Is condom drainage the best continence strategy for your patient?


Also known as urisheath, uridome, male sheath or an external urinary catheter, condom drainage is an externally worn device that fits over the penis like a condom and drains urine via a tube into a collecting bag.

Urinary incontinence is a debilitating and often overlooked condition that can affect up to 11% of men aged 60-64 and 30% of those over 85 (Shamliyan et al, 2009; Anger et al, 2006). It is often associated with a severe physical, psychological and financial burden, and has a considerable impact on the ability to perform everyday tasks.

Inadequate management of urinary incontinence may lead to limited social and professional interactions. The condition can have a serious effect on independence and even lead to some older patients being institutionalised (Irwin et al, 2006; Cottenden et al, 2005), with 70.9% those in residential aged care suffering urinary or faecal incontinence (Deloitte Access Economics report, 2011).

Rather than choose surgical treatment, some men choose to manage the condition using containment measures that allow them to participate more fully in social and professional situations.

Many experts consider condom drainage as a preferred method of containment care. In fact, a recent study showed condom drainage improved patients’ quality of life, was less invasive and preferred by a majority of men over absorbent products as a result of their comfort, hygiene, clothing protection and overall dryness (Chartier-Kastler, 2011).

However, there are a number of steps that should be taken to ensure condom drainage is the right continence product for your patient:

  • The patient needs to be assessed for the suitability of the product, correct fitting of the appliance and skin integrity. Further information on advantages, disadvantages and considerations, products and materials, procedure, complications and problems refer to European Association of Urology Nurses, 2008.
  • A manufacturer’s sizing guide of the required sheath to be trialed must be used to identify the correct diameter of the penis. The length of the flaccid penis should also be noted.
  • Silicone and latex systems are available; sheaths come in a range of different lengths and sizes, as well as one or two-piece systems that can be self-adhesive.
  • The amount of adhesive also varies and therefore it’s very important to consider all factors, including client mobility, dexterity, high-pressure voids and skin integrity of the penis.
  • The non self-adhesive sheaths normally require an adhesive strip or a type of skin glue.
  • The equipment must be re-evaluated for its effectiveness. Written or verbal information its management and the techniques required for applying and removing the condom should be given to your patient or their carer.

For information on how to use a condom catheter download the below guide covering measurement, preparation, application and aftercare.

Independence Australia offers a number of resources to help assist with condom drainage including the Condom Drainage Comparison Chart:

Independence Australia stocks thousands of continence products. To view our condom drainage products online click here. To find out more information on condom drainage products contact our Urology and Continence nurse by clicking here or contact our customer service team on 1300 788 855.