external catheter

Painless external catheter for male and female - Everything you need to know about urinary catheter

Isn't it extremely painful to insert urinary catheters? Try external catheter!

Most of the persons lose their bladder control because of many pathological problems. It is a common and embarrassing problem with severity ranging from occasional urine leakage to having so sudden urge that the suffering patient doesn’t get enough time to go to the toilet.1

Although this condition mostly occurs in older patients as they age, yet it is not a necessity. Urinary incontinence occurs in both men and women of any age. Several cases of kids have also been reported to have urinary incontinence. It is so prevalent that one-quarter to one-third of men and women in the United States suffer from urinary incontinence according to the American Urological Association.2

One way by which doctors manage urinary incontinence is by urinary diversion using various catheters. These catheters are used for draining bladder automatically without the need of control of a person on urine flow. This article aims to focus primarily on external catheter, their types, and clinical applications.


What is a urinary catheter?

A urinary catheter is a hollow, thin, flexible tube that can be put into the urinary bladder via the urethra or any other site in order to drain urine out of the bladder. Regarding their make, they can be of:

  • Silicone
  • Plastic (PVC)
  • Rubber

These are generally used in those patients who are unable to empty their bladder on their own. These come in many sizes, types, and shapes.

Which patients can use a catheter?

Healthcare providers usually recommend urinary catheters to those patients who are suffering from:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urinary retention
  • Prostatic or genital surgery
  • Other medical conditions such as dementia, spinal cord damage, or multiple sclerosis, etc. that impair the nervous system and the patient loses his or her control over the bladder.


Types of Urinary Catheter

There are three main types of catheters used in various urinary problems. They have been developed keeping in mind the needs of different kinds of patients having different pathologies. These are:

  • Indwelling urinary catheter
  • Intermittent self-catheter
  • Condom catheter3


Indwelling Urethral Catheter

As the name indicates, this catheter remains inside the bladder for a specific period of time. A tiny balloon is present at that end of the tube, which goes inside the bladder. This is inflated with water in order to prevent the tube from sliding out of the body. The urine that comes out of the body via the tube is collected in a drainage bag.
An indwelling catheter is of two types:

  • Urethral Catheter: It may also be known as Foley catheter by many.A nurse inserts it into the bladder via the urethral passage.
  • Suprapubic Catheter:Your physician surgically inserts it through a tiny hole in the abdomen below the belly button. Of course, this is done in the hospital under anesthesia.4


Intermittent Self-catheter

Doctors refer this type of catheter as an in-and-out catheter. This catheter is only used when it is needed. You may even not be wearing a bag. Either you or your caregiver would insert it to drain the bladder and then remove it afterwards. Doctors advise to do this procedure daily at least once. However, the frequency of this process depends on the need or the amount of urine to be drained from the bladder.5

What are the potential complications of the indwelling and intermittent catheters?

It is important to routinely clean and disinfects invasive catheters such as indwelling and intermittent ones as they commonly cause urinary tract infections. The symptoms of UTIs include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Acidic urine which feels like it is burning the urethra
  • Urine with pus
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain
  • Back pain
Other possible complications include:
  • Allergic reaction to the materials used in the catheter
  • Damage to the kidney when indwelling catheters are used for a very long time.
  • Injury to the urethra


Condom Catheters or External Catheters

A condom catheter is placed outside the body. As the name indicates, this can only be used by men with urinary incontinence. There is no such tube that needs to be inserted into the penis. Instead, a condom-like device is placed over the head of the penis. The urine is this passed from this device into the drainage bag via a tube.6

These catheters usually need to be changed daily, however, some good brands like Vastmedic are designed for longer use and comfort.

Components of a Complete External Male Urinary Catheter Kit

External male urinary catheter kits are specially designed for those men who have serious functional or mental problems like dementia that cause the men to lose control over urine flow. This kit includes:

  • Silicone external male catheter that is shaped like a condom
  • Size adjustable underwear that holds the catheter in its place over the head of the penis.
  • A tube that drains urine from the catheter to the drainage bag.
  • A collection bag with capacity up to 2 liters.


Benefits of Using External Male Urinary Catheter Kit

This type of catheter is the latest and is designed to ease the patients. The major benefits provided by such external urinary catheter are as follows:

  • Non-invasive and Painless: Several procedures for collecting urine require insertion and invasive ways. However, patients prefer this catheter because of its non-invasive nature. No type of surgery or insertion into the body is needed. This feature thus makes it painless.
  • Less Risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Any invasive procedure makes the person prone to severe infections. Due to the involved invasive procedure, indwelling and intermittent catheters cause UTIs. In fact, indwelling urinary catheters are the leading cause of health-care associated UTIs. Contrary to this, external male urinary catheters do not cause UTIs.7
  • Less Irritation: The silicone material used in an external urinary catheter kit doesn’t feel rough or itchy against the patient’s skin.
  • Availability for Home Usage:These external urinary catheter kits can be used at home.


