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What is an intermittent catheter?

An intermittent catheter is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder to empty it. Once the bladder is drained, the catheter should then be removed and thrown away. Intermittent catheters are used by people with urinary incontinence and retention.


Types of Intermittent Catheters

The style of the tip is another thing to consider for intermittent self-catheterization. It can be the difference between a painful or pain-free experience.

Catheter Tips

A straight catheter is the most commonly used intermittent catheter and it is considered the “standard” tip. This is often the first type of catheter used when someone begins self-cathing. You may find that it works great for you without any trouble. However, if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort when inserting a straight tip catheter, you may want to try a coude catheter.
Coude catheters have an angled tip that can be guided past an enlarged prostate or urethral stricture. These are one of the most popular male intermittent catheters because they are significantly easier to use than a straight one. Along with the regular coude tip, there are two other types of coude catheters. The coude olive tip is slightly bent with a bulb-shaped tip, while the coude tiemann tip has a tapered design and a small rounded tip that can fit through smaller openings.
Intermittent catheters are available in uncoated, pre-lubricated, and hydrophilic versions.
Uncoated catheters have no lubricant on the outside. You will likely want to use a separate catheter lubricant in conjunction with an uncoated catheter to ease insertion.
Pre-lubricated catheters come coated in a gel-like lubricant. This eliminates the need for a separate lubricating jelly.
Hydrophilic catheters are packaged with a packet of sterile saline or water. Before inserting the catheter, you will break the saline pack. This activates the coating and creates a slippery catheter surface.
We also offer “ready-to-use” hydrophilic catheters that do not need to be manually activated by the user. These tend to be less messy and are also great for people who have dexterity or strength issues, as it may be difficult to burst the saline packet. Visit our blog to see a comparison of pre-lubricated and hydrophilic catheters.

Catheter Materials

Intermittent catheters can be made from vinyl, silicone, or latex.
Vinyl catheters also referred to as PVC, are the firmest catheters. However, this material is still flexible enough to be maneuvered through the urethra.
Silicone is an extremely smooth material and is typically firmer than latex, however, there are also soft silicone catheters that are more pliable.
Latex is the softest and most flexible of the three. However, if you are allergic to latex rubber, you should avoid using a latex catheter as it can cause a reaction.

Eyelets

Straight urethral catheters have eyelets, which are small holes that allow urine to drain from the urethra. Some catheters have one eyelet, while others have two or more. In general, the more eyelets a catheter has, the faster urine will drain.
Cold-pressed eyelets mean that holes are simply punched into the catheter surface. This can leave rough edges around the eyelet holes. Fire-polished eyelets go through a process that smooths out these edges, which can be more comfortable during catheter insertion and removal.

Lengths

Intermittent catheters come in different lengths to suit different needs. Standard catheters are generally 14"-16" long. These full-length catheters can be used by men or women. The longer catheters are convenient for wheelchair users because the person does not have to get out of their wheelchair to cath.

Female Intermittent Catheters

There are also short catheters available, known as female catheters. They range from 5”-8” in length. Because the female urethra is shorter than a male's, women have the option of using a female catheter. Some women find the short catheters to be more discreet in a purse or bag. It is also fine for women to use a long “male” catheter if they prefer. Keep in mind that men cannot use a female catheter because it would not be long enough to reach the bladder.

Order Intermittent Catheter Kits and Supplies Online

Purchase intermittent catheters and supplies online with no prescription. Easily place your order to receive your products as early as the next day. Shop our large collection of urological healthcare products now!

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Picture of Bard Magic 3 - 16" Hydrophilic Catheter

Bard Magic 3 - 16" Hydrophilic Catheter

  • Length: 16"
  • French sizes: 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20
  • Latex free, hydrophilic coated intermittent catheter
  • Insertion sleeve included, makes for easy use and clean up
  • Innovative packaging is easy to prep while maintaining sterility
  • All silicone design eliminates the potential risks associated with latex and PVC catheters
  • Each, box of 30
From: $1.84
Picture of Bard Magic 3 - 16" Hydrophilic Coude Catheter with Insertion Sleeve

Bard Magic 3 - 16" Hydrophilic Coude Catheter with Insertion Sleeve

  • All silicone design eliminates the potential risks associated with latex and PVC catheters
  • Insertion sleeve included, makes for easy use and clean up
  • Innovative packaging is easy to prep while maintaining sterility
  • Hydrophilic coating
  • Latex free
  • Each, box of 30
From: $3.87
Out of stock
Picture of Bard Magic 3 Go - 6" Hydrophilic Female Catheter

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
  • Each, box of 30
From: $1.89
Picture of Bard Tiemann - 16" Red Rubber Coude Catheter

Bard Tiemann - 16" Red Rubber Coude Catheter

  • Tip position indicator
  • Sterile, single-use catheter
  • One or two drainage eyes
  • Pliable red rubber construction
  • Coude tip makes for easy insertion
  • Each, Case of 12
From: $6.95
Picture of Bard Touchless Plus - Red Rubber Closed System Catheter

