If you’ve been seriously ill or involved in a fatal accident, the doctors attach a catheter to help you pass urine without getting up. If you’ve used a catheter alone, you may see the different symbols on the back of the package. Symbols are used in catheters to signify possible uses and avoidance of specific hazards when using catheters.

For both sexes, the placement of the catheter is up the urethra. If you want to know more about the placement of catheters in patients, in this article, we will discuss the meaning behind the symbols on female catheters.

What’s The Difference Between Male And Female Catheterization?

We should acknowledge that both male and female patients have different considerations when undergoing catheterization.

Females usually need to get familiar with their genitalia to self-catheterize, sometimes inserting it incorrectly, like in their vagina instead, unlike male patients who can put the catheter directly into the penis. Therefore, it takes practice for women to get used to inserting the catheter.

The professional way to put a catheter in females is by pushing the catheter tube up the meatus about 2-3 inches till the urine flows out. The patient can also do it. It may provide discomfort to the patient the first time, but eventually, patients get used to a catheter placed in their urethra.

Common Symbols:

  • Instructions Are Available – a manual attached to the catheter provides a detailed guide to self-catheterization.
  • Manufacturer: identification label of the company.
  • Sterilization By Ethylene Oxide: EO sterilization.
  • The Date Of Manufacture: helps ensure that the catheter can only be used for a specific time after manufacturing.
  • The Manufacture Lot Number Or Batch Code: manufacturing date to identify the number of catheters produced.
  • Thermometer Icon: method of sterilization by using dry heat or steam.
  • “Do Not Reuse” – most catheters are single-use only.
  • “Use By”: the expiration date of the catheter.
  • “With Prescription Only”: catheter use is recommended by doctors.

Directions For Sterile Catheter Use

Using sterilization can help avoid catheter-associated urinary tract infections; properly sterilizing the catheter ensures no bacterial infection worsens your health. Three types of the following catheters are used:

Closed System

A Closed System Catheter is a self-contained, pre-lubricated catheter that houses itself in sterile bags. Women have a much easier experience with this product.

Hydrophilic Catheters

Hydrophilic Catheters are hydrated to provide excellent proper gliding technique. They have to manually soak in the catheter fluid that comes with the package giving the catheter fluidity and ease of placement.

Straight Catheters

These are uncoated catheters that may be painful for patients having a catheter placed on them for the first time. Mostly, they are prepackaged with the sterilization process to make sure patients can sterilize the catheters themselves as well. You can mix one part bleach with four parts water and betadine solution with two parts water. There is also the use of alcohol, but the Betadine solution and bleach plus water are safer solutions.

To sterilize a catheter, follow this step-by-step guide:

  • Rinse the catheter for 30 seconds.
  • Place the catheter on a towel to dry for an hour.
  • After drying, place in any of the solutions mentioned above for five minutes, and make sure everything is covered.
  • Place the catheter in the freezer without rinsing the solution
  • Right before use, rinse off the excess solution

The catheter can stay frozen for up to seven days, but it is advised to throw it away after the first week; you can reuse the freezer package unless the symbols state otherwise. Several catheters can be infused with the solution simultaneously, and it’s better to replace the solutions inside the bag in a month.


This article helps you on your journey to recovery, giving you time to get used to catheterization by yourself and consider contacting a professional before inserting the catheter yourself. It can save you from multiple infections that cost you or your loved ones’ life. For first-timers, it’s suggested to look into more details regarding types of cauterization and their pros and cons. Buying catheters from reliable suppliers such as Active Life Medical Products can save you time and help ensure you receive premium quality female catheters and more for yourself or your loved ones.

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.