Male

Sheaths

Sheaths fit over the penis much like a contraceptive condom and collect urine as it leaves the body. You may also hear them called condom catheters, uridomes, Texas catheters or external catheters. They can either be connected to a drainage bag which can be worn on the thigh or the leg which works well for men with moderate/heavy incontinence. Alternatively they can be connected to a catheter valve which can be useful for times when leakage is very light or during short activities like swimming, when other incontinence products are inappropriate.

In order to work well, sheaths need to be the correct size. Each manufacturer will produce a measuring tool and it is important to measure correctly, too large and it will be wrinkly and could fall off, too small and it will be uncomfortable and cause irritation.

Sheaths are liked by men of all ages, they work well and when fitted properly can have better leakage performance than pads 2. Men often prefer to use them as part of a combination of products, perhaps using a sheath in the day and a pad at night 2. During the day they are useful if you are active and want to go out for longer periods of time without access to a toilet e.g. long walks, playing golf etc. But they are also suitable for men in wheelchairs and those with a more sedentary lifestyle. They don’t work well if you have a short or retracted penis 2 (common after prostate cancer treatment) and products designed specifically for this purpose may work better.

Before using sheaths for the first time we recommend that you seek advice from the manufacturer (who may have a helpline or specialist nurse advisor) or ask your local continence service if they have someone with expertise in sheath fitting. 912. We have also produced a series of videos to help users and caregivers with the measuring and fitting of sheaths. See How to use a sheath for guidance.

See the text below for more information about sheaths.

More likely to suit you if...Less likely to suit you if...
  • You wish to avoid using pads
  • Using a device (as opposed to a pad or catheter) is acceptable to you
  • You wish to avoid the inconvenience of frequent pad changes
  • You have found indwelling catheters to be uncomfortable (sheaths tend to be more comfortable than indwelling catheters)
  • You have had a problem with infection with indwelling catheters (sheaths are associated with less infection than indwelling catheters)
  • You have good hand control
  • You have good memory and mental function
  • You have skin damage on or around the penis
  • Urinary tract infection is a major concern for you
  • You or your helper are unwilling or unable to fit the sheath

Being circumcised is a great help for keeping them on all day. A pop on sheath is best for short penis as adhesive sticks to glans.

Anonymous

Top Tips

  1. A good barrier product can be used before wearing a sheath. It helps to protect the skin. (Thank you for your tip - some skin protectors can also interfere with sheath adhesion so please check FAQs)
  2. 36 3
  3. Use a catheter retainer strap, it stops the sheath kinking and blowing off – place over junction of sheath and bag
  4. 18 2
  5. Sheaths tend to fall off, not just a matter of fitting the right size as penis is often a different size when applying sheath to later in day (i.e. semi-erect when applying, but much smaller when out in the cold).
  6. 16 5
  7. I was given some sheath samples without any instructions. I found useful guidance on the internet (youtube)
  8. 9 2
  9. Stand over toilet or bidet when removing sheath - so drips go in loo or bidet
  10. 7 0

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Discussion (Summary)loading

- Comment / Version
13:19 - 20 Jan '16 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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# 47

edited about how to get sheaths on prescription

12:59 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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added in about how to get sheaths yourself

12:58 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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# 45

added in about how to get sheaths yourself

11:17 - 11 Jan '16 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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# 44

added link to products for penile retraction

14:39 - 17 Dec '15 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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duplicated text removed

14:37 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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duplicated text removed

14:35 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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new revised sheath short description added

16:12 - 14 Dec '15 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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15:36 - 07 Dec '15 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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fix to reference problem

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ref problem fix

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fx to reference problem

12:26 - 26 Nov '15 Sinead Clarke-O'Neill United Kingdom

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16:26 - 04 Jun '13 Roger Blackmore United Kingdom

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11:48 - 05 Oct '12 Ashley Brookes United Kingdom

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