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
  • Each, case of 50
From: $4.06
Picture of Coloplast Self Cath - 6" Female Catheter

Coloplast Self Cath - 6" Female Catheter

  • Each, box of 30, case of 12 boxes (360)
  • Sterile intermittent catheter
  • Latex free
  • Polished eyelets and optional funnel end
  • Each, box of 30, case of 12 boxes (360)
From: $0.82
Picture of Coloplast Self-Cath - 10" Pediatric Straight Catheter

Coloplast Self-Cath - 10" Pediatric Straight Catheter

  • Sterile
  • French size: 6, 8, and 10
  • Reduces risk of urethral trauma
  • Smooth polished eyelets for comfort and ease of use
  • Each, box of 30, and case of 12 boxes (360)
From: $0.92
Picture of Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Coude Catheter, Olive Tip with Guide Stripe

Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Coude Catheter, Olive Tip with Guide Stripe

  • Sterile
  • Medical grade PVC
  • Smooth polished eyelets
  • 16" long, funnel end
  • Coude tip with guide stripe
  • Each, box of 30, case of 12 boxes (360)
From: $2.75
Picture of Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Soft Straight Catheter

Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Soft Straight Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Medical grade PVC
  • 16" long, funnel end
  • Smooth polished eyelets for comfort and ease of use
  • Each, box of 30, case of 12 boxes (360)
From: $0.92
Picture of Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Straight Catheter

Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Straight Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Medical grade PVC
  • Smooth polished eyelets
  • 16" long with funnel end
  • Each, box of 30, and case of 12 boxes (360)
From: $0.92
Picture of Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Straight Catheter in Curved Package

Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Straight Catheter in Curved Package

  • Sterile
  • Medical grade PVC
  • Smooth polished eyelets
  • 16" long with funnel end
  • Curved package for convenience
  • Each, box of 50, and case of 12 boxes (600)
From: $0.94
Picture of Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Tapered Coude Catheter with Guide Stripe

Coloplast Self-Cath - 16" Tapered Coude Catheter with Guide Stripe

  • Guide strip
  • Coude tip
  • Medical grade PVC
  • Smooth polished eyelets
  • 16" long, funnel end
  • Each, box of 30, case of 12 boxes (30)
From: $2.75
Picture of Coloplast Self-Cath Plus - 16" Hydrophilic Coude Catheter

Coloplast Self-Cath Plus - 16" Hydrophilic Coude Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Guide strip
  • Medical grade PVC
  • Hydrophilic tapered tip with funnel end
From: $4.46
Picture of Coloplast Self-Cath Plus - 16" Hydrophilic Straight Catheter

Coloplast Self-Cath Plus - 16" Hydrophilic Straight Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Medical grade PVC
  • Uncoated Gripzone area
  • Hydrophilic coating provides excellent lubrication and activates with water
  • Each, box of 30, and case of 12 boxes (360); 16 Fr is sold by the box and case only
From: $2.11
Picture of Coloplast Self-Cath Plus - 16" Soft Hydrophilic Straight Catheter

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

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Hydrophilic coating activates with water
  • Uncoated Gripzone area for easier handling
  • Each, box of 30
From: $2.11
Picture of Coloplast Speedicath - 14" Hydrophilic Coude Catheter

Coloplast Speedicath - 14" Hydrophilic Coude Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • DEHP and phhtalate free
  • French sizes: 12, 14, and 16
  • Each catheter is pre-packed in sterile saline
  • Each, box of 30
From: $3.46
Picture of Coloplast SpeediCath - 14" Hydrophilic Straight Catheter

Coloplast SpeediCath - 14" Hydrophilic Straight Catheter

Coloplast SpeediCath Features

  • Instantly ready to use due to the unique hydrophilic coating
  • Designed to reduce friction for added comfort with hydrophilic coating and polished eyelets
  • Ring-pull opening feature for easy and quick access
  • Adhesive dot ensures the catheter stays securely in place
  • PVC- and phthalate-free, limiting environmental impact
  • French sizes available: 12, 14, 16, and 18
  • Tip style: Straight
  • Sold by the Each, box of 30
  • 18 Fr is only available by the box of 30
  • Latex-free for user safety
From: $1.86
Picture of Coloplast SpeediCath - Compact Male Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

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
  • Box of 20
From: $107.45
Picture of Coloplast SpeediCath - Compact Male Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter Set

Coloplast SpeediCath - Compact Male Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter Set

  • 750 ml attached bag with pre-hydrated intermittent catheter
  • Each catheter is pre-packed in sterile saline
  • Easily fits in purse or pocket
  • Each, box of 20
From: $5.95
Picture of ConvaTec GentleCath - 16" Coude Catheter

ConvaTec GentleCath - 16" Coude Catheter

  • French size: 12, 14, 16, and 18
  • Uncoated PVC plastic with smooth rounded eyelets makes insertion process easier
  • Coude tip catheter with tapered funnel end
  • Each, box of 100
From: $1.03
Picture of ConvaTec GentleCath - 16" Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

