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How Does a Catheter Work?

Internal and External Catheters for Men

When a man suffers from urinary incontinence, he has several options to manage his symptoms. Adult diapers or incontinence pads are often chosen, however, these can be messy, inconvenient and cause skin irritation. This is one reason why some men choose to use catheters instead.

There are two main types of catheters: internal catheters (also called indwelling catheters or Foley catheters), and external catheters (also called condom catheters or Texas catheters).

How Does an Indwelling Catheter Work?

A standard internal catheter is a thin, hollow, flexible tube that is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder to allow urine to drain out. These are single-use catheters that are removed after you’ve emptied your bladder.

Alternatively, a Foley catheter, the most common type of internal catheter, can be used for up to a month before being replaced with a new one. They have an inflatable balloon at the end, allowing them to stay in place. The balloon is inflated with sterile water, which stops it from slipping out of the bladder.

A common side effect of internal catheters is urinary tract infections. This is due to bacteria traveling up the catheter and into the bladder, where it can multiply, causing an infection.

How Does an External Catheter Work?

Male external catheters, on the other hand, offer another option for managing urinary incontinence. These types of catheters cover the penis like a condom and stay in place using an adhesive, whether it is built into the sheath or a separate liner. Urine flows into a bag that is attached to the bottom of the external catheter and sometimes secured to the leg. These types of catheters may be worn for upwards of 24 hours and changed daily, and can be used by men who have anywhere from light urine leakage to severe incontinence.

Some men do report skin irritation from external catheters. This is usually due to the catheter being the incorrect size, moisture on the skin from leakage or from extended wear.

Men’s Liberty: An Alternative to a Typical External Catheter

Men’s Liberty offers an alternative to a typical external catheter that allows wearers to get back to the active lifestyle they deserve. It is safe, reliable, easy to use, and can be worn all day and throughout the night. To date, more than 3 million Men’s Liberty units have been sold without any attributable incidence of UTI or skin injury.

Fill out the form to the right to learn more about the Men’s Liberty difference today!

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