What are the Different Types of Urinary Catheters?

There are three main types of catheters: indwelling catheters, external catheters, and short-term catheters.

Indwelling catheters (urethral or suprapubic catheters)

An indwelling catheter is a catheter that resides in the bladder. You may have also heard it referred to as a Foley catheter. This type of catheter can be used for short or long periods of time.

A nurse usually inserts an indwelling catheter into the bladder through the urethra. Sometimes, a healthcare provider will insert the catheter into the bladder through a tiny hole in the abdomen. This type of indwelling catheter is known as a suprapubic catheter.

A tiny balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated with water to prevent the tube from sliding out of the body. The balloon is deflated when the catheter needs to be removed.

External catheters (condom catheters)

A condom catheter is a catheter worn outside the body. It’s typically necessary for men who don’t have urinary retention problems but have serious functional or mental disabilities, such as dementia. A device that looks like a condom covers the penis head. A tube leads from the condom device to a drainage bag where urine is collected.

These catheters are generally more comfortable and carry a lower risk of infection than indwelling catheters. Condom catheters usually need to be changed daily, but some brands are designed for longer use. These can cause less skin irritation than condom catheters that require daily removal and reapplication.

Short-term catheters (intermittent catheters)

Intermittent catheters are temporarily inserted into the bladder and removed once the bladder is empty. It is a safe, effective way of managing patients with urinary retention or incontinence due to a neuropathic or hyptonic bladder.

Straight tip to intermittent urinary catheters can be used for self-catheterization in the home and are available for men and women. Rely Medical Supply carries a selection of straight catheters to meet your needs such as latex-free, compact, and closed systems. Red rubber intermittent urinary catheters are made from natural red rubber latex. Red rubber catheters are available in a variety of french sizes.

Coude tip catheters are slightly bent or curved at the tip. Coude catheters are recommended for people with narrowing of the urethra because the tip can slide in without further damaging the urinary tract. Men with enlarged prostates can also benefit from the coude tip since the curved or bent design can slide around the prostate. Hydrophilic catheters are self-lubricated and ready to use urinary catheters whose unique design reduces the risk of damage to the urethra and urinary tract.

Rely Medical Supply sells a wide selection of urology and catheter supplies conveniently and discreetly delivered to your home. We have catheters available in different types (Foley, intermittent, hydrophylic, etc.), lengths, and sizes from top brand-name manufacturers like Bard, Coloplast, Cure, Hollister, Rochester Medical, Rusch and more. We also have related urology medical supplies like leg bags, bed bags, external catheters (condom catheters), lube, and more.  To order, please call us at 888-529-2308 and speak with a caring product expert for assistance with your catheter needs.

For information and assistance with ordering urology products, Call 888-529-2308, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.