Catheters are a must-have device if an individual has urinary incontinence. It is a common medical condition that can cause urinary problems, UTIs, irritation, and pain. Catheters are a great way to empty your bladder, but you should still know your options before you make any decisions.

Understanding The Different Types Of Catheters 

You can choose from various catheters, each type offering unique benefits. We will go over the different types of catheters you can find and the benefits that come with them. This categorical explanation will help you better understand your choices in catheters the next time you make a purchase.

Different Catheter Materials

Catheters come in various materials, each with unique characteristics.

For instance, vinyl catheters are great for patients who prefer a more rigid tube, and rubber latex catheters can be a good option if you prefer something more flexible. The most common material options for you include:

Catheter materials often come down to personal preference so that you can choose something much more comfortable. 

Catheter French Sizes And Lengths

The diameter of the catheter tube is a significant consideration when choosing a catheter. You’ll have to decide the ideal size for your preference based on what fits you right. 

Most catheters range from 10 Fr to 20 Fr, but you can adjust them according to your expert’s advice. The three main catheter lengths include:

Tips For Catheter Insertion

There’s a variety of catheters you can choose from based on their insertion tips, but they fall into two major categories:


Straight tip Catheters                                                Coudé tip


Most people use straight-tip catheters because they are readily available. However, the Coudé tips have a slight curve, making them slightly easier to insert. Most males with an enlarged prostate or a urethral blockage can use Coudé tips for easier insertion. Therefore most of these catheters are available in male or pediatric length by default.

Three Most Common Types Of Intermittent Catheters

Intermittent catheters also come in various types, each with unique characteristics. These include:

Straight Catheters

The straight catheter is the standard design for most catheters, and several advancements in these straight catheters have also contributed to their increased comfort. For instance, polished drainage eyelets are one of the best variations of straight catheters. Most straight catheters are uncoated, making it necessary to lubricate them before use. Some catheters also come with a single-use lubrication tube, with some even having one to three different outlets for drainage. 

You can connect the drainage section to a collection bag or disposal area like a bathroom. Some people also prefer using their catheters without a funnel.

Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheters

Intermittent catheters and intermittent hydrophilic catheters are similar. However, the main difference is that the Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheters can lubricate themselves before insertion once they come in contact with water.  

The lubrication makes the catheters more comfortable by reducing friction during insertion. Most variations for these catheters have a water packet inside them—the water packet bursts to lubricate the tube. These catheters are especially popular since they are much more comfortable to insert. They are also suitable for travel or at-home use.

Closed System Catheters

Closed system catheters are most popular because they come pre-lubricated in a pre-lubed sterile collection bag. The collection bag’s volume varies depending on the manufacturer and their designs. The best part about the closed system catheters is they have all the pieces in one place and can be metered to find the best output.

These closed-system catheters are great for reducing UTI risk and increasing the safety of these gears. They are also called touch-free catheters because users don’t have to touch them, significantly reducing the risk of infections. An introducer tip is sterile and lubricated, which helps bypass the initial bacterial layers in the urethral lining.

What Type Of Catheter Is Right For Me?

Choosing the right kind of catheter depends on what your physician prescribes. Depending on what they recommend, users should always keep their specific requirements in mind while choosing a catheter.

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.