key Features:- Constant Suction: Maintains a steady flow of urine, reducing the risk of backflow and infections.- Hydrophobic Pouch: Keeps the skin dry and comfortable.- Closed System: Minimizes the risk of leaks and odors.

Men’s Liberty Acute

Men’s Liberty Acute offers a non-invasive and suction-free design, making it a comfortable choice for many users.

Key Features:- Non-Invasive Design: Easy to apply and remove.- Strong Adhesion: Ensures a secure fit, preventing leaks.- Leak-Proof: Provides reliable urine management without the need for frequent changes.

Versette Female External Catheter

For women, the Versette Female External Catheter offers a low-pressure suction system and soft mesh underwear for added comfort.

Key Features:- Low-Pressure Suction: Gentle on the skin, reducing the risk of irritation.- Soft Mesh Underwear: Provides a snug and comfortable fit.- Latex-Free: Ideal for those with latex allergies.

PureWick Female External Catheter

The PureWick Female External Catheter is designed to fit snugly between the glutes and labia, ensuring effective urine collection.

Key Features:- Snug Fit: Ensures effective urine collection without leaks.- Vacuum System: Draws urine away from the body into a collection container.- Soft, Flexible Fabric: Comfortable for long-term use.

Note: The PureWick system is a cash sale only and not covered by Medicare or other insurance plans. Learn more.

PureWick Female External Catheter - external catheters

Coloplast Freedom Cath

The Coloplast Freedom Cath offers a silicone sheath and an anti-kink reservoir to ensure a secure and comfortable fit.

Key Features:- Silicone Sheath: Hypoallergenic and comfortable for sensitive skin.- Anti-Kink Reservoir: Prevents blockages and ensures a steady flow of urine.- Aloe Adhesive: Provides a secure fit with added skin protection.

Each of these external catheters offers unique features to meet different needs. Whether you prioritize comfort, security, or ease of use, there's a product in this roundup that can help you manage urinary incontinence effectively.

Ready to find the best catheter for you? Keep reading for an in-depth guide on the top choices available, ensuring you make an informed decision for better bladder control and improved quality of life.

QiVi Male External Catheter

The QiVi Male External Catheter stands out for its innovative design and advanced features. This catheter is engineered to provide constant suction, which helps move urine efficiently from the pouch to a wall-mounted canister. This feature is crucial for preventing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI), a common issue with prolonged catheter use.

One of the key benefits of the QiVi system is its 100% closed system. This design ensures that no urine leaks out, maintaining hygiene and reducing the risk of infection. The closed system is particularly beneficial in hospital settings where infection control is paramount.

The proprietary hydrophobic pouch is another standout feature. This pouch keeps wetness away from the skin, significantly reducing the risk of skin irritation and incontinence-associated dermatitis. The hydrophobic material repels moisture, ensuring the skin remains dry and comfortable, even during extended use.

Key Features:

  • Constant Suction: Keeps urine flowing smoothly to the canister, preventing CAUTI.
  • Closed System: Ensures no leakage, maintaining hygiene and reducing infection risk.
  • Hydrophobic Pouch: Keeps skin dry and prevents irritation.

The QiVi Male External Catheter is a top choice for anyone looking for a secure, hygienic, and comfortable solution for urinary incontinence. Its advanced features make it a reliable option for both patients and healthcare providers.

Men’s Liberty Acute

The Men’s Liberty Acute is a standout option for men seeking a comfortable and effective external catheter. Unlike traditional options, this catheter is fully non-invasive and does not rely on suction, making it a unique choice for those needing a reliable urine management system.

Key Features:

  • Non-Invasive Design: The Men’s Liberty Acute offers a gentle alternative to indwelling catheters. It's designed to be easy to apply and remove, minimizing discomfort and reducing the risk of infection.

  • Suction-Free: Unlike some other external catheters, the Men’s Liberty Acute does not require suction to function. This makes it simpler to use and less reliant on external equipment, offering more freedom and flexibility.

  • Strong Adhesion: The catheter features strong but gentle adhesion, ensuring it stays securely in place without causing skin irritation. Importantly, it does not require shaving, which can be a significant benefit for many users.

  • Leak-Proof: One of the biggest concerns with external catheters is leakage. The Men’s Liberty Acute is designed to be leak-proof, providing peace of mind for users. It supports freedom of movement, allowing users to go about their daily activities without worry.

  • Long-Lasting: This catheter can last between 24-48 hours, making it a convenient option for those who need long-term solutions. This reduces the frequency of changes and helps maintain skin health.

Why Choose Men’s Liberty Acute?

The Men’s Liberty Acute is ideal for those looking for an effective, non-invasive solution to manage urinary incontinence. Its suction-free design and strong adhesion make it a comfortable and secure option. Plus, the leak-proof feature ensures you stay dry and confident throughout the day.

This product is particularly beneficial for those who value ease of use and minimal maintenance. With its long-lasting wear time and reliable performance, the Men’s Liberty Acute is a top choice in the realm of external catheters.

By choosing Men’s Liberty Acute, you are opting for a product that prioritizes both comfort and functionality, making it a leading option for urinary incontinence management.

Next, we’ll explore another top product in the category of external catheters: the Versette Female External Catheter.

Versette Female External Catheter

The Versette Female External Catheter is designed to offer a comfortable and secure solution for urinary incontinence. This product stands out due to its low-pressure suction system, which gently pulls urine away from the body and into a bedside canister. This feature helps keep the skin dry and reduces the risk of incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD).

