Tips for Using Male External Catheters

1. Choose the Right Catheter Size

Self-Catheterization for Females

The size of a male external catheter is determined by the girth measurement. It is not related to the length but to the circumference of the penis. Different types of catheter size guides are available to correctly determine the size of a condom catheter. Choosing an external catheter too small in size will create difficulty in wearing it. A size bigger than the required will not allow the catheter to stay on. Choosing the right size of condom catheter can help in preventing urine leakage.
 

 

2. Prevent Pubic Hair from Sticking to Catheter

Self-Catheterization for Females

Since there is an adhesive present in the self-adhesive condom catheter, some men complain that their pubic hair get caught in the catheter. A simple trick to avoid this is to use a paper towel and cover the pubic hair. Fold the paper into quarters and cut the corner so that when you open it, there is a hole in the center. Push the penis through the hole and make a barrier between the catheter and the pubic hair. Wear the catheter on the penis, and once it is in place, tear off the paper towel and dispose it of.
 

3. Trim Pubic Hair if Required

Self-Catheterization for Females

Many times, using a paper towel is not convenient. In such cases, the best thing you can do is to take a blunt pair of scissors and trim the pubic hair. In this way you can easily wear the male external catheter without any interference of pubic hair. Make sure that you do not shave the pubic area because the subsequent regrowth can cause irritation.
 

 

4. Use Skin Barrier to Protect the Skin

Self-Catheterization for Females

Keeping the skin clean and dry before rolling on an external catheter is important because body oils and perspiration can break down the adhesive. Make sure you clean your penis and the surrounding area completely before using a catheter. Use of a skin barrier wipe can put an extra layer of protection between the catheter and the skin. It also enhances the adherent properties of the catheter.
 

5. Cut Tubing to the Correct Length

Self-Catheterization for Females

Length of the tubing which will connect the condom catheter to the leg bag depends on where you wear your urine bag whether on the calf or on the thigh. But cutting it to a correct length is important because a longer length can kink and obstruct the urine flow and a shorter length can pull it out from the catheter.
 

 

6. Tie Catheter to Upper Thigh

Self-Catheterization for Females

It is always preferable to tie the male external catheter to the urinary leg bag worn on the upper thigh. This will reduce the tension on the catheter and will prevent it from being pulled or tugged. It will also allow you to move more freely and easily. You can also use straps to secure the extension tubing in place.
 

7. Regularly Empty the Leg Bag

Self-Catheterization for Females

It is always recommended to drain the urine bag on the regular basis so that it does not get too heavy. While draining urine, leave a small amount of urine in the leg bag to avoid creating a vacuum. If a vacuum is created, the flow of urine from the catheter into the bag stops.

 

8. Use Warm Washcloth for Easy Removal

Self-Catheterization for Females

A popular technique for pain-free catheter removal is to take a warm washcloth and wrap it around the condom catheter. Leaving it on the catheter for a minute will loosen the adhesive, resulting in easy removal. Make sure that you use warm water, not hot water, to avoid skin burns.

 

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