Indwelling at night

Got a further appointment with the urologist on Monday and wondering if I should ask whether it is sensible to use an indwelling catheter at least for some nights so I can get a good nights sleep. Although I ISC just before going to bed I am still having to get up several times each night which is leaving me feeling tired and concerned about driving in the morning. I know I could use a condom catheter, but I would still be woken up by the urge which is what I really want to avoid. Does anybody do this?


My understanding is that indwelling catheters stay in for a lot longer than just overnight - more like 3 months! I’d ask the urologist about a suprapubic catheter instead. I switched to that from ISC a few years ago and it’s worked better for me.

But I’d try the sheath & night bag combo first. I know you think you’ll still wake up, but when I started that years ago it took my body about 3 nights to realise I didn’t need to get up, and I’d sleep straight through the night without waking up. Even if you do keep waking, it’d be less tiring as you’re not getting up.


1 Like


I use the condom and bag method. I can’t remember if I woke during the night at first but I sleep right through the night now. Sometimes I produce over a litre without waking up.

I suggest that you try that first as any internal device, whether it is an indwelling catheter or SPC are susceptible to urine tract infection. It also means that I don’t have to ISC all the time.

Best wishes,


Hi Bob

Good luck on Monday, I hope you get on ok. I was wondering how you have been doing especially as the schools are back for the autumn term after our conversation in July/August. I hope you have got on well.

I have a really quick question about the condom catheters, both Anthony and Dan have said that the urge to empty your bladder disappears quite quickly and that they were able to sleep through the night soon after starting to use them. (Which would be great). I am currently waiting for the continence team to supply me with some for a trial. Do you also lose the urge during the daytime too? Or do you adjust to that too? I’m a bit concerned that I may lose what little bladder control I have left. (At the moment I am aware that my bladder will empty, often when I am nowhere near a toilet! So it is little help).

Also I have been told you can wear the sheath system for up to 24 hours but can you wear them 24/7? Or do you have to let the skin recover from the adhesive I was left a little confused.

Best wishes


Hi Brian

I never lost sensitivity when I was awake, I still knew I needed to take a leak. It’s just that it wouldn’t wake me up when asleep. Once you get started, I recommend you try and hold on when you get the urge when you’re awake, to try and keep your pelvic floor muscles as strong as you can.

I would change the sheath every day. I wouldn’t recommend going a whole week without changing though, it’s important to keep yourself clean :slight_smile:

Good luck!


Thanks for the info guys but wouldnt that mean you could full on wet yourself if you fell asleep say in a chair without the condom on?

Hi Brian, funnily enough I have only had one day of cover work so far and that was yesterday - everybody comes back healthy and refreshed after the summer break, but it wont be long now when sickness takes off. Have tried a few different disposables over the summer - from Tesco’s. Aldi, Boots and a mobility store. Lille Suprem all-in-one has performed well for no leaks but I think I will try their pull up version next as I want something quick to put on.

I wear the condom and bag 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I change the sheath every night. One would never stay on for longer than that because constant movement loosens the adhesive. There are occasional accidents when the condom loses it’s grip during the day, but that’s life!


Hi Dan, thanks that is reassuring. I really appreciate your advice, really useful.

Hi Bob, I don’t know for sure but I would guess that you would not wake up if you were asleep,in a chair, needed the loo if you were at a point where you did not wake up during the night to go to the toilet. (Been having problems wetting the bed recently, have fallen asleep in front of the tv for a bit also and woken up needing to change, maybe a similar situation?) I hope someone will correct me if it is only in my world this happens.

Glad you have made some progress with trying new pads. I have been using TENA Slip super they have been good for me, seem similar to Lille Suprem all-in-one. If you wanted another brand to try. (I realise that these pads are quite large and bulky especially when wet. I know in July you were concerned about children spotting that you were wearing pads and the TENA Slip is an actual nappy therefore may be no good). Hope you find something suitable before your services are in demand.

Hi Anthony thanks for the information, have you found it best to change the sheath at night for any reason in particular? I’m glad that the sheath system can be used all the time although I’m a bit disappointed that it has come to that. When you first started to use the system did it make a good difference to your life?

best wishes



If you fell asleep during the day without a sheath on, then yes, you could potentially wet yourself. But that’s a risk that’s easily avoided by always having a sheath & leg bag attached.during the day.


