Global Continence Care Market valued at $2.8 Billion (2021), is estimated to witness a growth rate of 5% by 2026 – Move from Reusable to Single-Use Hydrophilic Catheters

·5 min read
Medi-Tech Insights
Medi-Tech Insights

Medi-Tech Insights: The rising geriatric population, growing cases of spinal cord injuries, prostate enlargement, prostatectomy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, urinary incontinence, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), kidney stones, urethra blockages, favorable reimbursement in key markets and improving access to healthcare in emerging markets are driving the continence care market.



Continence is the ability to voluntarily control emptying the bladder and bowels effectively in a hygienic way while ‘Incontinence’ is the unwanted and involuntary leakage of urine or stool. Incontinence is estimated to affect approximately 400 million people globally. Continence issues can arise due to spinal cord injuries, birth defects, multiple sclerosis, or aging-related disorders including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). To address these concerns, continence care products are widely used across medical facilities and they form an integral part of hospital & continued care in home settings for patients. It includes products such as intermittent catheters, external/foley catheters, urine bags, and products for bowel management (colostomy bags, nerve modulation devices, irrigation systems & other accessories).

Intermittent Catheters Are Expected to Continue Their Dominance in the Next Five Years

Intermittent catheterization is the use of a single-use catheter to drain the bladder on a regular or semi-regular basis. It is widely used over other forms of catheterization as it offers the following advantages:

  • Increased Autonomy: The patient is not required to wear the catheter constantly but only at regular intervals when emptying the bladder. It simulates natural voiding and can also be used at home and workplaces

  • Reduced Risk of Infections: Since the time the catheter is inside the body is less in case of intermittent catheterization, it reduces the chances of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and other infections.

  • Reduced Complications: Intermittent catheters are removed at regular intervals and hence do not get encrusted. In scenarios where it gets blocked, it can be easily removed and replaced with a new one.

Intermittent catheters segment is differentiated with users preferring products proven to lower risk of infections & having greater ease-of-use. Patients typically use 3-4 intermittent catheters a day; often for many years. Because of its advantages, it is likely to continue to hold a major share in the coming years."-Director, Leading Continence Care Device Manufacturer, United States

The Trend of Forward Integration – A Key Winning Strategy

The key market players operating in the global continence care market are increasingly buying distributors/wholesalers to have deep-rooted penetration in key markets. The control of distribution channels provides prominent players more ability to increase their market shares even though the regulation requires distributors to carry competing products.

For instance,

  • Over the years, Convatec entered into several mergers and acquisitions [Southlake Medical USA (2019), J&R Medical USA (2018), Woodbury Holding USA (2017)] in the continence care market to establish its foothold in the market.

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Digital Patient Engagement – An Important Customer Acquisition Strategy

The leading players operating in the global continence care market are investing in various service platforms/programs and patient support apps to retain existing customers and encourage users to upgrade to newer devices/platforms. Programs offer patients educational tools, access to nurses, advice on products & ability to capture/compare data. Key players such as Convatec & Coloplast have launched comprehensive patient support/nursing staff/apps to ensure strong patient engagement.

For instance,

  • The Coloplast® Care program offers:

    • Dedicated Care Advisor to assist patients with their product and lifestyle, education, and support.

    • Product samples and tools to assist patients in their transition to using intermittent catheters or ostomy products.

    • Assists patients in finding the right supplier for the product and insurance needs.

    • Patients get monthly wellness education addressing lifestyle issues.

Technological Advancements Are Driving the Global Continence Care Market

The global continence care market is technology-driven and is marked by constant product enhancements/innovations. For instance,

  • In January 2022, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory launched Actreen, an intermittent urological catheter. It is a single-use catheter that can be used during self-catheterization in people who have lost the urge to urinate or who usually have difficulty urinating. The surface of the catheter is coated with a hydrophilic lubricant, which can be used immediately after opening, and also contains a product with an integrated urine collection bag that can be used according to the patient's condition.

  • In March 2021, Hollister launched the Infyna Chic™ intermittent catheter, the latest in the company's line of hydrophilic catheter products, in the US.

Organic and Inorganic Growth Strategies Adopted by Players to Establish Their Foothold

The global continence care market is marked by the presence of both established and new industry players. Players operating in the market adopt both organic and inorganic growth strategies such as acquisitions, and new product launches to garner higher market share. For instance,

  • In June 2022, Hollister was awarded a three-year group purchasing agreement for Urological products with Vizient, Inc., the nation’s largest member-driven health care performance improvement company. The agreement allows Vizient members increased access through negotiated pricing to the full portfolio of the Hollister Incorporated Urological products, including its VaPro™ hydrophilic catheters.

The global continence care market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years due to the aging population, penetration potential of intermittent catheters (ICs), improving access to healthcare in emerging markets, expanding middle-class population, better awareness & healthcare coverage, and growing cases of incontinence.

Competitive Landscape Analysis: Continence Care Market

The continence care market is marked by the presence of established market players such as Coloplast, Wellspect, Bard/BD, Hollister, Convatec, Teleflex, B. Braun, UROMED, Renew Medical, and VitalCare among others.

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