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Different Types of Catheters for Men

Different Types of Catheters for Men

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Each day, millions of catheters for men are used to support healthy bladder function and urinary release. Urinary catheters serve as common medical devices that help support a healthy lifestyle for men of all ages. There are various medical reasons that determine a man’s medical necessity for a urinary catheter, and there are also multiple types of catheters and sizes available to ensure an effective and comfortable fit.

Below, we’ll take a look at common reasons why catheters for men are prescribed, what types of catheter styles and sizes are available, and what the benefits are of each type of male catheter.

Why Are Catheters for Men Prescribed?

Catheters for men are one of the most prescribed medical devices in the U.S. today; this is because their primary purpose is supportive of functional bladder use while various medical situations take place. While the specific reasons and lengths of need for urinary catheter prescriptions vary greatly, there are some frequent medical reasons that are common for men that may lead to urinary incontinence, urinary retention, or the inability to control bladder function – take a look below:

  • 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

Image showing a gloved hand holding a male catheter

Different Types of Catheters for Men

There are five main catheters for men that are most commonly prescribed by physicians and that are preferred by male patients. The use of these urinary catheter options varies depending on medical situations and comfort preference.

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.

When a urinary catheter has been prescribe to you, your physician or medical provider can help determine which catheter style will work best for your medical condition and your lifestyle.

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Different Tips for Male Catheters

Choosing the right insertion tip is important when using male catheters; this is because anatomies differ and not everyone has the same urethral openings. There are two main catheter tips used with male catheters:

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.

Straight Tip: Straight tips allow for comfortable insertion for most patients and have no curve or bend at the end.

French size chart for catheters for men

Sizes Available for Catheters for Men

Having the right catheter tube size in place is essential when using catheters for men. To determine the correct tube size, a universal French size measurement system is in place. The universal sizing system is color coded an followed by physicians, nurses, and urologists who generally have the responsibility of determining the tube size. It’s important that the correct tube size is chosen because incorrect sizing can either cause drainage flow to be too slow or discomfort for the user.

Using Male Catheters

Your physician or healthcare professional will help train you on using male catheters and determine the best and easiest way for you to place them yourself. They can also help determine the right tube size and the appropriate catheter tip for you.

When using catheters, it’s essential to keep an eye out for signs of infection or potential issues; these can include, but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cloudy, foul-smelling, and/or discolored urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower back pain
  • Burning in the genital or urethral area
  • Catheter or site leakage

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, or are experiencing pain around the site of your catheter, bladder, or urethra, please contact your physician or healthcare provider right away to prevent further complications. Some of these complications can include:

  • Bladder stones
  • Urethral injury
  • Kidney damage
  • Septicemia
  • Urethral injury
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Blood infections

Are Catheters for Men Covered by Insurance?

When prescribed by your medical professional and deemed medically necessary, catheters for men are not only easy to use but also can be covered at no cost to you by Medicare, Medicaid, and most healthcare insurances nationwide. Active Life Medical’s team of skilled and helpful customer service experts are here to answer any of your catheter questions and can walk you through the process of getting your supplies billed directly and accurately to your insurance. We strive to make the entire process easy by collecting necessary paperwork from your doctors, coordinating billing with your insurance, and delivering your catheters discreetly right to the convenience of your home. Plus, we have one of the largest selections of catheters for men in the industry and only work with top brands. Your in good hands with Active Life – Give us a call at 800-319-2336 today.

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