Silicone Male External Catheter vs. Latex
When a male is diagnosed with urine incontinence is bedridden, or in a wheelchair and thus is unable to rise to urinate, a physician or caregiver may say that a catheter is necessary to take care of the urine. However, the antiquated manner of using a catheter has been greatly improved and now we have a male external catheter or MEC that can handle this process.
The older style required that it be inserted into the sensitive urethral opening, often causing problems with those sensitive tissues. Pain was often common, and movements were very restricted. In addition, these internal male catheters would harden in cold weather, and appreciatively soften in hot weather.
Although the external catheter has replaced the older indwelling catheter, the first ones were made of latex. Unfortunately that’s when many males developed or already had a severe allergy to latex. Mercifully, the newer models of MECs is no longer made of latex, but instead are made of silicone that does not cause the allergy to such sensitive parts of the male.
There were other problems encountered with the newer MEC of course, as there always is when a new product is introduced. Before those in the business of handling such medical products realized that not one size fits all, there were unfortunately many accidents leading to leaking urine. Thus now the newer male external catheters come in different sizes.
Once the size problem was averted, others reported that due to various physical movements the catheter would roll off, as it is basically made much like a male condom is made. Again, that problem was solved, and the newer version of the male catheter now completely seals to the skin of the penis due to the ingenious use of the integral adhesive.
Prior to the adhesive, makers of the MEC’s recommended the use of adhesive strips. These strips had to be carefully applied in a certain manner that was both bothersome and unfortunately still occasioned leaks.
Some males have reported that the delicate skin of the penis has broken down from the use of so much adhesive, and then also in removing the entire amount of adhesive that may remain from the skin. Once more the problem was solved, and today physicians who recommend a male external catheter also tell the patient to use a suggested medical skin barrier that stops this problem from occurring.
At present each and every male external catheter has special features that make its use rather simple. For instance, many are made of see through material so that the skin can be carefully monitored. Also, the adhesive used today is very skin friendly, as opposed to the external catheters of yesteryear.