Before you begin self-cathing, learning about the parts of intermittent catheters is essential. Self-catheterization is often necessary because of medication conditions like spinal cord injuries, neurogenic bladder, incontinence or urinary retention, etc.

Let’s learn about the parts below:

What Is A Catheter?

Intermittent Catheters are hollow, flexible tubes or medical devices that drain urine from the bladder. You must insert these tubes into the urethra opening so the bladder can empty as needed. Catheters are essential for several treatment plans, such as urinary incontinence, bladder retention, and many others. 

A patient’s inability to empty the bladder on time could cause kidney problems and infections due to urine blockage. Numerous conditions like multiple sclerosis and others require using catheters as patients heal from them. 


What Are The Parts Of Catheters?

Catheters have several features and notable uses. 

1. Catheter Insertion Tips

The narrower end of the intermittent catheter is the insertion tip, which has to pass through the urethra to the bladder. All catheters, including closed systems, straight intermittent, and Foley catheters, either have a straight or a curved tip.

While most commonly opt for the straight tip, others who cannot comfortably pass the straight one settle for a coude tip. It’s a good solution for atrophic vaginas, false passages, blockages, enlarged prostate, and urethral structures.

2. Drainage Eyelets

The small holes that you will find near the insertion tip are what we call drainage eyelets. These are necessary on a catheter tube to facilitate the urine draining more easily out of the tube. For some people, the wrong choice of catheters or improper instructions for insertion can make self-cathing a painful process. 

Hence, manufacturers continue to develop innovations to make catheter use as painless, easy, and safe as it can be for users. You will note the drainage eyelets and their recessing and polishing to reduce irritation and friction.  


Catheter Funnels

The funnel, also known as connectors because they’re potentially connected with receptacles for draining urine, is usually located at the opposite end of the catheter. The different varieties of catheters have specific colored funnels.

Colored funnels are due to the color coding system manufacturers must follow to make identification of French size easier for users. However, please note that many catheters, such as open tubes like whistle-tip catheters or Luer-end catheters, might need a funnel at the end.

The choice is entirely at the user’s discretion, depending on which catheter type they find most comfortable. 

Catheter French Sizes

French sizes are the measurement of the diameter of the tube. These sizes help users identify the right kind of catheter for their anatomy and medical condition. These sizes range from 5 Fr to 24 Fr, including pediatric to adult sizes. 

One only needs to look at the funnel end of the catheter to confirm they’re using the correct French size for their needs. You will not see the color code system only when using a red rubber latex or a Luer end catheter.

It is essential to consult your urologist to find out the right size for your needs. The right size helps establish a timely pace to keep you comfortable as the urine drains out. 

Catheter Lengths

Catheters generally have three length options. These include:

  • The pediatric length catheter is typically 6 to 12 inches in length. 
  • The female length catheters are typically 6 to 8 inches long. 
  • The male-length catheters are generally 16 inches long. 

The female and child users typically have shorter urethras, so they do not require catheters that are very long. However, this can be an exception as some children or female users may have to choose a male-length catheter, depending on their anatomy or medical problem. 

Active Life Medical Product offers a range of catheters, from discreet to pocket-ready. 


Catheters are an easy way to drain urine in time while healing from various medical conditions. Often intermittent catheters are part of a treatment plan in which patients should manage bladder draining to prevent infections and further complications. 

At Active Life Medical Products, you can find the perfect catheters to suit your needs. 

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.