Catheters for Urinary Incontinence in Men

Treatment Overview

Catheters used to manage urinary incontinence include:

  • Standard catheter. This is a thin, flexible, hollow tube that is inserted through the urethra into the bladder and allows the urine to drain out. The standard catheter is used for intermittent self-catheterization.
  • Indwelling Foley catheter. This type of catheter, which remains in place continuously, has a balloon on the end that is inflated with sterile water after the end is inside the bladder. The inflated balloon prevents the catheter from slipping out. Urinary tract infections are more likely to occur with long-term use of an indwelling catheter than with intermittent self-catheterization. To learn more, see the topic Care for an Indwelling Urinary Catheter.
  • Condom catheter or Texas catheter. This is a special condom that fits over the penis and is attached to a tube that collects urine. Condom catheters are only for short-term use, because long-term use increases the risk of urinary tract infections, damage to the penis from friction with the condom, and urethral blockage.

What To Expect After Treatment

Catheterization may cause some discomfort during the procedure. A condom or Texas catheter does not cause much discomfort, because it is not inserted into the urethra, but indwelling catheters may cause some discomfort while in place.

Why It Is Done

Catheters can be used to treat severe incontinence that cannot be managed with medicines or surgery.

How Well It Works

Catheters do not cure incontinence but rather allow you or a caregiver to manage incontinence.

These devices are effective. But some men find catheters uncomfortable or painful and stop using them.

Risks

Using a catheter increases your risk for:

What To Think About

The use of catheters can be under your control and can be designed to fit into your lifestyle.

Complete the special treatment information form (PDF)special treatment information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this treatment.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
Current as of July 17, 2012

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