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What is a catheter? Catheters are sterile medical supplies that are used by people who cannot control their bladder function. Some are thin tubes ... [read more]
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LoFric - 8" Hydrophilic Female Catheter

  • Soft, flexible design
  • Hydrophilic coating eliminates friction
  • Does not contain latex, PVC, or phthalates
From $62.95

Hollister Apogee HC - 16" Hydrophilic Straight Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Smooth insertion, slippery smooth surface
  • Flexible funnel for enhanced grip for easier handling
  • Protective sleeve helps to avoid bacteria contamination
From $1.60

Hollister Apogee Plus - Closed System Catheter Kit

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Firm catheter
  • Introducer tip
  • Helps reduce UTIs
From $3.70

Hollister Advance Plus - Closed System Catheter Kit

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Closed catheter system kit in 12 Fr and 14 Fr
  • Introducer tip protects catheter from bacteria
  • Helps reduce UTIs
From $5.02

Hollister VaPro Plus - 8" Closed System Catheter

  • Straight tip
  • No latex, PVC, or phthalates
  • Hydrophilic female catheter
  • Protective sleeve and covered tip
From $5.95

Hollister VaPro Plus - 16" Hydrophilic Closed System Catheter

  • Latex free
  • Catheterization on the go, no receptacle needed
  • Provides ease of use and protection from bacteria
  • Hydrophilic catheter with a tip and sleeve
From $5.95

Rusch Rob Nel - 16" Red Rubber Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Contains natural rubber latex
  • Straight packaged male catheter
  • Smooth rounded tip and funnel end
From $0.99

Bard Clean Cath - 6" Female Catheter

  • Sterile catheter
  • Latex free PVC
  • Smooth rounded tip
  • Color coded funnel
From $38.30

VaPro Plus Pocket - 8" Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex, PVC, and phthalate free
  • Pocket pack measures 3 3/4" W x 6" L
  • Protective tip and sleeve reduce bacterial contamination
From $5.53

Hollister VaPro Plus Pocket - 16" Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Pocket pack measures 4" W x 6" L
  • Discrete male catheter designed for those with active lifestyles
From $5.58

Coloplast SpeediCath - Compact Male Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

  • Easily fits in pants pocket or back pack
  • 700 ml SpeediBag bag is included for urine collection
  • Pre-hydrated intermittent catheter makes cathing much easier
  • Disposal: put catheter back in case and twist close, then discard
From $99.93

Bard Magic 3 - 6" Hydrophilic Female Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex and PVC free
  • Sterile water packet included
  • Secure grip area for easy handling
From $1.75

Coloplast Self-Cath Plus - 16" Soft Hydrophilic Straight Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Hydrophilic coating activates with water
  • Uncoated Gripzone area for easier handling
From $2.05

Bard Magic 3 Go - 6" Hydrophilic Female Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • No water or lubricant needed
  • Ergonomically designed area for a secure grip for easier insertion
From $1.77

ConvaTec GentleCath - 16" Hydrophilic Catheter Kit

  • Sterile
  • Hydrophilic catheter with insertion kit
  • Insertion sleeve, no direct hand contact with catheter
  • Helps in the reduction of Urinary Tract Infections
From $30.40

Cure Ultra - 5" Pre-Lubricated Female Catheter

  • Small, easy to use packaging
  • No DEHP, BPA, or latex
  • Pre lubricated
  • Straight tip with funnel end
  • Fire polished eyelets
From $0.90

Cure Pocket XL - 25" Straight Catheter with Lubricant

  • Latex free
  • French size: 14
  • DEHP and BPA Free
  • Length: 25" (extra long)
  • Curved packaging with lubricating jelly
  • 10% of Cure Medical's net income goes to medical research
From $0.68

Cure Ultra - 16" Pre Lubricated Straight Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Length: 16"
  • Easy tear top
  • French size: 12, 14, and 16
  • "No roll" connector/funnel end
  • Polished eyelets for easier insertion
  • Intermittent catheter with easy grip sleeve
From $1.07

SpeediCath - Compact Plus Hydrophilic Female Catheter

  • Hydrophilic catheter
  • Free of latex, PVC, and phthalates
  • 2 cm longer than traditional Speedicath Compact
From $1.81

Hollister Onli - 16" Hydrophilic Straight Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Straight tip
  • Simple to use
  • Easy open package
  • Pre-hydrated catheter
From $1.88

Rusch - Red Rubber Closed System Catheter

  • 16" sterile catheter
  • Pre-lubricated with smooth polished eyelets
  • Capped introducer tip extends sterile field
  • Contains natural rubber latex
From $4.09

Rusch - Soft PVC Closed System Catheter

  • Sterile pre-lubricated soft PVC catheter
  • Introducer tip helps stop UTIs
  • Available in 14 Fr
  • Includes catheter and collection bag
From $4.07

Cure - 6" Female Catheter

  • Straight, round tip
  • Polished eyelets
  • Latex, BPA, and DEHP free
From $0.60

GentleCath Glide - 16" Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

  • Gripper sleeve for sanitation
  • Funnel-shaped end
  • Water sachet included
  • Sterile
From $2.12

Medline - 6" Female Catheter

  • Color coded funnel
  • Two drainage eyelets
  • Intermittent catheter
  • Sterile
From $26.90

What is a catheter?

