Why condom drainage isn’t just for male glider pilots and (dry-suited) divers

Ever wondered how male glider pilots can stay up in the air for hours without having to pee? Or how those dry suits male scuba divers wear stay dry?

Condom drainage that’s how!

Known by other names such as condom sheath, external catheter, external sheaths, urisheaths, they are all the same. But here’s the thing, condom drainage was designed for male urinary incontinence. It’s a great alternative from wearing a pad.

Yes, that’s right, Male urinary incontinence. I bet that’s not a subject that comes up very often in conversation at the footy, a Barbeque, or over a quiet pint, despite the fact it affects up to 13% of Aussie males.

So what is condom drainage I hear you ask?

Basically it is a silicone (or latex) condom that rolls on snugly and stays in place for up to 24 hours. At the tip is an opening that connects into tubing with a discrete reservoir bag known as a leg bag. This straps to your leg under trousers or even your stubbie shorts. These leg bags vary in size (capacity) and have an inbuilt tap so you can empty the leg bag from time to time into the toilet (ideally).

Not all men were created equal, so yes, these sheaths do come in different sizes (length and circumference), but keep in mind there is a minimum set of dimensions so they may not be suitable for all.

There are some application guidelines to follow and for greater success it is recommended to enlist the assistance of a continence nurse. They can be found in Public services (and private) all over Australia.

To find your nearest service, or for more information you can call the National Continence Helpline on 1800330066.

Kerry Poole is a Nurse Continence Specialist at the Victorian Continence Resource Centre passionate and strongly committed to working in the community helping dispel the myths about incontinence and encouraging people to seek help about their incontinence problems.