Step-by-Step Guide to Male External Catheters with Suction

Angela Breslin, RN
June 11, 2024
min read


Are you looking for a comfortable way to manage urinary incontinence without using indwelling catheters? A male external catheter with suction could be the answer you need. This type of catheter offers a non-invasive, easy-to-use solution that helps maintain your comfort and dignity.

Key Benefits:

  • Non-Invasive: No need for insertion, reducing discomfort and risk of injuries.
  • Reduce UTIs: Minimized risk of introducing bacteria into the urinary tract.
  • Comfort: Custom fit with gentle adhesives for secure, comfortable wear.
  • Discrete Use: Can be worn under clothing invisibly.

Using a male external catheter with suction is crucial for those seeking a non-invasive, comfortable, and efficient way to manage urinary incontinence. Such devices are specifically designed to keep patients dry, protect their skin, and reduce the risk of infections like Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs). According to a study referenced by the CDC, 30% to 50% of prolonged catheterization days are unnecessary, increasing the risk of CAUTIs. With ProMed DME's products, you can protect against both CAUTI and incontinence-associated dermatitis thanks to features like constant suction and a closed system that prevents leakage.

These innovative devices not only significantly lower the chances of developing UTIs but also preserve patient dignity and comfort. Experience and compare the benefits for yourself by requesting no-cost samples from ProMed DME.

Infographic showing the benefits of male external catheters with suction: Non-Invasive, Reduce UTIs, Comfortable Fit, Discrete Use - male external catheter to suction infographic infographic-line-5-steps

Understanding Male External Catheters with Suction


A male external catheter with suction is a non-invasive device used to manage urinary incontinence in men. Unlike indwelling catheters (which are inserted into the bladder), these catheters are external and work by adhering to the penis to collect urine. The suction component helps move urine away from the body, reducing the risk of skin irritation and infections.


A typical male external catheter with suction consists of several key parts:

  1. External Catheter Sheath: This is a soft, flexible sleeve that fits over the penis. It can be made of silicone for hypoallergenic properties or latex for elasticity.

  2. Adhesive: Some catheters come with self-adhesive sheaths, while others require additional medical tape or skin glue to stay in place.

  3. Suction Pump: This device creates a gentle vacuum to draw urine away from the body and into a collection system.

  4. Urine Collection System: This can be a bedside canister or a wall-mounted canister, which stores the urine until it can be disposed of.


The functionality of a male external catheter with suction is straightforward yet highly effective. Here's how it works:

  1. Application: The catheter sheath is rolled onto the penis, ensuring a snug fit.

  2. Suction Activation: Once the catheter is in place, the suction pump is activated. This pump creates a constant vacuum that gently pulls urine away from the body and into the collection system.

  3. Urine Collection: The collected urine is stored in a canister, which can be easily emptied.

  4. Leak Prevention: The closed system design of these catheters ensures that there is no leakage, maintaining patient dignity and comfort.

Real-World Example

Consider the case of a long-term acute care facility with 107 beds. Over a 17-month study, it was found that 30% to 50% of prolonged catheterization days were unnecessary, the top risk factor for catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). By switching to external catheters with suction, the facility significantly reduced the incidence of CAUTIs and improved patient comfort.

urinary catheter - male external catheter to suction

How to Use a Male External Catheter with Suction

Using a male external catheter with suction can be simple and effective if you follow these steps. Here's how to prepare, apply, and maintain it properly.


1. Gather Your Supplies:Before you start, make sure you have everything you need. This includes:- The male external catheter- Suction device- Collection bag or canister- Mild soap and water- Antiseptic wipes- Sterile gloves

2. Hygiene is Key:Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. If you’re helping someone else, put on sterile gloves to avoid spreading bacteria.

3. Clean the Area:Gently clean the penis using mild soap and water, then dry it completely. This helps prevent skin irritation and infection.


1. Sizing:Choose the correct size for a secure fit. Measure the circumference of the penis at the base. A well-fitted catheter prevents leaks and skin issues.

2. Rolling Technique:Use the rolling technique to apply the catheter. Here’s how:- Unroll the catheter over the penis, ensuring it fits snugly but comfortably.- Make sure the adhesive (if it’s a self-adhesive type) sticks well to avoid slipping.

3. Connect to Suction:Attach the catheter to the suction device. This helps to move urine from the pouch to a collection system, helping to prevent CAUTI and incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD).

4. Secure the System:Ensure the catheter and suction device are securely connected. If you’re using a collection bag, make sure it’s properly attached and positioned to avoid any pulling or movement.


1. Regular Cleaning:Clean the area around the catheter and the catheter itself with mild soap and water at least once a day. This reduces the risk of infection.

2. Check for Leaks:Regularly check for any signs of leakage. A closed system can help prevent leaks, but it’s always good to be vigilant.

3. Replace as Needed:Replace the catheter according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Regular replacement ensures hygiene and prevents skin issues.

4. Hydration:Encourage the patient to drink plenty of fluids. This helps maintain urine flow and reduces the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

By following these steps, you can ensure the male external catheter with suction works effectively and comfortably. Proper use not only enhances patient comfort but also significantly reduces the risk of infections and other complications.

Benefits of Using Male External Catheters with Suction


Male external catheters with suction offer a non-invasive solution for managing urinary incontinence. Unlike indwelling catheters, which need to be inserted into the bladder, these catheters are placed over the penis like a condom. This significantly reduces discomfort and the risk of urethral injuries.

Example: The Men’s Liberty Acute (MLA) catheter has a suction-free design that supports leak-proof freedom of movement. Its strong yet gentle adhesion ensures a secure fit without the need for shaving, enhancing comfort for the user.