Hi Brian,

I only change the sheath at night out of habit. There’s no reason why I couldn’t change in the morning or at any time of the day.

It made an huge positive difference to me as I could leave the house without worrying about how far away I was from the nearest public toilet. There are few things less enjoyable than walking through town with a big wet patch on one’s trousers.



Hi Anthony

Thanks, I’m glad it has made a positive difference for you. Yes I would agree it isn’t good to be out in public having clearly wet yourself. What I am struggling with is whether to give up using pads and start using the sheath system (when the continence nurse gets in touch). I will reluctantly admit that I need it for during the night. I hope you don’t mind me asking, did you ever use pads and if so what triggered the switch to the sheath system for you?

kind regards


Hi Brian

I started out using pads. There’s a couple reasons I switched to using the sheath and leg/night bag. Firstly, I could easily be caught short, and having to change a pad when I did was a bit of a faff. And secondly, my legs were a bit shaky, so getting upstairs to the loo could be difficult. Switching made things so much easier. I didn’t need to constantly be on the lookout for a toilet when I was out and about or on long car journeys, I could go to the cinema and not need to miss a crucial bit of the plot because I needed to go to the toilet… I wish I knew about it earlier as it gave me so much more freedom.


Hi Brian, Yes I started out with incontinence pants, however there are advantages that sheaths have over pads. 1. A leg bag will take much more fluid than incontinent pants. When my bladder let go it seemed to have saved up quite a lot of urine to release back into the water cycle. 2. Pads and pants need to be changed as soon as, or soon after, you’ve used them. 3. Sheaths and bags are on prescription and I get my prescriptions free. Regards, Anthony

How often do they leak and how bad can that be? My worry is that being effectively at an almost normal level of ableness, apart from the occasional leg giving way and lousy balance, the connections or glue would be more likely to come unstuck than for someone who is more sedentary or having to use a wheel chair and what happens if you cant empty the bag when it is full and do you get a warning or just have to check it visually?

Hi Dan, thanks a lot that makes sense glad it gave you more freedom. I’m having issues around needing to change whilst out which is not always possible. I find car journeys are a nightmare and I can’t do stairs so it would make visiting people easier. It seems like an increasingly sensible option for me.

Hi Anthony thanks, it is very useful to know that the leg bags hold much more than the pads or pants as firstly I am using ever bigger and more absorbent pants and secondly when my bladder has decided to empty I can’t stop until my bladder is empty. I think one of the main reasons I am going to try the sheath system is that I am having to change too often. That is taking energy and effort that would be better used elsewhere. I am getting pads and pants free on prescription via the continence service at the moment. I think they would prefer me to use the sheath system, but there has not been any pressure to do so.

Hi Bob, I hope everything went well for you on Monday. Just out of interest. Did you ask the urologist if there is anything like the indwelling catheter that you were asking about at the start of the thread?

Kind regards


Hi Bob

With the sheaths I first started out on (the basic ones by Coloplast), every now and then one would loosen its grip. If I remember right (and this was years ago!), the sheath wouldn’t come off completely, but it just wouldn’t be a snug fit, so there was the chance it could leak through any gaps. I spoke to the company that supplied them, to see if there was something like some tape I could use to give some extra adhesion. There was, but they upgraded me to a bette sheath (still made by Coloplast), and that did the trick - I can’t remember ever having a problem with them.


Hi Bob, just a quick post to say I found some information about the sheath system that might interest you. I have it to you via the message facility. Which I have not used before. I hope it is ok to do that.


Hi Bob,

I too used to get up several times at night to PU. Then I was prescribed Desmopressin and now I don’t get up anymore. It’s actually in NICE guidelines

sorry if this has already been discussed but I only had the brain capacity to skim read all the posts on this thread - how rude


Min x

Thanks Min, I think it might not be safe for me from night to night since I drink quite a lot which doesn’t help but is probably driven by being diabetic and medications. Thanks Brian, of course its OK

As far as the adhesive of the sheaths is concerned my biggest problem is usually getting the things off. Coloplast supply a special adhesive remover spray and wipes for this reason.

They also come in different sizes for the best fit. Why not ask for some samples?