Regarding urinary catheters, there’s no “one size fits all” solution, straight catheters included. Human anatomies differ, individual comfort levels vary, and not all catheter styles will work to resolve different health conditions.

Straight catheters are one of the most commonly used urinary catheter types. Below, we’ll look at this medical device and explore the unique benefits of using a straight catheter.

What Are Urinary Catheters, and Why Are They Used?

Medical problems and health conditions, whether long-term or short-term, can ultimately result in the need for urinary catheters. Examples of some common health conditions that benefit from or require catheterization can include:

  • Bladder Or Nerve Injury
  • Certain Cancers
  • Impaired Mental Function Or Ability
  • Medicinal Causes
  • Prostate Gland Enlargement
  • Spinal Injury
  • Surgery
  • Urinary Blood Clots

These conditions can cause patients to be diagnosed with urinary retention or common incontinence. Urinary and straight catheters are used to empty the bladder in these cases. Urinary catheters are medical devices that drain urine from the bladder directly to a drainage bag for disposal. 

The Three Main Types Of Urinary Catheters

Catheters are made from one of three of the following materials:

While there are multiple subcategories of catheters, straight catheters included, they can always be listed into three main groups:

  • External Catheters: Known as condom catheters, these are placed on the outside and are used for assisting with bladder drainage in situations where mobility or cognitive issues are the primary driving causes for use. A condom-like piece will cover the penis and allow drainage into a collection bag through a connected tube.
  • Indwelling Catheters: Known as Foley catheters, these are placed directly in a person’s bladder. Indwelling catheters are inserted by trained nurses or healthcare staff through the urethra and the bladder. A balloon filled with water helps keep the catheter in place while also deflating when it’s time for removal.
  • Intermittent Catheters: Intermittent catheters, also referred to as short-term or in-and-out, are used when someone only requires bladder drainage assistance for a short period. These catheters are placed through an abdominal hole or the urethra and removed when they are no longer needed.

What Is A Straight Catheter?

Straight-tipped urinary catheters are a type of intermittent catheter. Straight catheters are hollow, flexible tubes with an insertion end placed inside the urethra and a non-insertion end that funnels urine into the collection bag or toilet for disposal. Straight catheters are generally single-use and disposed of immediately following bladder drainage.

Straight catheters can come with anywhere from one to 4 holes or drainage eyelets on the insertion tip, but most feature two or fewer. The funnel portion of the straight catheter typically has a grip for easy holding while draining into the toilet.

The Benefits Of Using A Straight Catheter?

Straight catheters are one of the original types of urinary catheters, and there are reasons they’ve stuck around for so long. Take a look at these benefits:

  • Easy: Straight catheters are designed to be easy to use by practically anyone who needs them. Following instruction from a knowledgeable healthcare professional, most people find that they can place their straight catheters quickly, easily, and pain-free.
  • Practical: Straight catheters are generally a good option for those seeking to maintain an active lifestyle while cathing. This intermittent catheter allows for quick insertion, adequate bladder drainage, and easy disposal wherever possible.
  • Safe: Because straight catheters are used intermittently instead of being left inside the urethra, the chances of developing complications such as blockages, leaking, infection, and bladder spasms are less frequent. Straight catheters are generally considered more hygienic and carry fewer health risks when used correctly.

Why Are Straight Catheters Used Over Other Styles? 

Straight catheters are prescribed when urinary catheterization is medically necessary, and the patient can catheter themselves with low infection risk. Unlike bent tip coudé catheters, straight catheters are regularly prescribed to men and women.

Using Straight Catheters

Straight-tip catheters are like inserting a coudé catheter or another intermittent catheter. Straight-tip catheters are relatively easy to place yourself, but your doctor or healthcare provider can show you how to set them to fit your body and condition.

Potential Complications From Straight Catheter Usage

Most individuals won’t experience complications from using straight catheters. However, it’s essential to know the signs of potential complications and communicate with your physician immediately to prevent further issues. Indications of possible complications can include:

  • Bleeding Around Or Inside The Catheter
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Recurring Bladder Spasms
  • Sediment Inside The Catheter Bag
  • Skin Sores Or Lesions Around The Catheter
  • Strong Smelling, Thick, Or Cloudy Urine
  • Too Little Urine Output
  • Urethral Swelling
  • Urine Leakage Around The Site Of The Catheter

Because many of these symptoms can lead to further complications such as kidney stones, blood infections, and kidney damage, it’s essential to communicate with your doctor immediately.

How Active Life Medical Can Help With Catheter Supplies

You need a trusted catheter product 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 and discreetly to your front door.

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