National Continence Helpline

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What are urinary sheaths?

Men can use urinary sheaths or uridomes (often called condom drainage) if they have urinary incontinence and don't want to, or can't, wear pads. They fit over the penis like a condom and are attached at the end to a drainage bag to collect and store the urine until it can be emptied.

Selecting the right product

Urinary sheaths come in a range of lengths and sizes. A continence nurse advisor or other heath care professional will know about the different products available, measure the penis and choose the right sheath for the man. Read the man's care plan and only use the product named there, as it will be suitable for him. Don't use a sheath recommended for a different person. If the sheath doesn't fit correctly, it can fall off, cause damage to the penis, or leak urine.

Sheaths have different features. They can be different in:

  • how they stick to the penis
  • the width of the sheath
  • the length of the sheath - shorter or longer lengths
  • features that can help the urine drain easily, e.g. special ends to stop the sheath twisting or kinking
  • the material the sheath is made of, e.g. latex, silicone
  • how long the sheath can be worn before changing.

Urinary sheaths are attached to a leg bag that collects the urine. You can find more information about attaching a leg bag here.

Sheaths can only be worn once and then taken off and thrown away. A sheath shouldn't be worn for more than 24 hours.

Who can help?

If you are not sure how to use a urinary sheath, you can get help from your supervisor or call the National Continence Helpline 18OO 33 OO 66 for advice.

If there is a rash on or around the penis or the skin is damaged, you should get help from a GP.

Need more help? Call the National Continence Helpline on 18OO 33 OO 66 and talk to a continence nurse advisor.

Take the Quiz

Question 1

Urinary sheaths:

are all the same size

are best if they are made of latex

are chosen the suit the person you support

should be used with disposable pads.

Question 2

Men with short penises:

can't use urinary sheaths

must use pads

don't have incontinence

will need a sheath fitted for them by a health care professional.

Question 3

Urinary sheaths:

can be worn until they fall off

need to be attached with surgical tape

can be washed and used again

are designed to be used once and then thrown away.

Question 4

If the sheath doesn't fit properly it may:

damage the skin of the penis

fall off

leak urine

all of the above.

This information is not a substitute for independent professional advice.