Penile Compression Devices

A penile compression device (commonly called a clamp) is a small reusable device that is available in several different designs. They all work by compressing or squeezing the penis, either by acting as a clamp that is closed over the penis, as a strap that goes around the penis or occasionally an inflatable cuff.

Who are clamps good for?

Clamps work well for active men who want a discreet product. You must have normal feeling in your penis and be able to remember to release the device regularly (around two hourly). Clamps can be uncomfortable to wear and can reduce blood flow in the penis1 and some men find they are unable to tolerate them.

When do clamps work best?

Clamps can be used to prevent bladder leakage, they should not be used when you are asleep. Most men find that they are best used for short periods of time, for example they are very useful when undertaking an energetic activity such as dancing or swimming. Some men are able to use them as their normal product (releasing regularly to pass urine). Others find that they can use them to reduce urine leakage to an acceptable level to enable them to wear a smaller pad2. Clamps come in a varied range of designs and it may take some trial and error to find the particular design that suits you. When choosing, it may be helpful to think about how the features and characteristics of different clamps may fit in with the activities that you wish to undertake. These may include: the width and size of the clamp; it's weight; the material it is made from; and ease of opening and closing (whether this requires one hand or two).

What about fitting?

Clamps should be fitted to the middle or the base of the penis. Many of the clamps are adjustable so that 'one size fits all'. Others are available in different sizes (e.g. juvenile, regular, large); if this is the case, the manufacturer should provide guidance on measuring to ensure that you are supplied with the best size.  

Health care professionals may not be familiar with clamps so it may be hard to find one who can give you advice. In which case it is best to seek advice from the product manufacturer before using the product. Read our [Clamp booklet] for more information on using clamps.

 Coming soon Men who use clamps report that the fit of the clamp often changes during the day depending on their activity, body temperature and weather. It may therefore be necessary to readjust the clamp when you are wearing it to ensure a good fit.