A urinary sheath is a great way to manage urinary incontinence in men. It’s a condom like catheter that sits over your penis. It has a little outlet tube at the bottom which makes it super easy to connect it to a leg bag or overnight drainage bag. But let’s take a look who can and can’t use a sheath.
WHO CAN AND CAN'T USE A URINARY SHEATH?
First of all, make sure to get assessed by a healthcare professional before attempting to use a urinary sheath. This is to make sure it’s suitable for your individual needs.
A urinary sheath can be used whether you’re circumcised or not and suffer from moderate to severe incontinence. It might also be a great option if you struggle to get to the toilet in time due to mobility issues, for example. A sheath, unfortunately, won’t be right for you if you can’t empty your bladder by yourself and it also won’t help you to pass urine. So, if you have problems with your urethra, a sheath likely won’t be right for you.
In order to use a sheath, your penis will have to have a certain girth and length to use a sheath. Generally speaking, your shaft will need to be around 2.5 centimetres or 1 inch long. You or your carer will also need to be willing to learn how to use a sheath and you will need to have enough dexterity to apply and remove the sheath if you’re using it yourself.
If the person you’re caring suffers from any kind of cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s likely that a sheath won’t be right for you. That’s because there’s too much of a risk that they will take off the sheath which can lead to potential injuries to the penis.
HOW DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT URINARY SHEATH?
During your initial assessment, your HCP will help you to find the right urinary sheath for your individual needs. They will measure your penis with a size gauge before recommending a product to make sure it doesn’t sit too loose or tight. It’s super important that your sheath doesn’t sit too tight as your penis will change in size during the course of the day. Your sheath should provide enough room for this to happen without interfering with blood supply as this could cause serious damage to the penis.
But it’s not just that! Wearing the wrong size can cause all sort of problems: It can cause leaks, damage to the penis or, if your urinary sheath sits too loose, it can fall off. And that’s exactly why it’s so important that you speak to your continence nurse or doctor about it before attempting to use a urinary sheath.