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Penile Clamp

What is a penile clamp?
A penile clamp is a simple device which is mainly used by incontinent males to prevent urine leakage. A penis clamp, which is sometimes referred to as Cunningham’s clamp, is designed to apply pressure to the male urethra; hence, preventing passage of urine.

When were penile clamps first used?
One of the earliest penile clamps, or incontinence clamps, was described by DR L. E. Edwards in 1965. In his article in the British Medical journal, Dr Edwards presented an incontinence clamp and referred to it as a perfect device for the prevention of urine dribbling in males with urinary incontinence. The clamp was handmade using Perspex for an old incontinent male who lived in a geriatric care center. The early incontinence clamp had enormous projections that rendered it uncomfortable to use. Furthermore, the early design was rather cumbersome as it was liable for accidentally falling off.

How does a penile clamp work?
The design of the penile clamp has evolved markedly throughout the past 10 years. Newer designs lack the demerits of earlier incontinence clamps. Soft foam is now used to pad the interior of many penis clamps to avoid any discomfort and to absorb any accidentally passed urine. Moreover, some penile clamps are designed to apply pressure evenly only on the part of the urethra that prevents involuntary passage of urine; thus, minimizing pain and discomfort. The external surface of a penile clamp is usually made of metal or plastic. Most of today’s clamps are adjustable to avoid it being so tight, or so loose. An ideal clamp should provide pressure that would close the urethra; however, the applied pressure shouldn’t cut the blood flow to the penis. If a clamp is applied so tightly to the penis, severe pain may result.

How is a penile clamp used?
A penis clamp is extremely easy to use. Simply, the clamp is opened and then placed around the penis halfway down its shaft. The humpy side of the clamp should be fitted to the under (ventral) surface of the penis. The clamp has to be flexed, so that it would comfortably fit around the penis. Then, the clamp is squeezed to be closed; however, care should be taken so that it is not so tight. A spring wire loop, which is present on the side of most clamps, is pressed to release.

What are the indications for the use of penile clamps?
Penis clamps are nowadays considered the best line of treatment for men who suffer from mild to severe incontinence of urine. Whatever the cause of the patient’s incontinence, a penile clamp can save him a great deal of embarrassment. A penile clamp is concealable; thus, it is a dignified line of treatment for incontinent males. Some forms of penile clamps have been more recently used in penis enlargement programs. Clamping penile devices are usually used to increase girth of the penis. Although numerous practitioners report the effectiveness of penis clamping devices in penis enlargement, lack of scientific evidence has rendered many physicians reluctant to use penile clamps in penis enlargement programs.

How can you care for your penile clamp?
Some penis clamps are disposable, while others aren’t and should be washed with warm water and soap and then thoroughly rinsed using cold water. If the clamp has a soft foam pad, it has to be dried well. A penile clamp shouldn’t be reused unless it has been thoroughly dried.

What are the side effects of penile clamps?
Penile clamps can cause severe pain if they aren’t properly used. A user of an incontinence clamp is advised to examine his penis thoroughly and stop using the clamp whenever any area of torn skin or blueness is noted. Applying a topical cream to the surface of the penis is recommended before wearing the clamp to minimize injury.

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