external catheter for females

Everything You Need To Know About External Catheter [A Comprehensive Guide 2021]

Urinary incontinence is an issue that commonly affects people over the age of 60, and is seen in both men and women. Other medical conditions such as dementia, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord damage can cause loss of control over the bladder. Catheters are used to address these issues, and there are many types available.


External catheters currently available on the market include condom catheters and vagina catheters. Indwelling catheters are also commonly used. These products are always touching the patient’s skin, which can cause pain or irritation. The Vastmedic external catheter is truly an external catheter and offers a number of benefits. It is leakproof, comfortable, hygienic and reusable. It is suitable for all body shapes, and specifically addresses the issues of pain for female catheter users, and penis shrinkage for male catheter users. You can feel safe using our external catheters knowing that you are protected from leaks and other uncomfortable situations.


What is External Catheter?

how to use external catheter


A catheter is a medical device that is placed inside the bladder to drain urine in patients with urinary incontinence. If urine is not drained from the bladder regularly, it can cause a number of issues, including infection and kidney problems. The most common catheters sit inside the body and are known as indwelling catheters.


Indwelling catheters are invasive because they are inserted into the body and are in constant contact with the skin and internal organs. External catheters are a great, non-invasive alternative that covers the outside of the penis or vagina and collects urine outside the body. These devices provide relief from incontinence while helping you stay comfortable.


Benefits and Features of External Catheters

There are many kinds of catheters available to choose from to best suit your needs. It is important to weigh the risks and benefits of each type, and to take your comfort and lifestyle into consideration.


Common Types of Catheters

Some common types of catheters include:

  • Indwelling catheter: these highly invasive catheters are implanted into the bladder through the urethra by a medical professional; they are typically changed every two to four weeks.


  • Condom catheter: these are fit over the penis similarly to a condom used for sexual activity, and are connected to a collection bag by a long, thin tube; these catheters can irritate the skin and become infected if not applied correctly or cared for properly. Adhesives may need to be used to hold the catheter in place, causing even more irritation.


  • Female external catheter: traditional external catheter for females use an absorbent, adhesive pad to collect urine that drains into a collection bag; these are designed to be used only in a sitting or lying position, limiting mobility.


Why Use an External Catheter?


The catheters listed above all come with several disadvantages when it comes to ease of use, comfort, and mobility. External catheters, however, are convenient and comfortable, as they can be used at home with no medical procedures required. Males who suffer from penis shrinkage can use external catheters because they do not need to be inserted through the urethra. However, not all external catheters work well for males with penis shrinkage. Condom catheters are ineffective for men with penis shrinkage because they do not fit well and may fall off, causing leakage.


External catheters provide many benefits to patients with urinary incontinence including ease of use and comfort.


  • Non-invasive and painless: external catheters do not require surgery or insertion into the body for use.

  • Less risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs): indwelling catheters are more likely to cause infections like UTIs; our external catheter is non-invasive, leading to fewer infections.

  • Readily: available to order online and use at home

  • Easy to use and comfortable: this kit was designed with the human body in mind, fitting curves in order to prevent urine leakage. The silicone funnel has an easy-to-use switch that can be opened, closed, or flushed as needed.


Features of the Vastmedic External Urinary Catheter Kit


  • A true external catheter that does not touch your penis or vagina

  • Painless and hygienic

  • Available in 3 sizes, fitting both male patients (who may have penis shrinkage) and female patients:

         External Catheter for Females

         External Catheter for Males

         External Catheter for Male with Penis Shrinkage

  • Two sizes of reusable drainage bags for day and night use

  • Suitable for both walking and lying down

  • Adjustable underwear holds the catheter in place over the penis or vulva

  • Adjustable waist belt with a length of 38-74 inches


How To Use External Catheter

We designed external catheters for both males and females, as well as the special design for patients with penis shrinkage.


how to use external catheter


There are 6 steps to using our external catheter:

  1. Prepare and clean the areas that the catheter will cover

  2. Put the urinary catheter into the correct position in the provided elastic underwear. Connect the catheter to the urine collection bag using the drainage tube

  3. Put on the underwear and adjust them (using the button holes) and the catheter to ensure a good fit and to prevent leakage

  4. Males: Insert the head of the penis into the catheter and adjust as needed

  5. Females: Cover the vulva with the catheter and adjust as needed

  6. Hang the bag beside your bed at home while sleeping, or fix it to your calf in a comfortable position while standing up or moving around


Tips for Wearing Your External Catheter

  1. Be sure to clean the area that the catheter covers well to prevent any irritation or discomfort; this includes washing the area well with warm water and soap, thoroughly drying it, and trimming excess hair.

  2. Make sure to adjust the underwear and straps so that the catheter fits snuggly but is not too tight; this helps prevent leakage while minimizing irritation and discomfort.

  3. Leakage may still happen caused by misuse, so be prepared by keeping underpads and extra garments handy.


How To Care For Your External Catheter

Your external catheter and collection bag should be cleaned often to prevent infections. Wash the silicone funnel thoroughly with soap and water, and let it air dry. Collection bags are reusable, and can be cleaned using the following steps:


  1. Add cold water to the collection bag, shake, and discard contents into the toilet; repeat once.

  2. Add a mixture of 1-part bleach to 10-parts water, or 1-part vinegar to 3-parts water to the bag, then let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Pour the cleaning mixture out of the bag into the toilet, rinse with warm water, and let it air dry.

how to use external catheter


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Will the Vastmedic external urinary catheter leak?

A: Our product has been thoroughly tested over many years, and leakage rarely occurs due to misuse. The shape of our external catheter is leakproof because the design fully matches the shape of the human body. The addition of the underwear and adjustable straps further helps prevent leakage. Some people with obesity may have issues with leakage, due to their body shape.


Q: Will I get an infection from using the Vastmedic external urinary catheter?

A: Our external catheters are non-invasive and do not irritate the genitals, leading to a lower rate of infection. Be sure to keep the catheter, collection bag, and areas that come in contact with the device clean and dry to prevent infections.


Q: Will the Vastmedic external urinary catheter cause skin irritation or breakdown?

A: Our external catheters touch very little skin, leading to less overall irritation and breakdown compared to traditional catheters. Be sure to keep the device and the skin clean to prevent any issues.





External Sources

  1. What Is A Catheter - Bladder & Bowel Community
  1. Integrated care for older people (ICOPE) - World Health Organization
  1. Alternatives to the Indwelling Urinary Catheter - Centers for Disease Control


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