A few months ago we featured devices to assist women re-direct urine if they can’t sit on the toilet. This month we look at how men solve the problem and we teamed up with DMD Pathfinders members to find out what worked for them.
If you can get close, a urine re-director (also called a director) might work. They are basically a funnel and tube design which extend your urine stream and channel it into the toilet or collection bottle. Many of the devices for women are also suitable for men (either stand alone or with a unisex adaptor) who can control when they urinate – so check some of those out for a possible solution.
You local community continence nurse/advisor will also be a great source for advice and maybe providing some equipment as part of their NHS service.
In this blog we look at some of the gadgets and gizmos that can take your urine stream in a better or different direction.
You can find these on our Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/criptical/urination-devices/
* Please Note we do not sell these products – merely provide information and an example of where they can be purchased. Other retailers may be available.
These are bottle and containers where you pee directly into them. Also called portable urinals.
An example is the Uribag. These devices may have a lid to store the urine for disposal later, or are meant for instant disposal down the toilet. This retails for around £20-£25 and has a snap lock seal so it won’t leak when carrying it around.
Different brands hold different amounts of urine and all are made to be washed and reused.
*Most accessible toilets in the UK only have a small finger rinse basin and may not be deep enough or tall enough to rinse these devices or use a urinal wash/scrub brush.
A 750 ml Uriwell urinal is available at the time of writing for £5.95 from Completecareshop. (Vat excluded for use by disabled people).
Plastic, urinals that don’t fold are also available from many sources. This one is called the Topper and you can also buy a non spill adaptor to help when using it. These sort of bottles cost around £4-5.
Sheaths are more suited for men who have good skin around their penis. If your skin is damaged then this might not be for you. They are useful in that they can usually be used for up to 24 hrs and their are many types to try.
Some useful advice is provided on this website.They are like little ‘cups’ or thicker condoms that secure to your penis with
tape (or an adhesive that is already part of the cup/device). Rather like a condom, you need a size that fits well.
A tube connects to the end that drains into a bag or other collection device. When you need to go – you just go!
A very simple solution, that comes in many sizes, shapes and materials. Size is key – if your penis size varies then you may need a few sizes – e.g for hot and cold days or different times of the day.
Many also have features that help with applying them, preventing kinks in tubing and leak free attachments – so shop around and search for words:
- urine sheath
- condom catheter
- external catheter
Other features include how to overcome problems with high flow that might ‘blow off’ the sheath and applicators for carers to help with. Some also help with dribbles and have valves on.
Popular options are the Convene range by Coloplast. You can see videos on how to use these and ask for a free sample of their products on their web-site. (Also known as Coloplast Convene Urisheath products).
This is pSure and comes in 11 sizes, available on prescription. Also available with a Smartflow valve so you may not need a drainage bag if you just dribble/leak.
Other brands of sheath include:
- Transfix, Clear Advantage, Clear Advantage Aloe and Clear Advantage Spirit (Rochester Medical for full product guide)
- Comfort Plus (Latex free and many sizes)
Accessories / skin care products available from www.manfred-sauer.co.uk or on prescription include:
- Skin adhesives in 8 strengths (Brush in a jar, long nozzle tube, spray types)
- Skin preparation to disinfect and increase adhesion – roll on applicator.
- Hydrocolloid liners
- Skin preparation wipes and pre cut pubic hair protector cloths.
Body word urinals
These are an alternative to the sheath but are held in place by underwear and a belt / strap system. They drain into a bag strapped to the thigh.
Hints and tips from men at DMD Pathfinders:
Almost everyone said how critical is was to get gravity on your side to avoid getting wet. Tilting your wheelchair forward can help to create a downward slope.
Robert Watson has a superb tip for sheath users:
I find if I have my chair tilted forward a good amount the pee goes down the tube fine, but if I was to pee with my chair tilted/reclined quite far then a lot of it would just come back on me. The other thing I find is if I tilt back quite far too soon after peeing then I usually end up being wet. So what I do is tilt far forward to pee and then give myself about 30 minutes before tilting fully back again, I find that seems to give enough time for all the pee to have gone fully down the tube. You can tilt back slightly after you’ve finished peeing but don’t tilt fully back until after about 30 minutes, otherwise there’s a pretty high chance of you ending up wet.
If you tilt, raise or recline in your chair – check the tubing will extend to your different positions and not kink.
Make sure the part of the leg bag that connects with the pipe is not pinched. A restriction in the tubing can cause back flow.
If using a sheath, make sure it has good skin contact and hasn’t worked loose.
Experiment – it might take some adjustment to find a method that’s right for you.
Using the correct size and type of sheath, tube position and length are key.
I found it only seemed to work if the tube went over the top of my thigh with the bag attached to the outside of my calf. I get the bags with adjustable length tubing to cut to perfect length without any excess. The sheath has to be applied to clean dry skin and has to seal completely when sticking, avoid hairs and talc! I don’t need to tilt at all or depend on gravity. I use the Simpla Trident T2 Leg Bag, 750ml, Adjustable with Conveen Optima Urisheaths, short length.
Combining leg bags with protective underwear might work well.