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External & Condom Catheter Supply & Delivery
An external catheter is worn outside the body, which helps decrease the risk of damage to the urethra caused by frequent insertion of an intermittent catheter. An external catheter is worn like a condom for men (commonly referred to as a condom catheter) and a pouch for women. To collect urine, it uses a drainage bag that is typically strapped to the leg for men or on the body for women.
Male External Catheter
The male external catheter is commonly referred to as the condom catheter due to the way it is applied and worn. The part that touches the body is the only part that needs to be replaced, making the external catheter relatively inexpensive when purchased in quantity.
On a condom catheter, the condom-like tube is attached to a drainage tube that is then either connected to a drainage bag that can be strapped to the leg, or to a bedside drainage bag. An external catheter is convenient in situations when restrooms are not readily available. The leg drainage bag can rarely be seen under slacks for men. For men who tend to be more active, there is a jockey-type strap external catheter available that helps keep the catheter in place during activities.
An external condom catheter should only be used once, and only up to 48 hours at a time. The male external catheter comes in different sizes and is available in latex or latex-free varieties, depending on your tolerance and comfort level.
It is important to discuss your daily lifestyle and needs with your doctor to find out which male external catheter will best fit your preferences. Since the condom catheter comes in different sizes, you want to make sure the fit is appropriate. Some men have complained the bands on a condom catheter can be too restricting after extended wear. If that is the case, your doctor may need to order you another type or size of condom catheter.
Female External Catheter
The female external catheter is generally used by women who are restricted to bed rest or are in a wheelchair. The female external catheter funnels urine via a pouch that is worn against the body. The pouch is attached to a drainage tube and collection bag. However, a female external catheter is rarely used because it has not proven to be totally useful or practical for elderly women in wheelchairs or those who are bedbound.
External Catheter Complications
Most complications with an external catheter occur when the catheter is used incorrectly or for a longer period of time than intended. A variety of complications can occur:
- Skin irritation or urinary tract infections are possible (although these are less common than with intermittent or indwelling catheters).
- Some men may experience penile strangulation if the device is too tight and prevents proper function.
- Constant wet skin may become soft and can be worn away by the external catheter.
- An allergic reaction to the materials may be possible.
It is important to notify your doctor if you are allergic to materials that contain latex.
To prevent complications and infections, you should practice proper hygiene, monitor use frequently and follow the advice given to you by your doctor. If you feel something is not proper, seek medical attention.
Free External Catheter Delivery from FreedoMed
If you're on Medicare and have a doctor's prescription, you could get your external catheter supply delivered right to your home for free! We'll take care of all the paperwork for you, and shipping is free too. We have a high quality selection of female and male external catheters, including the condom catheter, so you can get whatever variety of external catheter you and your doctor decide is best for you. To find out if you qualify, apply for free external catheter delivery from FreedoMed today!
*Co-payments, deductibles and some restrictions apply.