External Condom Catheters for male incontinence

dadspet Member Posts: 7 Member

External Condom Catheters for male incontinence


Incontinence isa major problem for males after surgery or radiation and I've read almost nothing on the BBs about the use of external condom catheters for incontinence. After becoming incontinent my urologist recommended use of a clamp and external condom catheter to replace the use of pads / Depends. When the urologist suggested their use I didn't have a clue what an external condom catheter was, how they were used. Or their effectiveness. My thoughts at first were: Wow, your kidding, there are such things, No way Jose for me. So I'm writing this post to perhaps help those who are incontinent and using pads that get soaking wet and haven't heard of external condom catheters (ECC).


I can summarize several things about ECCs before I go into more detail.


1. They work and are a much better solution then using wet pads / Depends.

2. In some ways they are a better alternative then a penal clamp

3. Covered by Medicare where pads aren't

4. Last up to 24 hrs

5. Empty into an external drainage bag available in multiple sizes (leg bags and night bags )


I was amazed to find that there are multiple sizes (Length and width) and multiple manufactures with different brands, each with different features (material, adhesion method, Connection method etc). The options seem almost endless at first and if nothing else make you realize that your not alone and all these options wouldn't be available if there weren't many other men out there with the same incontinence problem you have.


The good news is the manufactures and suppliers provide samples for you to try. They will send you a sizing guide and various size condoms to try. The will also send you samples of the various models they carry so you can determine which one works best for you. After you determine the right size the most important issue facing you will be; will it stay on for 24 hrs at a time without leaking or coming off.


The various models / options come in:


Material: Latex vs silicon

No adhesion, various self adhesion, other adhesion methods

Connection method to drain bag


Different drain bags and attachment methods to External Condom catheter.


Sounds like a lot of options and it is but the suppliers provide advice on which ECC is best for you and if your lucky the first set of samples might provide you with a good solution and away you go!

But a big problem facing several men (especially older ) is retraction. This forces the condom catheter off. If your ECC is coming off before 24 hrs or when your not expecting it to come off, you will be exploring the various options in a lot of detail to resolve the issue Several manufactures provide specialty ECCs to address this issue and you can easily spend several weeks getting different samples and trying them to find a ECC that works for you. Part of your problem might be that given 3 samples of a type, 2 will work but the 3rd might fall off when you didn't expect it Another problem will be determining what worked and what didn't work so you will need to keep records.

It will be very important use a soap with no lubricants in it like ivory when taking a shower and being very dry before putting on the ECC.

ECCs are better also a better alternative then a penal clamp in some ways. The clamp becomes uncomfortable after a short period of time and isn't really recommended for use at night. The clamp does provide a solution for short term use if you don't get sores from it or become uncomfortable with it on its also a better solution than wet pads. 


Well I hope this has helped someone out there and believe me its a much better solution then wet pads / Depends. I think you will find you can live a fairly normal social life and even have some advantages with ECCs : you will no longer have to visit every available bathroom and can go several hrs without draining a bag. Wearing shorts will be a challenge but there are solutions for that also. ECCs are not perfect and the idea is perhaps a bit scary or even weird  at first, but clearly an option worth looking into. 


  • RobLee
    RobLee Member Posts: 269 Member
    External Condom Catheters for male incontinence

    I've been using condom caths for the most part since my surgery six months ago. I find there is too much irritation from pads/diapers as soon as they get wet. It took me a while to find the CC's I like best... they are Freedom with aloe.  I've discovered that various manufacturers have "staked a claim" to certain circumerernce landmarks (e.g., 28mm, 31mm, 35mm) so if you fall in between sizes you may need to go up or down a size to get your favorite, where another brand may be the right size but not be comfortable or reliable.

    I've only had them pull off or separate a couple times... embarrassing, but manageable. Major issue for me is finding comfortable underwear to wear with the CC's... I've even cut a small hole in a couple pairs just for use with CC's instead of running the tube down the leg opening.

    I have replied to a couple of your posts, but they have not yet appeared in the thread. A msg said they need to be reviewed by a moderator, so maybe I'm just wasting my time typimg. But eventually I need to begin salvage radiation and am considering the AMS800 AUS, and have been reading as much as I can on that.


  • mtop
    mtop Member Posts: 28 Member
    Incontinence (ECC)

    CAn you explain what you mean when you said a big problem facing several men (especially older) is retraction.

  • SubDenis
    SubDenis Member Posts: 130 Member
    edited September 2017 #4
    I am a cold water scuba diver

    I am a cold water scuba diver and use a dry suit to dive in new England and Canada.  We use an external cath that connects to a valve in our leg to discharge to sea.  No reason it couldn't discharge to a bag.  One tough lesson is to make sure you trim pubic hair way back!  get hair caught in the condom and try to remove it, ouch.  Denis