For men suffering from incontinence
after receiving prostate cancer treatment, a sheath,
known as a condom
catheter, may be worn around the penis to drain
the urine into a bag. The use of catheters can be under
patient control and can be designed to fit into their
This device should be applied to clean, dry skin. The condom is commonly made from a latex material and attaches to the penis with adhesive. A plastic tube is attached to the condom, which leads to a bag taped to the leg or a pouch surrounding the penis. The attached bag accumulates all the urine until it is emptied. The bag must be emptied every 30 minutes and the condom device must be changed and cleaned at least every other day to protect the skin of the penis.
The condom catheter may not be suitable for patients who are allergic to latex. Some doctors view the condom catheter as a crutch, preventing men from working to regain urinary control. Side effects include urinary tract infections, damage to the penis from friction with the condom, and urethral blockage.
Condom catheters can be used to treat severe incontinence that cannot be managed otherwise. The catheters do not cure incontinence; instead they help patients manage urinary leakage. Patients should talk to their doctors to find out if they are candidates for this treatment technique.