ConvaTec GentleCath - 16" Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

  • Insertion sleeve included, makes for easy use and clean up
  • Innovative packaging is easy to prep while maintaining sterility
  • Hydrophilic coating
  • Sterile
  • Each, box of 30
From: $1.64
Picture of ConvaTec GentleCath - 16" Intermittent Catheter

ConvaTec GentleCath - 16" Intermittent Catheter

  • French size: 10, 12, 14, and 16
  • Intermittent catheter with tapered funnel end
  • PVC catheter with smooth polished eyelets
  • Each, box of 100
From: $0.48
Picture of ConvaTec Tiemann GentleCath - 16" Hydrophilic Coude Catheter

ConvaTec Tiemann GentleCath - 16" Hydrophilic Coude Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Hydrophilic coating
  • Insertion sleeve included, makes for easy use and clean up
  • Innovative packaging is easy to prep while maintaining sterility
  • Each, box of 30
From: $1.88
Picture of Covidien Dover - 16" Red Rubber Catheter

Covidien Dover - 16" Red Rubber Catheter

  • French sizes: 14, 16, and 18
  • Intermittent catheter with funnel end
  • Red rubber catheter with smooth polished eyelets
  • Each, box of 100
From: $0.92
Picture of Covidien Dover Rob-Nel - 16" PVC Intermittent Catheter

Covidien Dover Rob-Nel - 16" PVC Intermittent Catheter

  • Sterile
  • Latex free
  • Length: 16"
  • Smooth rounded tip and funnel end
  • PVC catheter, slightly firmer than red rubber catheters
  • Each, case of 100
From: $0.77
Product Information

What is an intermittent catheter?

An intermittent catheter is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder to empty it. Once the bladder is drained, the catheter should then be removed and thrown away. Intermittent catheters are used by people with urinary incontinence and retention.


Types of Intermittent Catheters

The style of the tip is another thing to consider for intermittent self-catheterization. It can be the difference between a painful or pain-free experience.

Catheter Tips

A straight catheter is the most commonly used intermittent catheter and it is considered the “standard” tip. This is often the first type of catheter used when someone begins self-cathing. You may find that it works great for you without any trouble. However, if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort when inserting a straight tip catheter, you may want to try a coude catheter.
Coude catheters have an angled tip that can be guided past an enlarged prostate or urethral stricture. These are one of the most popular male intermittent catheters because they are significantly easier to use than a straight one. Along with the regular coude tip, there are two other types of coude catheters. The coude olive tip is slightly bent with a bulb-shaped tip, while the coude tiemann tip has a tapered design and a small rounded tip that can fit through smaller openings.
Intermittent catheters are available in uncoated, pre-lubricated, and hydrophilic versions.
Uncoated catheters have no lubricant on the outside. You will likely want to use a separate catheter lubricant in conjunction with an uncoated catheter to ease insertion.
Pre-lubricated catheters come coated in a gel-like lubricant. This eliminates the need for a separate lubricating jelly.
Hydrophilic catheters are packaged with a packet of sterile saline or water. Before inserting the catheter, you will break the saline pack. This activates the coating and creates a slippery catheter surface.
We also offer “ready-to-use” hydrophilic catheters that do not need to be manually activated by the user. These tend to be less messy and are also great for people who have dexterity or strength issues, as it may be difficult to burst the saline packet. Visit our blog to see a comparison of pre-lubricated and hydrophilic catheters.

Catheter Materials

Intermittent catheters can be made from vinyl, silicone, or latex.
Vinyl catheters also referred to as PVC, are the firmest catheters. However, this material is still flexible enough to be maneuvered through the urethra.
Silicone is an extremely smooth material and is typically firmer than latex, however, there are also soft silicone catheters that are more pliable.
Latex is the softest and most flexible of the three. However, if you are allergic to latex rubber, you should avoid using a latex catheter as it can cause a reaction.

Eyelets

Straight urethral catheters have eyelets, which are small holes that allow urine to drain from the urethra. Some catheters have one eyelet, while others have two or more. In general, the more eyelets a catheter has, the faster urine will drain.
Cold-pressed eyelets mean that holes are simply punched into the catheter surface. This can leave rough edges around the eyelet holes. Fire-polished eyelets go through a process that smooths out these edges, which can be more comfortable during catheter insertion and removal.

Lengths

Intermittent catheters come in different lengths to suit different needs. Standard catheters are generally 14"-16" long. These full-length catheters can be used by men or women. The longer catheters are convenient for wheelchair users because the person does not have to get out of their wheelchair to cath.

Female Intermittent Catheters

There are also short catheters available, known as female catheters. They range from 5”-8” in length. Because the female urethra is shorter than a male's, women have the option of using a female catheter. Some women find the short catheters to be more discreet in a purse or bag. It is also fine for women to use a long “male” catheter if they prefer. Keep in mind that men cannot use a female catheter because it would not be long enough to reach the bladder.

Order Intermittent Catheter Kits and Supplies Online

Purchase intermittent catheters and supplies online with no prescription. Easily place your order to receive your products as early as the next day. Shop our large collection of urological healthcare products now!

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