Condom catheters are one way of dealing with moderate to severe male urinary incontinence. They offer an alternative to the traditional catheter tubes that are inserted into the urethra. Keeping the area clean is important when taking care of a catheter. This will often help prevent infections.
Before putting on this type of catheter, the penis and surrounding areas should be washed with soap and water. Afterward, it should be dried thoroughly. The penis should also be examined for any red spots or broken skin. It is also important to attach a new condom catheter each day.
Condom catheters are usually attached to the penis. Some may use Velcro® for this, while others may use a special kind of tape. It is important to use only the appropriate tape to attach these catheters. Using regular adhesive tape could damage the catheter.
Throughout the course of the day, condom catheters should be emptied every so often. Many urinary incontinence doctors recommend emptying the bags when they get to be about two-thirds full of urine. Large catheter bags may need to be emptied about every eight hours. Smaller bags, on the other hand, will need to be emptied about every three hours.
To empty the bags, a patient must first remove the spout from the protective pocket at the bottom of the bag. Being careful not to touch the tip, he can then slide the valve on the spout open to let the urine empty out of the bag and into a container or toilet. The valve can then be closed, rinsed off, and replaced back into the protective pocket.
Keeping all parts of condom catheters clean is important. After rinsing a catheter bag with warm water, it should be filled with a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water. Thirty minutes later, it can be emptied and rinsed again. It should then be allowed to air dry and stored, if necessary.
When wearing condom catheters, it is important to treat them carefully. If the bag or tube is treated roughly, it could cause a hole, which can allow urine to leak out. Throughout the day and when in bed, it is important that the tube does not become kinked or bent. Also, the bag should be hung on the side of the bed, ideally just below the mattress.
Taking proper care of catheters is not only about cleanliness alone, but also preventing infections. Since patients who use catheters are more prone to infections, patients who experience certain symptoms should be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible. Some of these symptoms include a red or swollen penis; thick, cloudy, or blood-tinged urine; urine with a strong odor; pain while urinating; and a fever or chills.