The right size is essential to increase an intermittent catheter’s efficiency and comfort. If you self-catheterize, the right size will make it easier to use. This guide will help you learn all there is to know about French sizes for urinary catheters.

French Sizes:

A universal gauge system determines the sizes of internal urinary and intermittent catheters; this universal gauge system is known as a French size. The measurement of the external diameter of the tube determines the size to be used. The catheter’s French size can be calculated by multiplying the three diameters, in millimeters, by three.

How To Know The French Size Of The Catheter?

The doctor prescribes the right size of catheters depending on anatomy. You may still want to know the size of your catheter. To calculate the French size, look at the package with an FR. Typically, sizes range between 2 and 24 FR.

If it is not mentioned on the packaging, then you can also understand the size of the catheter considering the color codes. Intermittent catheter manufacturers use a color code to reflect the French size. The color code choices include:

  • Red 18 FR (6mm) 
  • Orange 16 FR (5.4mm)
  • Green 14 FR (4.7mm)
  • White 12 FR (4mm)
  • Black 10 FR (3.4mm)

Getting The Right Catheter French Size:

Getting the right French size is essential to ensure that you select the correct size of a catheter for your needs. This is because if you use a catheter that is too big for you, it can cause friction and make it difficult for you to use it.

Using a smaller size may result in the urine not gathering in the catheter tube, which can cause a great mess. This is why there are many sizes for catheters that suit different bodies.

How To Find The Right Catheter Length?

Other than the French sizes, catheters also come in different lengths. People of different genders and ages require catheters of different lengths.

  • Female Length Catheters: The female urethra is significantly shorter than the male urethra, and the female catheters are much smaller in length. These catheters can range between 3.5 and 8 inches. Adult women usually use female catheters of French sizes 12-16 FR.
  • Length Catheters: Also called unisex length catheters, male length catheters are often 16 inches long. However, only some have the same anatomy, and different people will require different sizes. Commonly, males use catheters with sizes between 12 and 24 FR.
  • Pediatric Length Catheters: Pediatric length catheters are typically used for children. They can come in two sizes: 5-6 FR or 8-12 FR. The smaller ones are used for babies and infants, and the bigger ones are used for adolescents. 

Urinary Catheters By French Sizes:

When choosing a suitable French size catheter, you can keep the following sizes in mind: 

  • 6 FR catheters
  • 8 FR catheters
  • 10 FR catheters
  • 12 FR catheters
  • 14 FR catheters
  • 16 FR catheters
  • 18 FR catheters
  • 20 FR catheters
  • 22 FR catheters

Finding the Right Catheter and French Size for You:

First, consult with a healthcare expert to determine the suitable catheter and French size. The healthcare expert will prescribe a catheter keeping your anatomy in mind, and you can decide on the correct French size. This way, you will have a hassle-free experience and efficiently use the catheter that fits your body perfectly. 

The catheter size depends on your gender, age, and anatomy. You will not be able to determine what size will fit you the best, and you must leave it to the medical expert to help you understand what size is best for you.

Figuring out the French sizes of your catheters is very important. Not having the right size can pose problems. You can find a large variety of catheters at Active Life Medical Products. No matter what size you need, they offer high-quality catheters for all genders, ages, and anatomies. Consult your doctor about the size of catheter you should get, and Active Life Medical Products can provide that.

Where Can I Receive 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.

Find out more about catheters covered by Medicare here.