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Let's be honest: Most men shiver at the mere mention of the word catheter, which may remind them of painful surgery or hospital stays.

Yet not only is it quite common to have a catheter, but for men with urinary incontinence, this medical equipment can vastly improve quality of life. However, that's only true for men who are using the right catheter for their needs. A catheter shouldn't be a burden; in fact, you should forget it's there at all. If that sounds impossible, then you need to reconsider the medical supplies you're using. For instance, it might be time to switch from using pocket catheters to more comfortable external catheters instead. Here are a few ways these medical devices could improve your quality of life.

Easier to Use
Male external catheters, sometimes referred to as condom catheters, aren't inserted through the urethra. Instead, they're fitted externally, making them much easier to use. In addition, they don't need to be changed as frequently as internal catheters and they can be cleaned as often as they need to be.

Minimal Leakage
When using external male urinary catheters, there's much less risk of leakage. Diapers and pads may absorb all of the liquid, but there's no guarantee that they'll retain all of it and keep the skin dry. Many men also feel embarrassed to use these pads. External catheters, on the other hand, direct fluid away from the body and create a seal that keeps the skin dry at all times.

More Comfortable, Still Discreet
External catheters, because they're not inserted through the urethra like pocket catheters, are much more comfortable for everyday use. Not only that, but external male catheters are still discreet. These medical supplies fit perfectly underneath clothing without any bulkiness or strange outlines. They're even comfortable and unnoticeable underneath shorts.

Lower UTI Risk
Whether it's from improper cleaning or ordinary irritation, internal catheters pose a high risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in both men and women. The biggest benefit of an external catheter? A significantly lower risk of UTIs because external catheters are easy to clean and don't require any form of insertion.

More Cost-Effective
Catheters in general are more cost-effective than other methods of treatment for incontinence. Supplies like diapers, pads, and other incontinence treatments can be expensive! With catheters, whether internal or external, you're saving money by not having to invest in those paper products.

Catheters have been used to treat incontinence for more than 3,500 years, but that doesn't mean they need to be as archaic or painful as they were back then. An external catheter could improve your quality of life in so many ways, so why wait?