Catheters are sterile medical supplies that are used by people who cannot control their bladder function. Some are thin tubes that are inserted into the body, while others are worn on the outside of the body.

What are the three types of catheters?

The three main types of catheters are intermittent catheters, external catheters, and foley catheters. Each one is meant to treat different urological conditions. Be sure to consult with your doctor to determine which catheter is appropriate for your needs.

What is a catheter used for?

Catheters are used to treat urinary incontinence or urinary retention, depending on the type of catheter. External catheters are used only by men with urinary incontinence. Foley catheters and intermittent catheters treat urinary retention and can be used by men and women.

How does a catheter work?

Each type of catheter works a bit differently. Intermittent catheters and foley catheters are both inserted through the urethra and into the bladder to drain urine. External catheters are used by men and are worn on the outside of the penis. A catheter bag connects to the external catheter to collect urine.

Additional Information

Catheters can be used to treat two types of urological conditions, urinary incontinence and urinary retention. Urinary incontinence is involuntary urine leakage. Urinary retention is the inability to empty the bladder entirely. Some catheters are inserted into the urethra, such as intermittent catheters and foley catheters. Others are worn on the outside of the body, such as condom catheters. Catheters can be made of various materials such as latex, silicone, or red rubber. They are also available in variety of sizes to fit each person's body and help them work properly. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions when choosing a catheter style and size to avoid complications.

Intermittent catheters are thin tubes that are temporarily inserted to drain the bladder of people with urinary retention. Once the bladder has been emptied, the catheter should be removed and thrown away. These in and out catheters are available with a standard straight tip, or an angled tip known as a coude style. The bent tip of a coude catheter helps navigate around an enlarged prostate or urethral obstructions. Intermittent catheters come in various lengths and diameters to fit each person's anatomy. The diameter of the catheter is referred to as the French size. Men have to use longer catheters in order to reach the bladder. The female urethra is not as long as a male, so women have the choice of using a short catheter or full-length catheter. You can also choose catheters that are pre-lubricated, or you can use an uncoated catheter and pair a separate lubricating jelly with it.

External catheters, also known as condom catheters, are one-piece molded sheaths that go around the shaft of the penis. These are used by men with urinary incontinence as an alternative to adult diapers. A leg bag is worn in conjunction to collect the urine that drains from the catheter. You have the choice of connecting the bag directly to the end of the catheter or using extension tubing if you'd like to wear the bag lower on your leg. Some condom catheters have a gentle adhesive on the inside of the sheath to keep it in place throughout the day. Another option is to attach an external catheter to the body using an adhesive foam strip. We carry external catheters that are transparent, which allows you to monitor the condition of your skin while wearing the catheter. If you are new to cathing, please see our blog on how to use a condom catheter.

One type of external catheter is known as a Texas catheter. This three-piece style is comprised of a thin sheath, a silicone tube, and a connector to direct urine from the penis. The sheath of a Texas catheter tends to be thinner and more flexible than that of a molded external catheter. Texas catheters do not have an adhesive on the inside of the sheath. Therefore, you will need to use a medical grade adhesive to keep it secure. Some men also use an adhesive foam strip to secure the catheter around the penis. Express Medical Supply carries a variety of Texas catheters from brands like Covidien Dover and Urocare.

A foley catheter is an indwelling catheter that stays in the body for a longer period of time, up to several days or weeks. Foley catheters are often used after surgeries or by people who are confined to bed. A foley catheter has a hollow balloon on one end. After the balloon is inserted into the body, it is filled with sterile water. This helps keep the catheter in the proper position and prevents it from coming out. When the catheter is ready to be removed, the balloon is deflated. While the foley catheter is in use, a drainage bag will need to be connected to the end of the foley catheter to collect urine. One popular supply that is used along with this type of catheter is a foley catheter securement device. These catheter stabilizers are adhesive pads with a small clamp that the catheter tube sits below for protection. They prevent the catheter from being pulled on or becoming dislodged, which can cause pain and urethral damage.

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