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Condom Catheter or Intermitant?

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    Condom Catheter or Intermitant?

    I've just recently come to the point where my bladder is emptying on it's own and I've been having accidents. I could take a medicine to relax my bladder so it doesn't leak, and continue to have catheterizing, or I could use a condom catheter. While a condom catheter relieves my mind of having to worry about the hours between draining, I'd have a leg bag around.

    Does anyone have an opinion on which? Your experiences? I don't know which to choose.

    -+> Dan Clark
    -+> Dan Clark

    cath questions

    My 21 yr old son's accident was 8-13-02 - C 7-8 complete. His bladder starting leaking 3 weeks ago. His urologist did urodynamics testing and said he could not use condom cath - that he must continue intermittent cathing every 4-6 hrs. He also put him on ditropan. He still leaks in between caths and has some problems with urine retention and dysreflexia. After he goes to bed at night, the fluid from his swollen legs/feet goes to the bladder and overdistends it. Sometimes we have to cath every 2 hours at night because of dysreflexia. Do you have any of these problems? How did your MD decide you could use condom cath? Is your injury incomplete? Thanks.


      I have been doing intermittent cath and wearing a leg bag for 24 years.

      If I am sitting around the house I won't bother with the leg bag but if I am going out I just cath and put the external cath and Bard leg bag.

      I don't use the adhesive external caths because I know I will be taking them on and off throughout the day for cathing. I wear a "Posey belt" (foam strip with Velcro) to hold external on.

      I don't bother strapping on leg bag and just wash it out after cathing, dry with a paper towel roll up external and reapply.

      If I am traveling I keep a jug of distilled water in the car to rinse out cath and bag when I make a pit stop to cath in car.

      Rochester has recently come out with a silicon external catheter (non adhesive) which so far has worked very well for staying on and low to no incidents of slip off.

      Hope this helps.


        New Thoughts

        I've been thinking...if I use the pills or intermitant instead of condom, would I be restricting my bladder from working itself, if it's trying to return normal function? Are their any nurses, or people who know? It's a tough decision for me...although it's probably not as bad as I make it, hehe.

        -+> Dan Clark
        -+> Dan Clark



          At 4 mo's post I started getting sensation telling me I needed to pee. At that point I quit taking ditropan and didn't tell my dr. I haven't had to cath at all for 1 1/2 yrs. now. (I'm 27 mo's post now.) You probably shouldn't do medical experiments like that on yourself, my urologist was just so negative. He told me no one ever regains urinary control. Like so many negative dr.'s I encountered, he was wrong. Betheny P.S. Obviously, I'm very incomplete.
          Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?


            My first question would be.....have you had a urodynamic study to determine your actual bladder function? This would be imperative before "choosing" a method of bladder management. Bladder pressures need to be evaluated before treating the bladder. Protecting your kidney function is the first priority in determining a bladder program. (EMK)
            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


              Clarkbar -- long, but important!

              SCI Nurse is right on the money in recommending that you first have a urodynamic study, if you haven't already done so, to establish a baseline of your urological status. While it's easy to get consumed (and frustrated) in discovering the best way to stay dry and not piss yourself, the greatest concern, by far, is making sure that you're protecting the health of your kidneys. It's possible to have dangerously high bladder pressures and be completely oblivious to it. The most insidious symptoms may not become obvious until serious damage is done. The moral: Don't f*** around with your kidneys.

              Now to address your question about leg bags vs. intermittent catheterization (IC):

              Keep in mind that I am a complete T4-level, 19 years post-injury and the possibility of me regaining control over my bladder is not in the cards short of the big cure.

              For the first 12 years post-injury I chose to wear a leg bag because I was put off by the side effects (severe dry mouth, blurred vision, fatigue) of the various anticholinergic medications that I had experimented with and I was also very paranoid about wetting myself if I was unable to find a suitable place to perform IC. My urologist at the time, someone very prominent in the field, encouraged me to go the IC route because he believed it offered the best protection to my kidneys but since my bladder pressures were still manageabley low he let me have my way using an external catheter and leg bag with the caveat that should my pressures escalate he would insist that I go back on the meds and do IC. (He also tried to sell me on augmentation cystoplasty surgery from the day I met him but I always politely declined.)

              To be more specific, my neurogenic bladder was a case of detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia. During spontaneous voiding the detrusor (the smooth muscle of the bladder) and the urinary sphincter are not in sync. (In a normal bladder, the sphincter relaxes when the detrusor contracts resulting in an unresricted flow of urine.) As a result the bladder pressure can escalate dramatically resulting in the possible reflux of urine up the ureters and into the kidneys -- a pressure the kidneys are not structurally able to accommodate and, moreover, if the urine is also infected .... Look out!

              It's very common, if not a certainty, that the bladders of SCIs will shrink over time. I don't know if this happened to me, but my bladder pressures finally got to the point where I had to abandon my ext cath-leg bag setup. I went back on anticholinergics, my pressures came down (for a while), and I pissed in my pants routinely. Even at the high doses I was taking (as much as 40mg of Ditropan a day) my bladder would still not settle down and I was at the brink of having to strongly consider the augmentation procedure I'd been saying no to for so many years.

              Finally, I told my present urologist that I wanted to try performing intravesicular Ditropan (instilling a solution of Ditropan directly into my bladder through a catheter) to see if it would work better if it made direct contact with my bladder rather than swimming throughout my bloodstream. The results were immediate and dramatic. My pressures dropped, my capacity was as good if not better than normal (my bladder can easily accommodate >600cc without leaking) and so far this story's had a very happy ending -- I've been doing ID for about 1.5 years. My urologist has been impressed enough by my success with ID that he now discusses it urological conferences.

              If intravesicular Ditropan is ultimately something you want to investigate you can do a search here under my user name and read up on the protocol I've come up with for myself and discuss it with your urologist. It's not a panacea for everyone, but I've received emails from several people thanking me for making them aware of this option. It's made a HUGE difference in my quality of life. My only regret, and resentment, is that this protocol wasn't introduced to me from Day One. It's not rocket science.


                Bladder Condom Catheter

                My husband uses a condom catheter and that darn thing is forever coming off. This makes his therapy people very unhappy and they will not let him do therapy when wet. We now use paper shorts, that I buy at the store, instead of the uncomfortable diapers when he has therapy. I find that the hose to condom is either to short or to long. To long the urine blows the cath off. He has never inside cath, except in hospital. The bladder studes indicate he should use outside cath. I have never heard the urologist say anything about bladder pressure?? Would Ditropan work for my husband. I can't remember the U Doctor every mentioning it? He is treated at the VA in Long Beach, CA. He hates the cath and is unable to put it on himself, as a quad. Hates the paper pants also. The pee problem is the most aggravating to him, of all the problems. He is also experincing numbness in legs and arms. Started about a week ago and has gotten worse. They admitted him to the VA today and his Dr. is concerned it maybe a side effect from flu shot. Does anyone have comments on any of this? I look forward to your feedback. They are doing all kinds of test on him for 2 days.