Incontinence Clamps for Men

Published: 23rd September 2009
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Incontinence clamps, also referred to as penile clamps, are external devices used to prevent urine leaks and help manage male incontinence.

Clamps are available in a variety of styles and materials, but they all work on the same principle: preventing the release of urine by temporarily compressing the penis and "closing off" the urethra.

One of the most commonly used styles is the Cunningham clamp, which is a hinged frame, generally lined with medical-grade washable foam pads. The frame is placed midway along the shaft of the penis and then tightened and fastened with a locking device. This applies gentle pressure to the top of the penis and compresses the urethra on the underside of the penis.

The hinged frame may be made of metal or plastic. Some clamps are rigid, while others are semi-rigid and can be adjusted.

Strap-style clamps, often referred to as continence cuffs, soft clamps, or penile straps, are also available. This style is a flexible, adjustable strap with a ridge or bump that is placed on against the urethra on the underside of the penis. The strap is then tightened to compress the urethra.

Clamps can be a safe, effective, and discreet tool for managing incontinence, but there are some very important things to take into consideration.

- Scheduling is important. Physicians recommend that clamps be loosened at least every two hours to allow for emptying the bladder. Leaving the clamp in place too long can lead to painful and dangerous conditions including skin problems, penile edema, bladder damage, and scarring.

Because the clamp can be removed and replaced quickly and easily, it can be a good choice for situations that offer easy access to a bathroom. Many men find that releasing and then replacing a clamp feels more natural and less obtrusive than using pads and special underwear. However in situations where it will be difficult to keep to the schedule and there's a real possibility of not being able to release the device at least every two hours, a clamp isn't the best choice.

- Careful adjustment is crucial. If the clamp is not tight enough, it won't compress the urethra and leakage will occur. But if it's too tight, it can restrict blood flow, irritate and injure the skin, and even damage the urethra. Finding the right degree of tightness isn't difficult, but it does require some practice.

- The comfort factor is highly individual. Some men find clamps an unobtrusive and comfortable aid in incontinence management, while others find them impractical and difficult to get used to.

Using these devices safely, effectively, and comfortably requires some effort, attention, and practice. They're not the best choice for everyone or for every situation, but for millions of men they're an invaluable part of incontinence management.

Incontinence clamps are only one option for managing male incontinence. Many men find that external cathethers are a safe, convenient, and secure part of their management routine. To find out more about the various incontinence management products available, visit Incontinence Pants - What You Need To Know Before You Buy.

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