An external urethral barrier is a medical device used in female patients to stop the involuntary leakage of urine from the urethra.¹ The device is often used to treat stress urinary incontinence, which is a common bladder dysfunction issue in patients with multiple sclerosis, due to the neurogenic bladder conditions caused by MS brain lesions.²
The external urethral barrier works by using either adhesive or a mild suction to block the opening of the urethra.¹ Multi-center clinical trials reveal³ that the devices have been proven effective in preventing urinary leakage in female patients with urinary incontinence, offering a more convenient alternative to absorbent pads and other external solutions. Trials also showed the device to be safe, with only a small minority of participants experiencing irritation or infection.
For women with multiple sclerosis, the coordination issues that can sometimes accompany the disease can be a factor in whether an external urethral barrier can be used on a daily basis, since it takes fine motor skills to correctly affix the device, and those without good use of their hands could struggle with application. It may be for this reason that currently there are no external urethral barrier products on the market, and in spite of their prove efficacy, have not been successfully marketed in the past.¹