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Catheter for Men

Catheter for Men

This image shows a seated man, smiling. Catheters for men can be used safely and effectively when properly sized and with the proper style.

Across the U.S. millions of catheters for men are used every single day. Urinary catheters serve as an integral portion of men’s health when they are unable to relieve their bladder naturally due to a health condition that impacts their ability to do so. 

While men and women often use the same types of catheters, due to their varying underlying medical conditions and anatomies, sometimes it’s important to use catheters that are designed specifically with men’s unique needs in mind. Fortunately, there are five different kinds to choose from, so you’re guaranteed to find the right style and fit for your needs.

Image shows a man with his grandchildren. Catheters for men can be used safely and effectively when properly sized and with the proper style.

When Is a Catheter for Men Used?

Catheters for men are one of the most commonly prescribed medical devices. Because urinary catheters support the essential function of draining the bladder when it’s otherwise difficult or impossible to perform, catheters for men are expected to remain one of the most highly prescribed medical devices in the healthcare system.

The underlying medical conditions that require the need of a catheter for men can vary greatly, but the need for catheter use always stems from one of three diagnoses: urinary retention, urinary incontinence, or the inability to control bladder function

Some of the most common medical conditions that require catheters for men to be used are:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Surgery
  • Bladder nerve injury
  • Kidney stones
  • Blood clots in urine
  • Prostate gland enlargement
  • Certain cancers, including prostate cancer
  • Urethral blockages
  • Spina bifida
  • Dementia or other forms of cognitive decline
  • Paralysis
  • Hip fractures
  • Certain medications
  • Loss of bladder muscle control

Different Types of Catheters for Men

There are five main types of catheters for men. These catheters can be used to safely, effectively, and to easily drain the bladder either into a collection pouch or toilet. Your doctor can discuss options with you and prescribe the catheter style that should work best in accordance with your medical diagnoses and body type.

Hydrophilic Male Catheters: Hydrophilic catheters are similar in style to straight intermittent catheters, however, they also have a special hydrophilic coating that lubricates the catheter when activated with water. There are also hydrophilic catheter options that come pre-hydrated. One of the main benefits of using hydrophilic catheters is the reduction in touching prior to cathing. Hydrophilic catheters either require no hand lubrication or have a no-touch sleeve; these factors reduce contamination with harmful bacteria.

Closed System Catheters for Men: Closed system catheters for  men are often preferred for their overall convenience. With closed system urinary catheters, men can easily change catheters on-the-go due to the catheters coming pre-lubricated and connected to a sterile bag for collection. There is no need with this catheter style to find a toilet or other place to drain your bladder as everything is directed into the included self-contained collection bag.

Intermittent Catheters for Men: Intermittent straight catheters are one of the original and most commonly prescribed and used catheters. This catheter style is not pre-lubricated but can be using lubricating jelly packets.

Male Foley Catheters: Foley catheters for men are generally inserted by nurses or physicians and meant to be left in for long term use. This type of urinary catheter drains into a collection bag for disposal and works well for individuals who are unable to self-cath.

External Catheters for Men: Also known as condom catheters, external catheters fit over the male’s penis and are held in place using adhesive or straps. This type of urinary catheter is changed often and drains directly into a collection bag for disposal.

Male Catheter Tips

There are two main tip options when using a catheter for men: coudé tip and straight tip. These tips are inserted directly into the urethra and connect to the catheter tubing that drains into the bag or toilet. Your physician will be able to determine the best catheter tip for you, but it’s important to discuss with them as one tip option may be more comfortable for you than the other.

Coudé Tip: Coudé tips are bent or curved on the end. This type of catheter tip works well for men who have certain medical or prostate conditions, or who have a blockage. This tip style is more often used for men than with women.

Straight Tip: Straight tips allow for comfortable insertion for most patients and have no curve or bend at the end. This tip style works well for both men and women.

Male Catheter Sizes

The sizing system used to determine the size of the catheter tubing for catheters for men is called a French sizing system. Healthcare professionals use a color coded universal size reference, which helps them determine the best size of tubing and the type of funnel attachment to be used for male patients. French catheter tubing sizes can range from 5 fr (French) to 24 fr; it’s important to be accurate with the sizing used because it’s not just comfort that’s at stake –  tubing that is too small or too large can effect proper bladder drainage and cause further medical issues.

Image shows man jogging

Using Catheters for Men

Inserting male catheters can be done safely and easily once trained by a physician, urologist, or other healthcare provider. Your healthcare professional will help to initially train you on using catheters and determine the best and easiest method for self-cathing. It’s important that you always consult with your healthcare professional first when using a new medical device such as a catheter for women as complications can occur with improper use.

Keep these tips in mind when inserting your male catheters for optimal use:

  • Always ensure the catheter is covered with a water-soluble lubricant.
  • Never force the catheter in if you feel resistance. This can cause severe pain and damage to your urethra.
  • Ensure your cath site and your hands are clean and sanitary. Always wash your hands immediately before and after inserting your catheter.
  • If the male catheter ever feels uncomfortable once in place, contact your physician to discuss other catheter options.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your physician right away as these could be signs of infection or other issues:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain
  • Skin sores or lesions around the catheter
  • Bleeding around or inside the catheter
  • Recurring bladder spasms
  • Sediment inside the catheter bag
  • Urethral swelling
  • Strong smelling, thick, or cloudy urine
  • Too little urine output
  • Urine leakage around the site of the catheter

Why More Men Are Choosing Active Life Medical

When catheters for men are prescribed for you, it’s essential that you get the right products quickly, easily, and covered by your insurance. The last thing you want to deal with is a hassle when you depend on catheters for proper health and bladder support. You want to deal with a provider that you can trust and who understands your unique needs; a provider who can help you navigate your insurance to get the right male catheter supplies delivered conveniently to your doorstep. This is where providers like Active Life Medical come in and why more men are choosing us for their urinary catheter needs.

You’re in good hands with Active Life Medical. Our team of knowledgeable customer service representatives are highly trained and can help you get the catheters you need covered by your insurance. Our representatives will work to make the process of getting the male catheters you need to you fast, easily, and affordably. We’ll guide you through the process from A-to-Z, including:

  • Coordinating with your doctors and healthcare providers to gather the necessary paperwork needed for your catheters for men
  • Finding the right catheter that meets your prescribed medical needs
  • Billing your urinary catheter supply directly to your insurance
  • Expertly answering any questions you have pertaining to catheters or the insurance process
  • Delivering straight to your door quickly and discreetly

We have one of the largest catheter for men selections of any medical supplier and work with all of the top brands, meaning you’ll only get quality catheters when you’re with Active Life Medical. Plus, when prescribed by a medical professional and deemed medically necessary, male catheters can be covered at no cost to you by Medicare, Medicaid, and most healthcare insurances nationwide.

Active Life Medical’s team of customer service experts are standing by to help get you the male catheters you need at little to no cost to you. Let us help. Give us a call at 800-319-2336 today so we can help get the process started. 

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