The PureWick™ Female External Catheter, What Is It? How to Use it? And FAQ

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Wed Jun 29 2022.

The PureWick™ Female External Catheter, What Is It? How to Use it? And FAQ

Up to 51% of women ages 65 and older experience urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence occurs for various reasons, including the natural aging process, changes to the pelvic floor muscles, and underlying health problems, like diabetes, that damage the nerves that control the bladder. 

To help combat accidents, many women with urinary incontinence use products like diapers, booster pads, and underpads. These items can make cleanup easier, but they don’t necessarily allow you or your care recipient to get a restful night’s sleep. After all, if there’s a void, you have to get up, help your senior put on clean clothing, and change their sheets.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to avoid bedding changes, midnight trips to the bathroom, and irritated skin? The BD PureWick™ Urine Collection System provides all of that and more.

What is the BD PureWick™ Collection System?

The BD PureWick™ Collection System is a non-invasive device designed to treat urinary incontinence in women.

It features two parts: The PureWick™ Female External Catheter –– a thin plastic tube that draws urine away from the body. And The PureWick™ Collection System –– a canister that holds up to 2,000 milliliters (mL) of urine.

You turn on the BD PureWick™ Collection System before going to bed and it collects urine throughout the night, reducing the risk of accidents, slip-and-falls, and poor sleep.

Who can benefit from the BD PureWick™ Collection System?

The BD PureWick™ Collection System is recommended for women who experience:

  • Urinary incontinence 

  • Frequent urges to urinate

  • An increased risk of falling  (i.e., people with balance issues or poor mobility)

  • Skin irritation or rashes caused by wearing diapers, underpads, or other incontinence products

The PureWick™ Collection System pulls urine away from the skin, allowing your care recipient to stay comfortable, cozy, and dry throughout the night

Who isn’t a candidate for the BD PureWick™ Collection System?

The BD PureWick™ Collection System is incredibly effective, but it isn’t right for everyone. That’s especially true if your care recipient:

  • Has an underlying medical condition that makes them combative, uncooperative, or likely to remove the catheter

  • Experiences bowel incontinence in addition to urinary incontinence

  • Has skin irritation or breakdown on or around their vagina

  • Still has menstrual periods and needs to wear a tampon

Still unsure if your loved one qualifies? No problem!

Give our friendly Care Specialists a call at (855) 855-1666. They can ask you a series of questions and determine if your care recipient is a candidate.

What are the benefits of the BD PureWick™ Collection System?

The BD PureWick™ Collection System offers a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Better sleep

  • Fewer nighttime trips to the toilet

  • Reduced risk of falls and other injuries

  • Clean clothing and bedding

The BD PureWick™ Collection System may even make your life as a family caregiver easier. Instead of having to get up every few hours to check on your care recipient, you can sleep soundly through the night.

Does the BD PureWick™ Collection System leak?

The BD PureWick™ Collection System may leak if you don’t take the time to properly set it up. Here’s how to install it:

1) Put the PureWick™ Female External Catheter firmly against your care recipient’s perineum (the area between their vaginal opening and anus).

2) Align the white gauze with the top of your care recipient’s pubic bone.

3) Tuck the end of the Purewick™ Female External Catheter between your care recipient’s buttocks. 

4) Connect the other end of the PureWick™ Female External Catheter to the connection port on the lid of the collection canister.

5) Test the suction on the system, to ensure it’s working properly.

How do I test the suction of the BD PureWick Urine Collection System?

To test the suction of the BD PureWick™ Collection System, remove the catheter tube from the collection canister. Then, place the tube in a glass of water. If the system’s working, it should suction 500 milliliters (mL), or about 2 cups, of water in 20 seconds.

Is the PureWick™ External Female Catheter reusable?

No. The PureWick™ External Female Catheter is a single-use device that lasts for between 8 and 12 hours. It’s important to switch out the catheter every morning after your care recipient wakes up. You should change the catheter immediately if it’s soiled with blood or feces.

Can my care recipient wear underwear with the PureWick™ External Female Catheter?

Yes. Many women who use the PureWick™ External Female Catheter also wear mesh underwear. Mesh underwear helps hold the catheter in place, reducing the risk of leaks and skin irritation.

What if I have additional questions about the PureWick™ External Female Catheter or BD PureWick™ Urine Collection System?

Selecting the right incontinence product for your loved one is a big decision. If you’re struggling to determine what’s best for your situation, please reach out to our knowledgeable Care Specialists at any time. They can answer your questions and/or make recommendations based on your loved one’s unique needs.

Get in touch by calling (800) 696-CARE or sending an email to If you’re ready to add the BD PureWick Collection System to your shopping cart, click the “buy now” button below.

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.