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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]

Urocare Uro-Safe - Urinary Drainage Leg Bag (Thumb Clamp Valve)

  • Sterile
  • Thumb clamp drain valve
  • Available in semi-transparent or semi-transparent with opaque back
  • Includes "Little Red anti-reflux valve"
From $7.09

Urocare Uro-Safe - Urinary Drainage Leg Bag (Twist Drain Valve)

  • Sterile
  • Available in semi-transparent or semi-transparent with opaque back
  • Includes Urocare's "Little Red anti-reflux valve"
From $6.58

Urocare Uro-Con - Texas Catheter Sheaths

  • Used to make your own Texas catheters
  • Thin yet strong
  • Latex condom catheter sheaths
From $34.63

Cure - 6" Female Catheter with Funnel End

  • Sterile catheter
  • No DEHP
  • Highly polished eyelets
From $0.60

Cure - 16" Straight Catheter

  • 16" intermittent sterile catheter
  • Highly polished eyes for smooth insertion and removal
  • DEHP and latex free
  • 10% of Cure Medical's pretax profits go to medical research
From $0.59

Cure - 16" Coude Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Coude tip
  • DEHP and latex free
  • French sizes: 12 Fr, 14 Fr, 16 Fr, and 18 Fr
  • Highly polished eyes for comfortable insertion and withdrawal
From $0.91

Bard - 2000ml Urine Bag

  • Sheeting clip
  • Hinge hanger
  • 50" of drain tubing
  • Metal shut off clamp
  • Latex free drain tube
  • Anti-reflux drip chamber
  • Enhanced control-fit outlet device
From $6.07

Bard Touchless Plus - Red Rubber Closed System Catheter

  • Pre-lubricated red rubber catheter
  • Helps prevent a UTI
  • Includes sterile catheter and 1100cc collection bag
  • Available with or without accessories
From $4.10

Rusch Easy Cath - 16" Coude Catheter with Funnel End (Curved Package)

  • 16" intermittent catheter with curved package
  • Coude tip with a funnel end
  • Polished soft eye eyelets
  • Clear latex free PVC material
  • French sizes: 12, 14, and 16
  • Sterile
From $2.08

Rusch Easy Cath - 16" Straight Catheter in Curved Package

  • Sterile
  • Straight tip
  • French sizes: 12, 14, and 16
  • Polished soft eye eyelets
  • Clear latex free PVC material
From $0.87

Bard - Intermittent Catheterization Tray

  • Single-use irrigation tray
  • Sequence packaging separates prep components from catheter products
  • Sterile
  • Latex free
From $4.91

ProAdvantage - Lubricating Jelly

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Economical
  • Bacteriostatic
  • Water soluble and non-staining
From $2.90

Rusch FloCath - 16" Quick Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

  • No gloves or gels necessary
  • Includes sterile saline, pouch, and PVC intermittent catheter with protective sheath
  • Sterile
  • Latex free
From $1.98

Urocare - Reusable Urinary Drainage Leg Bag

  • Made with durable latex rubber
  • Leg bag for male external or foley catheters
  • Urocare's "little red valve" anti-reflux valve included
  • Built-in odor barriers
From $40.75

Bard - 6" Hydrophilic Female Catheter

  • Sterile
  • 6” hydrophilic catheter
  • Sterile water reduces friction
  • Latex and PVC free
From $1.69

Rusch - Straight Tip Closed System Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Helps reduce UTI's
  • 16" prelubricated intermittent catheter with collection bag
From $4.09

LoFric Hydro-Kit - Closed Sytem Hydrophilic Catheter

  • Smooth catheter eyes
  • Nelation rounded catheter tips
  • Includes catheter, water pocket, and collection bag
  • Convenient tear point allows for easier emptying
  • Low-friction catheter minimizes risk of infection, while maximizing comfort
  • Latex free
From $5.95

Bard Clean-Cath - 16" PVC Intermittent Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Smooth rounded tips for easy insertion
  • Color coded for easy size identification
From $0.77

Bard Clean-Cath - 16" Coude Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Coude tip design allows for easy insertion
  • Color coded funnel end for easy size identification
From $2.03

Urocare - Latex Free Leg Straps

  • Latex free
  • Button closure
  • Durable straps
From $4.37

Urocare - Universal Urinal Suspensory Garment

  • For use with the Urocare Male Urinal Sheath
  • Fits waist sizes 26" through 46"
  • Machine washable
From $48.40

Posey - Urine Bag Cover

  • Discreetly hides urine bag
  • Clear viewing window
  • One size fits most
  • Machine washable
From $26.35

Covidien Dover - Catheter Leg Bag with Twist Valve

  • Twist style drain port
  • 17 oz or 25 oz
  • Includes a pair of latex free leg straps
  • Anti-reflux valve
From $3.59

Covidien Dover - Catheter Bag with Straps, Tube, Cap, and Thumb Clamp

  • Foley catheter bag
  • Urinary drainage for condom catheters
  • Sterile
  • Drain tube, clamp, and cap included
  • Tapered design with expandable sides
From $6.07

Dale Hold-n-Place Adhesive Patch

  • Universal foley catheter holder
  • Adhesive patch can be used to record patient data
  • Does not restrict movement or irritate skin
  • Disposable
  • Latex free
From $4.17

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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