Millions of men use catheters daily to maintain healthy bladder function and release urine. Urinary catheters are standard medical devices that help support a healthy lifestyle for men of all ages. Various medical reasons determine a man’s medical necessity for a urinary catheter, and multiple types of catheters and sizes are available to ensure a practical and comfortable fit.

We will explore the common reasons for prescribing men’s catheters, the available types, and the benefits.

Why Are Catheters for Men Prescribed?

Catheters for men are among the most prescribed medical devices in the U.S. today because their primary purpose is supporting functional bladder use while various medical situations occur. While the specific reasons and lengths of need for urinary catheter prescriptions vary greatly, some frequent medical reasons are common for men that may lead to urinary incontinence, urinary retention, or the inability to control bladder function – take a look below:

  • Bladder nerve injury
  • Blood clots in urine
  • Certain cancers, including prostate cancer
  • Certain medications
  • Dementia or other forms of cognitive decline
  • Hip fractures
  • Kidney stones
  • Loss of bladder muscle control
  • Paralysis
  • Prostate gland enlargement 
  • Spina bifida
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Surgery
  • Urethral blockages

Different Types Of Catheters For Men

There are five central catheters for men that are most commonly prescribed by physicians and preferred by male patients. These urinary catheter options vary depending on medical situations and comfort preferences.

  • Closed System Catheters for Men: It is often more convenient. With closed system urinary catheters, men can easily change catheters on the go due to the catheters coming pre-lubricated and connected to a sterile bag for collection.
  • External Catheters for Men: Also known as condom catheters, external catheters fit over the male’s penis and use adhesive, or straps, to hold it in place. This type of urinary catheter is changed often and drains directly into a collection bag for disposal.
  • Hydrophilic Male Catheters: Hydrophilic catheters are similar in style to straight intermittent catheters; however, they also have a unique hydrophilic coating that lubricates the catheter when activated with water. There are also hydrophilic catheter options that come pre-hydrated. One of the main benefits of using hydrophilic catheters is the reduction in touching before cathing. Hydrophilic catheters require no hand lubrication or a no-touch sleeve; these factors reduce contamination with harmful bacteria.
  • Intermittent Catheters for Men: Intermittent straight catheters are one of the original and most commonly prescribed and used catheters. This catheter style is not pre-lubricated but can be using lubricating jelly packets.
  • Male Foley Catheters: A nurse or doctor will insert this type of catheter into a man’s penis when using a catheter for long-term use. This type of urinary catheter drains into a collection bag for disposal and works well for individuals unable to self-cath. 

A physician or medical provider can determine which catheter style best suits your medical condition and lifestyle when a urinary catheter is prescribed.

Different Tips For Male Catheters:

Choosing the right insertion tip is essential when using male catheters because anatomies differ, and not everyone has the same urethral openings. There are two main catheter tips used with male catheters:

  • Coudé Tip: Coudé tips are bent or curved on the end. This type of catheter tip works well for men with specific medical or prostate conditions or a blockage.
  • Straight Tip: Straight tips allow for comfortable insertion for most patients and have no curve or bend at the end.

Sizes Available For Catheters For Men:

Having the right catheter tube size in place is essential when using catheters for men. A universal French size measurement system is in place to determine the correct tube size. The universal sizing system is color-coded and followed by physicians, nurses, and urologists, who are generally responsible for determining the tube size. Incorrect tube sizing can cause excessive drainage flow or discomfort for the user.

Using Male Catheters:

Your physician or healthcare professional will help train you on using male catheters and determine the best and easiest way to place them yourself. They can also help determine the proper tube size and the appropriate catheter tip. 

When using catheters, it’s essential to keep an eye out for signs of infection or potential issues; these can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Blood in the urine
  • Burning in the genital or urethral area
  • Catheter or site leakage
  • Chills
  • Cloudy, foul-smelling, and discolored urine
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Lower back pain

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above or are experiencing pain around the site of your catheter, bladder, or urethra, please contact your physician or healthcare provider immediately to prevent further complications. Some of these complications can include the following:

 Bladder stones

  • Blood infections
  • Kidney damage
  • Septicemia
  • Urethral injury
  • Urethral injury
  • 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.

Popular Male Catheters: