Male External Catheter— What You Should Know

Indications For External Male Catheter

Some of the common uses of external catheters include:

  • Urinary incontinence: External catheters are most commonly used to manage urinary incontinence in men. They can help prevent embarrassing accidents and provide a convenient and discreet way to manage the condition.
  • Prostate issues: External catheters may also be used in men with prostate problems, such as an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. They can help manage urinary symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • Bedridden patients: External catheters may be used in bedridden patients who cannot use a regular toilet or urinal. They can help prevent skin breakdown and urinary tract infections, which are common in immobile patients.
  • Post-surgery: External catheters may be used in men who have had surgery on the bladder or prostate. They can help manage urinary symptoms and prevent complications during the recovery period.

What Are The Benefits Of Male External Catheters

Male external catheters have several benefits, including:

  • They are non-invasive: Unlike other types of catheters, male external catheters do not require insertion into the body, making them a non-invasive option for managing urinary incontinence.
  • They are comfortable: When properly applied, male external catheters can be comfortable and easy to wear, allowing for greater mobility and independence.
  • They reduced the risk of infection: Since male external catheters do not enter the body, the infection risk is lower than other types of catheters.
  • They are cost-effective: Male external catheters can be more cost-effective than other types of catheters, as they are typically less expensive and require fewer supplies.
  • They are easy to use: Applying a male external catheter is a relatively simple process that can be done by the patient or a caregiver with minimal training. Additionally, external catheters come in different sizes and shapes to fit the penis comfortably. Measuring the penis to ensure a proper fit is essential. This prevents leaks and skin irritation.

It's worth noting that male external catheters may not be suitable for everyone, and it's important to discuss with a healthcare provider to determine the best type of catheter for an individual's needs.


External catheters should be changed every 24 hours or as your healthcare provider recommends. Also, cleaning the penis thoroughly before applying a new catheter is essential to prevent infection and skin irritation.

How To Put On Male External Catheters

To put on a male external catheter, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the penis with soap and water and dry it thoroughly.
  2. Apply a water-soluble lubricant to the tip of the penis.
  3. Unroll the catheter and place the adhesive side against the penis, starting at the base and rolling it toward the tip.
  4. Ensure the catheter is snug but not too tight and that there are no wrinkles or air pockets.
  5. Connect the catheter to a drainage bag or leg bag if needed.
  6. Check the catheter frequently to ensure it is securely in place and not leaking.
  7. Remove the catheter when it is no longer required or at least every 24 hours to prevent skin irritation and infection.

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific type of catheter and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or difficulties with the catheterization process.



External catheters are a safe and effective way to manage men's urinary incontinence and other urinary symptoms. They are easy to use and can help improve the quality of life of men who struggle with these conditions.