Just as the people who use catheters vary, many different types of catheters accommodate different needs. Coudé catheters are one of the most popular types used, but what are the benefits of a coudé catheter over other styles? And, more specifically, what is a coudé catheter exactly?

In this blog, we’ll give a detailed overview of this popular catheter style and identify a coudé catheter’s key benefits that allow for precise and effective bladder relief for many patients.

What Are Urinary Catheters?

When your bladder needs support to perform standard urinary functions, urinary catheters are your best friends. While there are different kinds, they are fundamentally flexible, soft, hollow tubes that collect urine and distribute it to a collection bag for disposal.

Urinary catheters are made with various materials such as rubber, plastic, or silicone. These medical devices also come in different sizes and shapes to work with different anatomical needs and medical conditions.

Some of the most common medical conditions that catheters resolve can include:

  • Bladder or nerve injury
  • Certain cancers
  • Impaired mental function or ability
  • Medicinal causes
  • Prostate gland enlargement
  • Spinal injury
  • Surgery
  • Urinary blood clots

What Are Coudé Catheters?


The name of coudé catheters derives from the French word for “bent.” This medical device is named for its curved tip, which is used in conjunction with catheter tubing. The benefits of a coudé catheter tip come to exist when a blockage needs to be bypassed or bypassed for anatomical differences that require a bend in the tip.

While coudé catheters define a category all their own, there are also three subcategories for several different bent tips:

  • Olive Tips: Olive tip coudé catheters are more rounded and circular in style than other versions. This style can be helpful for those who have narrow urethras.
  • Tapered Tips: Tapered tip coudé catheters are the most common subcategory; they have a strong curve and are shorter and smaller at their insertion points.
  • Tiemann Tips: For patients who need a long coudé catheter, Tiemann tips are the way to go. Tiemann tipped coudé catheters are long and narrow, and can be more comfortable for users with narrower urethras.

Coudé tipped catheters are also available in a variety of different styles and made from other materials, such as red rubber or silicone; these styles can include: 

  • Foley Catheters: Placed by a medical professional and left in place for continuous bladder drainage help.
  • Intermittent Catheters: Used once to drain the bladder and then discarded. The user, caregiver, or medical professional can insert this type of catheter.

Who Uses Coudé Catheters?


Coudé catheters are mainly prescribed for use by men. A physician will help determine if a coudé catheter is suitable for you. Some of the most common reasons that coudé catheters are prescribed can include: 

  • Atrophic vagina in females
  • Bladder tumors
  • Certain Cancers
  • Colon tumors
  • Digestive tract diseases
  • False urethral or stoma passages
  • History of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
  • History of urethral traumas
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney tumors
  • Pelvic fractures
  • Pelvic radiation
  • Urinary blood clots
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Uterus Tumors

What Are The Benefits Of A Coudé Catheter?


So, what are the benefits of a coudé catheter exactly? Benefits essentially boil down to two things: 

  • Comfort: For those who have blockages or specific anatomical differences, coudé catheters can present a much more comfortable option for patients. Convenience is essential for those who need to use catheters daily. When used correctly, coudé catheters should maintain normal comfort levels for users.
  • Safety: Catheter users who have blockages must never use force to place a catheter when they are met with resistance. Doing so can lead to extreme damage to the urethra or cause other permanent damage. The benefits of a coudé catheter include a safer way to cath with those who have blockages or otherwise by providing a curved tip for more accessible, safer, and more comfortable navigation through the urethra.

How To Use A Bent Tipped Coudé Catheter

Most patients and caregivers find that coudé catheters are easy to place comfortably. However, it’s essential that proper training and care are taken to learn the correct way to place a coudé catheter; your physician can help with this.

When coudé catheters are not used or placed correctly, they can lead to significant and severe long-term complications. Watch for the following symptoms and contact your doctor right away if any of them are present: 

  • Bleeding around or inside the catheter
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Recurring bladder spasms
  • Sediment inside the catheter bag
  • Skin sores or lesions around the catheter
  • Strong-smelling, thick, or cloudy urine
  • Too little urine output
  • Urethral swelling
  • Urine leakage around the site of the catheter

Severe complications can happen when any of the above symptoms are not addressed. Some examples of complications are:

  • Bladder cancers
  • Blood in urine
  • Blood infections
  • Kidney damage
  • Kidney infections
  • Urethral injury
  • Urethral tears
  • Urinary tract infections

How Active Life Medical Products Can Help With Catheter Supplies


You need a trusted catheter product supplier when you require catheter supplies. Active Life Medical Products makes ordering the entire catheter supply process easy. Our Product Specialists can help you get your prescribed catheter covered through most insurances. Everything will be delivered directly and discreetly to your front door.

Call Active Life Medical Products at (800) 319-2336 to place your order.