Condom catheters are still an unbeatable method for those needing an external male catheter, but there are other options on the market that are remarkably effective, too. The AFEX system (Adhesive Free External Collection system) is a more complicated urinary catheter device, but one that still provides discrete protection. Like a condom cath it is fairly easy to use and can be used over and over again.
The company’s principal idea behind AFEX was to create more of a travel urinal. The penis is inserted into a double walled receptacle (this prevents backflow), which is then contained in a front pouch of a special pair of briefs. Once secured, a drainage collection bag is attached directly to the tip so there is no need for a hose. The receptacle is latex free and because it does not require any adhesives there is no concern for men with sensitive skin. Some men like the looseness of the receptacle because it does not squeeze the penis like an incontinence clamp.
The advantages to the AFEX incontinence system are the same as found in condom catheters. Because it is not an indwelling catheter it is a healthy choice. It can also be attached and used by virtually anyone. The pull on briefs and receptacle are easy to keep in place and this makes them great for both the patient or a nurse or home health worker. The standard bag issued with the kit is double sealed to prevent both leaks and odors and can handle up to 16 ounces at a time. The AFEX team even supplies a snap in pad that can be used at night to allow someone to sleep more comfortably without working about nighttime incontinence.
There are some disadvantages, though, with this system. The cotton briefs are a long boxer style and must be worn with the system. Many men prefer to wear their own brand and style of underwear, which is always possible with condom catheters. The total package is bulkier to travel with than the smaller condom catheter. If an extra AFEX kit is needed it means packing collection bags, snap in pads, briefs and the receptacle. A roll on condom cath can usually be carried in just a jacket pocket.
Urinary incontinence affects thousands of men and there is no one-size-fits-all solution in the world of urinary catheters. It is good that the medical community understands this and is working towards creating new male incontinence products all the time. Today’s male has many choices when it comes to dealing with bladder control problems and the AFEX is another great choice that will work well for many people.