One of the key components of the Versette catheter is its soft mesh underwear. This underwear comfortably secures the pad in place, ensuring a snug fit that adapts to most body types. The soft material also adds an extra layer of comfort, making it suitable for long-term use.

Another advantage of the Versette is that it is latex-free, making it a safe option for patients with latex allergies. The catheter's thin profile further enhances its usability by lowering the risk of pressure injuries. This design ensures that the product remains discreet under clothing, allowing for greater freedom of movement.

In summary, the Versette Female External Catheter combines comfort, safety, and efficiency. Its low-pressure suction system, soft mesh underwear, latex-free composition, and thin profile make it an excellent choice for managing urinary incontinence effectively.

Next, we’ll delve into another highly-rated product in the category of external catheters: the PureWick Female External Catheter.

PureWick Female External Catheter

The PureWick Female External Catheter is a game-changer for women dealing with urinary incontinence. This innovative device offers a non-invasive solution that combines comfort, effectiveness, and ease of use.

Glutes and Labia Placement

Positioning the PureWick catheter correctly is crucial for its effectiveness. To do this, separate the legs, gluteus muscles, and labia. Place the PureWick catheter between the labia and the anus, with the thicker part closer to the anus. This ensures the catheter is in contact with the area around the urethral opening, allowing it to draw urine away from the body efficiently.

Snug Fit

A snug fit is essential to prevent leaks and ensure maximum comfort. The PureWick Female External Catheter is designed to fit snugly against the body without causing discomfort. Its soft, flexible fabric adapts to the body's contours, providing a secure fit that stays in place even during movement.

Vacuum System

The vacuum system is another standout feature of the PureWick catheter. Once the catheter is positioned, attach it to the collector tubing leading to the collection canister. The suction machine creates a gentle vacuum that pulls urine away from the body and into the canister. This system not only keeps the user dry but also helps prevent skin irritation and infections.

Collection Container

The collection container is a vital component of the PureWick system. It consists of a 2000cc canister that securely holds the urine drawn by the vacuum. This canister is easy to monitor and empty, ensuring that it doesn't overflow. The container's lid and secure connections also prevent any leaks, maintaining hygiene and convenience.

Monitoring and Maintenance

Frequent monitoring is essential to ensure the system is functioning correctly. Check for leaks, blockages, and the fullness of the canister. The PureWick catheter should be replaced every 8 to 12 hours or immediately if it becomes soiled with blood or feces. This practice ensures optimal performance and hygiene.

In summary, the PureWick Female External Catheter offers a reliable and comfortable solution for managing urinary incontinence. Its thoughtful design, efficient vacuum system, and secure collection container make it a top choice for many.

Next, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about external catheters.

Frequently Asked Questions about External Catheters

What is an External Catheter?

An external catheter is a device designed to manage urinary incontinence by collecting urine outside the body. For men, these are often called condom catheters or penile sheath catheters. They fit over the penis like a condom and direct urine into a collection bag. For women, external catheters cover the vulva and use a vacuum system to draw urine into a collection container.

External catheters are non-invasive and provide a less risky alternative to indwelling catheters, which are inserted into the bladder. These devices help maintain dignity and comfort by reducing the need for frequent changes of absorbent pads or underwear.

How Long Can You Leave an External Catheter On?

You should change an external catheter daily to maintain good hygiene and prevent potential complications like skin irritation or infections.

Steps to follow:1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.2. Clean the genital area with mild soap and water, then dry it well.3. Apply the new catheter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.4. Connect the drainage bag and ensure it's securely attached.

Empty the urine collection bag regularly to avoid overflow. For products like the PureWick Female External Catheter, replace the catheter every 8 to 12 hours or sooner if it becomes soiled.

Will Medicare Pay for External Catheters?

Medicare coverage for external catheters can vary. Generally, Medicare does not cover external catheters like the PureWick system. These products are often available through cash sales only.

For more details on Medicare coverage and to explore your options, it's best to consult directly with your healthcare provider or the supplier.

ProMed DME offers a range of high-quality external catheters to suit different needs, but it's important to verify coverage and costs based on your specific situation.

Next, we’ll address common concerns and complications related to external catheters, including issues like size fit, skin irritation, and leakage.


When it comes to managing urinary incontinence, finding the right external catheter can make a world of difference. At ProMed DME, we are dedicated to providing top-quality products that meet your unique needs. Our selection includes the best external catheters available, ensuring both comfort and effectiveness.

Our commitment to exceptional customer service means we are here to support you every step of the way. Whether you have questions about product usage, need help with your order, or require after-sales support, our team is ready to assist.

We also offer free shipping to make it easier for you to get the supplies you need. Plus, we understand the importance of discreet and secure delivery, so you can have peace of mind knowing your products will arrive safely and privately.

While some external catheters, like the PureWick system, are available through cash sales only, we strive to provide options that can fit within your budget. It's always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to understand what is covered under your plan.

At ProMed DME, we are more than just a supplier—we are your partner in health. Explore our range of external catheters today and find the solution that works best for you.

For any questions or to place an order, reach out to us. We're here to help you achieve better bladder control and improve your quality of life.

Next, we'll address common concerns and complications related to external catheters, including issues like size fit, skin irritation, and leakage.

View Resource

Discover the ProMed Advantage
& Try Our Products

We offer free shipping and legendary customer service to ensure you receive the
best DME products for your needs.