Research shows that over 4.04 million adults suffer from hand dexterity issues, which result in a loss of movement or changes to bodily function. Thus, many individuals struggle to regulate and empty their bladders safely, hygienically, and effectively. 

The good news, you can self-catheter even with limited hand dexterity and mobility. With patience and practice, you can learn how to self-catheter and allow bodily fluids to exit without any challenge. Finding the perfect catheter is the key to succeeding in this process. 

The wrong catheter can cause pain, discomfort, and irritation. To help avoid that, we’ve created an in-depth guide to the four best catheter options for limited hand dexterity:

-Straight Catheters

Intermittent straight catheters are small, hollow, flexible tubes that help you intermittently empty urine from the bladder. Popularly referred to as the “in-and-out” catheter, this option is perfect for people who cannot access closed system or hydrophilic catheters through their insurance.

You can insert these inexpensive yet effective catheters through the urethra or a surgical opening to connect the bladder with your body. While self-catheterizing, remember to maintain proper hygiene.  

Furthermore, consider carrying a pair of trimming scissors if you struggle to open sterile lubricating jelly packets. You can also find tubes of lubricating gels with flip-top caps to make applying lubricant much easier. 

A downside of straight catheters is they don’t come with a collection bag. So, individuals in wheelchairs who find it challenging to transfer from their chair to the toilet can get catheter extension tubes. 

-Hydrophilic Catheters

Hydrophilic catheters are perfect for people with heightened sensitivity and new to self-catheterization. Depending on your insurance coverage, you can access advanced intermittent catheters.

These catheters have a special coating activated by water to ensure users don’t feel pain or uncomfortable. A hydrophilic catheter includes water or 0.9% sterile saline that allows for smooth insertion and removal without lubrication.

Furthermore, research reveals that using hydrophilic-coated catheters can help reduce urethral micro-trauma. Most catheters are ready-to-use and activated in a pouch of sterile water or may include a sterile water packet. In that case, let the catheter soak for 30 seconds. 

Note that hydrophilic catheters can be slippy, which makes them difficult to hold or grip. However, you can buy gloves or specialized grippers to ease the process. Remember to discard the catheter after every use.  

-Closed System Catheters

Closed System Catheters are all-in-one packages that are a super convenient option for individuals with limited hand dexterity. These catheters are also referred to as “touchless” since the sterile and pre-lubricated catheter allows you to enjoy a virtually touchless cathing experience. 

Therefore, this type of catheter is ideal for patients with Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) as it helps reduce the risk of contamination from hands. Closed system catheters typically include a pre-lubricated catheter, additional lubrication, exam gloves, a collection bag, antiseptic wipes, and BZK. 

You must pull off the cap, insert the catheter tip, and pull out as much tubing as you need. Furthermore, you can use the self-contained collection bag to void your bladder anywhere you have privacy.

-Catheter Assistance Devices

Catheter assistance devices improve efficiency and safety by offering increased control when self-cathing. These devices are an accessory to eliminate pain and irritation.

For instance, you can use a urethral characterization device to help provide successful catheterization patient care. You can also use a quadriplegic catheter inserter boasting a spring-loaded clamp to help you grasp it.

Catheterization devices stand out because they provide improved care, safe and hygienic tools, and help eliminate potential complications associated with self-catheterizing.

What To Remember While Self-Cathetering?

Regardless of gender, the process of self-catheterizing is similar. However, women find it helpful to use a mirror to ease the process, whereas men prefer sitting on the toilet. 

Here are several things to remember when self-catheterizing:

  • Keep the end of the catheter over the toilet bowl/container
  • Slide the catheter until it reaches your bladder, and hold it until it empties
  • Use firm, gentle pressure to insert a well-lubricated catheter into the urethra


Self-catheterization can be challenging, but you can learn to urinate with limited hand dexterity with the catheters we discussed. The four catheters mentioned above fit seamlessly in your life and allow you to self-catheter safely and effectively, giving you one less thing to stress about!

Ensure you practice appropriate self-catheterizing safety practices, including creating a sterile environment and discarding the catheter after use. You should also follow the proper steps to self-catheterization to avoid pain, irritation, and the risk of infection.

Consider consulting with your doctor or physician before you start using a self-catheter. If you’re ready to start, you can check out Active Life Medical Products’ extensive catalog of premium quality, safe catheters! 

How Active Life Medical Products Can Help With Catheter Supplies

You need a trusted catheter 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 to your front door.

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