Sheaths are a popular and effective alternative to absorbent pads for many men. They fit over the penis like a condom and are attached by a tube to a drainage bag and can be used during the day and during the night. Penile Sheaths are also sometimes called condom catheters, uridomes or external catheters.
Sheaths can be worn for shorter periods, for example, if you are going on a journey, watching a football match etc. If sheaths are used for shorter periods then a special medical wipe or spray may be needed to help you remove them. There are many accessory products available which can be used to help protect the skin, increase adhesiveness if required and aid removal. Please speak to your Continence Advisor.
Sheaths are available in a range of lengths and sizes. Most companies supply them with diameters in the range of about 20-40mm (in 5-10mm increments). This variation ensures that you have a sheath which is the correct size for you. The sheath will need to be big enough to allow natural movement of the penis but should also not be too loose as it may leak or come off completely. Before using a sheath system you should ask for help from your health professional this will ensure you use the correct size of sheath and put it on properly.
Sheaths are usually made of latex or silicone rubber. Most men prefer silicone sheaths over latex ones especially if latex sensitivity is a problem. Also, silicone is transparent allowing some visualisation of the skin without removing the sheath. However, this is not a substitute for periodic removal of the sheath and direct inspection of the skin.
Some sheaths are self adhesive and others have a separate adhesive or adhesive strip. Some sheaths
can be fitted using an applicator; in some cases this may be easier if you find it difficult to apply them by hand.
Penile Sheaths should be changed every 24 hours. To help remove use warm soapy water and wash the penis and the surrounding area before putting on a fresh sheath. Follow the instructions that you receive with the sheath and from your continence advisor.
Penile sheaths are available via mail order and on prescription.