According to a Stanford University publication, over 1.5 million urinary catheters are placed and used daily in the United States, making catheters one of the most used medical devices by patients to treat temporary or long-term related issues.

While there are three main types of urinary catheters, there are several subcategories within each class because differing human anatomy demands choice for proper use. Coudé catheters are an example of one of the most commonly used urinary catheters. 

But what determines someone’s use of one catheter style over another? Below, we’ll take a closer look into urinary catheters and explore what coudé catheters are.

What Are Urinary Catheters?

Different urinary catheters, including coudé catheters, are shown here. Urinary catheters resolve three primary physician diagnoses: urinary retention, urinary incontinence, and when urinating cannot be controlled autonomously. The medical conditions that can lead to the diagnoses mentioned earlier can have a wide range and include

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

When conditions such as these cause urinary retention, urinary incontinence, or other related medical diagnoses, urinary catheters, such as coudé catheters, offer a bladder drainage solution.

Urinary catheters are hollow flexible tubes made of silicone, rubber, or plastic and connect the bladder to a drainage bag. Three main types of urinary catheters perform this drainage function.

  • External Catheters: External catheters, also known as condom catheters, are placed on the outside and are generally 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: Indwelling catheters, or Foley catheters, are placed in a person’s bladder. Indwelling catheters, set by trained nurses or healthcare staff, go through the urethra and into 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 types of catheters are placed through an abdominal hole or the urethra and removed as soon as they are no longer needed.

What Is A Coudé Catheter?

The word “coudé” directly translates to “bend” in French. Coudé catheters are standard urinary catheters with bent tips used in conjunction with catheter tubing. These catheter tips are used when a person’s anatomy does not allow for a straight tip due to blockage. 

Why Are Bent Tip Catheters Used Over Other Styles?

With all the different types of catheters and catheter tips, how is it determined that a coudé catheter tip is necessary? While your doctor or healthcare professional will help determine which is best for you, coudé catheters are most often used for men to help bypass blockages they may have in their urethra.

A variety of medical factors and conditions can warrant the use of a coudé catheter, but some of the most common reasons are:

  • Atrophic Vagina In Females
  • Different Types Of Coudé Catheters
  • False Urethral Or Stoma Passages
  • History Of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
  • History Of Prostate Surgery
  • History Of Urethral Traumas
  • Pelvic Radiation

Coudé catheters are a subcategory of intermittent catheters, but there are also several different versions of coudé catheters; these can include:

Olive Tip:

When there’s a “false passage” situation in the urethra due to trauma, and Olive tipped coudé catheter is often used. Olive tips, rounded with a curve, allow for a smoother catheter passage without catching and causing injury.

Tapered Tip:

The curve on the pointed tip coudé catheters is shorter and more pronounced. This type of catheter tip is helpful in situations where patients have conditions such as prostate enlargement.

Tiemann Tip:

When there’s a narrower passage, Tiemann coudé catheters are helpful. Tiemann tips, tapered, more extended, and more flexible, make them perfect for navigating blockages more comfortably.


Using Bent Tip Catheters 

Your physician or healthcare professional will help train you on using coudé catheters and determine the best and easiest way to place them yourself. You must consult your healthcare professional when using a new medical device such as a coudé catheter, as complications can occur with improper use. Complications of catheter usage can include:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Bladder Stones
  • Blood In The Urine
  • Blood Infections
  • Injury To Your Urethra
  • Kidney Damage
  • Kidney Infections

It would help if you watched for various indications of problems while using urinary catheters. Symptoms, such as the ones listed below, can indicate infection, clogging, or other underlying issues: 

  • 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

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.