Why choose Vastmedic?

Not only Vastmedic external male urinary catheter provides the above-mentioned benefits, but it also possesses some additional features such as:

  • Reusable: Most of the brands need the catheter to be discarded once it is used. However, Vastmedicexternal urinary catheter kit is made of silicone material that can be reused too.
  • Leak-Proof Urinary Collector System:If you’re looking for a kit that is made of high-quality material, Vastmedic must be your choice. Most of the kits available in the market have such urine collection bags that cannot hold maximum volumes of urine and become leaky. Vastmedic provides a leak-proof urine collector system that guarantees no spillage of urine out of the bag.
  • Wearable Elastic Waistband:Instead of putting up the diaper as needed in other types of catheters, an adjustable elastic underwear is provided that can easily be resized according to the comfort of the patient.


Using Collected Urine for Diagnosis

Because the urine collecting bag provided by Vastmedic external urinary catheter kit is made of leak-proof material, it thus can be used as a reservoir for collecting urine. This urine-containing bag can then be sent to the laboratory for testing of certain diseases associated with urinary problems.

Is Vastmedic external urinary catheter kit available for women?

Vastmedic products are not just limited to men. Vastmedic has designed such external urinary catheter kits that can be used by females. This catheter has been made soft and flexible for women that wicks urine away, keeping the body dry and odor-free.

How to use Vastmedic external male urinary catheter kit?

The best way to use Vastmedic kit is by following the below-given guidelines:

  • Put the urinary catheter into the provided position in the elastic underwear.
  • Connect the catheter to the urine, collecting bag with the drainage tube.
  • Wear the underwear and set it in the right position.
  • Insert the penis head into the catheter and adjust it accordingly.
  • Wear the pants over the kit.
  • Hang the bag beside the bed at home while sleeping or fix it to your calf in a comfortable position while travelling.


How should you care for a catheter?

To avoid any kind of complications, proper care must be ensured while using a catheter.

  • Cleaning the catheter: It is advised by the doctors to clean the area where the catheter is placed. Also, sterilize the catheter itself with soap and water frequently in a day. It is likely that the catheter gets fecal matter while pooping. Thus, clean the catheter after every bowel movement to prevent any infection.
  • Washing hands:When handling the drainage bags and the catheter, hands must be washed before and after.


Take-Away Message

Many persons experience urinary problems such as urinary incontinence or urinary retention, and if you’re one of those, there isn’t any need to worry about. Vastmedic has the solution for you. After consultation from your doctor, you surely can get Vastmedic external male urinary kit which would help you in managing urinary problems. It would be a wise option to choose Vastmedic as the kit provided by us is specially designed for patients with urinary problems. Moreover, the silicone material used in the urine collection bag makes it leak-proof, so you don’t need to worry about any spillage. If you have any kind of questions, feel free to reach us out. We would surely be glad to help you.

external catheter for male
external catheter for female
external catheter bag


  1. Urinary incontinence | womenshealth.gov. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/urinary-incontinence.
  2. Incontinence: Symptoms & Treatment - Urology Care Foundation. https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/urinary-incontinence.
  3. Urinary catheters: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003981.htm.
  4. Urinary Catheterization - Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/medical-tests-and-procedures/urinary-catheterization-a-to-z.
  5. Oakeshott, P. & Hunt, G. M. Intermittent self catheterization for patients with urinary incontinence or difficulty emptying the bladder. Br. J. Gen. Pract.42, 253–5 (1992).
  6. Mastrigt, R., Pel, J. J. M., Chung, J. W. N. C. & De Zeeuw, S. Development and application of the condom catheter method for non-invasive measurement of bladder pressure. in Indian Journal of Urologyvol. 25 99–104 (Wolters Kluwer -- Medknow Publications, 2009).
  7. Evidence Review | CAUTI Guidelines | Guidelines Library | Infection Control | CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/cauti/evidence-review.html.

1 comment

Barbara Sances

Jan 13, 2021 at 14:36

I don’t understand how this works for women. is there a different piece that sits at the labia to collect urine? or does the patient sit on this cup for a female? We really need help for a patient that can not have an internal catheter of any kind due to a bladder mass. Thanks

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