Incontinence – Catheters & Sheaths

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Catheters and associated leg bags for holding urine, are devices that should only be used under medical supervision. Indwelling catheters remain in place for extended periods of time (they need to be changed monthly), and are fitted by a nurse.

Image of intermittent catheterAny catheter is essentially a thin, soft, flexible tube, which is inserted into the urethra, to drain urine from the bladder.

Intermittent catheters, used for self-catheterisation, drain the urine from the bladder at intervals, and are not left in place. For an individual who is able to self-catheterise, or who has a carer who can assist, intermittent catheters are a better solution than indwelling. Inserting a catheter is a simple and safe procedure, once it has been learned correctly, and intermittent catheters bring less risk of infection than those that remain in place for longer.

Image of retracted penis pouchA penis pouch or condom catheter can be used by men suffering from incontinence following treatment for prostate cancer. This is the sheath that is worn around the penis and drains urine into a bag. A retracted penis pouch (right) is a “one size fits all” solution where a sheath won’t stay on.