One of the main safety benefits of using male external catheters with suction is the reduction in Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs). Since these catheters are not inserted into the bladder, they minimize the risk of introducing bacteria into the urinary tract.

Fact: According to the CDC, 30% to 50% of prolonged catheterization days are unnecessary, which is the top CAUTI risk factor. Using external catheters can significantly lower this risk.

Pro Tip: The QiVi male external catheter features a 100% closed system that prevents leakage and utilizes a hydrophobic pouch to keep wetness away from the skin, further enhancing safety.


Male external catheters with suction are designed to efficiently manage urine output, reducing the need for frequent changes and manual interventions.

Case Study: In a 17-month study at a 107-bed long-term acute care facility, the use of external catheters helped keep patients dry and safe, saving clinicians time and preserving patient dignity.

Efficiency Highlight: The QiVi system's constant suction moves urine from the pouch to a wall-mounted canister, helping prevent incontinence-associated dermatitis and ensuring that the patient remains dry.

By opting for a male external catheter with suction, you can improve patient comfort, enhance safety, and increase efficiency in managing urinary incontinence. This not only benefits the patient but also aids caregivers by reducing the time and effort required for maintenance.

Common Challenges and Solutions

While male external catheters with suction are effective, users might encounter some challenges. Here are common issues and practical solutions to ensure a smooth experience:


Problem: Leakage can occur if the catheter is not properly aligned or securely placed.

Solution:- Proper Alignment: Ensure the catheter is correctly positioned before securing it. Misalignment can lead to leaks.- Secure Placement: Use adhesive strips or mesh underwear to keep the catheter in place. This reduces the risk of it shifting and causing leaks.- Regular Checks: Periodically check the catheter to ensure it remains securely in place. Adjust as necessary to prevent leaks.

Skin Irritation

Problem: Prolonged use of external catheters can cause skin irritation or breakdown.

Solution:- Hydrophobic Pouch: Use products like the QiVi male external catheter, which has a proprietary "hydrophobic" pouch that keeps wetness away from the skin, reducing the risk of irritation.- Perineal Care: Clean the skin thoroughly before and after using the catheter. Use gentle, non-irritating cleansers and ensure the area is dry before application.- Regular Replacement: Change the catheter as recommended (every 24-48 hours for Men’s Liberty Acute) to maintain skin health and prevent irritation.

Secure Fit

Problem: Achieving a secure and comfortable fit can be challenging, especially for those with retracted anatomy.

Solution:- One-Size-Fits-Most: Products like Men’s Liberty Acute offer a one-size-fits-most design, ensuring a secure fit for a wide range of users.- Strong Adhesion: Ensure the catheter has strong but gentle adhesion. This keeps it in place without causing discomfort or requiring shaving.- Adjustable Options: Opt for catheters with adjustable features to accommodate different anatomies. For example, the Versette female external catheter can also accommodate males with retracted anatomy.

By addressing these common challenges with the right techniques and products, you can ensure that male external catheters with suction provide maximum comfort and efficiency.

Next, we'll delve into some frequently asked questions to further assist you in using male external catheters effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions about Male External Catheters with Suction

What is the best male external catheter?

Choosing the best male external catheter to suction depends on your specific needs. Here are some top contenders based on expert criteria:

  • Condom Catheters: These are great for general use and come in both latex and silicone options. Silicone is hypoallergenic and more comfortable for those with sensitive skin.

  • Sheath-Based Catheters: Known for their secure fit and comfort. They are ideal for those who need a reliable, long-term solution.

  • Pouch-Based Catheters: Best for mobility and active use. They offer more freedom of movement while ensuring effective urine management.

For example, the Men’s Liberty Acute offers strong, gentle adhesion without shaving and lasts 24-48 hours, providing leak-proof freedom of movement.

How often should the catheter be changed?

The frequency of changing a male external catheter to suction varies based on the type and usage. Here are general guidelines:

  • Men’s Liberty Acute: Lasts 24-48 hours.
  • TrueClr M+: Designed for continuous use but always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Versette Female External Catheter (for males with retracted anatomy): Lasts 8-12 hours.

Regularly changing the catheter helps maintain hygiene and skin health, reducing the risk of infections and other complications.

Can male external catheters be used at home?

Yes, male external catheters with suction can be used at home. They are designed for ease of use and comfort, making them suitable for home care. Here are some tips:

  • Preparation: Ensure you have all necessary supplies, including a wall-mounted canister or portable pump.
  • Application: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper placement and secure fit.
  • Maintenance: Regularly check for leaks and skin irritation. Replace the catheter as recommended.

Using these catheters at home can save time and preserve dignity while providing effective urine management.


Navigating male external catheters with suction can seem daunting, but ProMed DME is here to make it easier. We're committed to providing you with the best products and support to ensure your catheter care is as straightforward and comfortable as possible.

ProMed DME offers a range of high-quality male external catheters designed for comfort, safety, and efficiency. Our products are crafted to help you live your life to the fullest without being held back by urinary concerns.

Customer Support

We understand that each person's needs are unique. That's why our exceptional customer support team is always available to answer your questions, help you navigate insurance billing, and provide guidance on using your catheter. We're dedicated to ensuring you have all the information and assistance you need.

Free Shipping

At ProMed DME, we believe in making your life easier. That's why we offer free shipping on all our products. We ensure that your supplies are delivered promptly and discreetly, so you can focus on your health and wellbeing without worrying about logistics.

In conclusion, managing your catheter supplies effectively is crucial for maintaining optimal health and independence. With ProMed DME's support, you can rest assured that you're receiving the best products and services tailored to your needs. Visit our external catheters page to learn more and get started.

Thank you for considering ProMed DME as your trusted partner in catheter care. Together, we can navigate your healthcare needs and support your journey toward optimal health.

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