1. Just as no one person is the same, intermittent catheters are not all exactly the same
. There are
various types to fit your preferences and needs (closed system catheters, hydrophilic catheters,
straight tip catheters, coude tip catheters, female and male length catheters, etc.)
2. Intermittent catheters also come in a range
of different sizes.
There are even tiny pediatric catheters for infants! Catheters
are measured by the external diameter of the catheter tube, and this is
commonly called a “French size.” You can tell the French size of a catheter by
the color of its funnel end. See our chart for the funnel colors and the
related French sizes. Your prescribing health practitioner will work with you
to determine the best French size for your needs. If you are having problems
with the size (for instance, if it feels difficult to insert or if it takes too
long for the urine to drain), give your physician a call to discuss
adjustments. As one of the largest catheter suppliers in the nation, we likely
have the size you need!
3. There are ways to
reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs
(Urinary Tract Infections), such as using
catheters sterilely (using it once and then disposing of it – see #4). You can
also make sure to wash hands thoroughly prior to catheterization, wear sterile
gloves, and touch the catheter tube itself as little as possible when using
regular straight catheters. Options such as hydrophilic, pre-lubricated or
closed system catheters can minimize the risk because they do not require manual
lubrication and are “touchless” for the most part. Many catheters can also be
provided with insertion supplies, such as gloves, disinfectant wipes, and more.
For more detailed information on how to
reduce UTIs, please see our article at http://www.180medical.com/Reduce-UTIs
catheters should be used once only and then thrown away.
The FDA (Food
& Drug Administration of the United States) regulates all intermittent
catheters as single-use devices and do not approve these to be washed and
reused. Catheters often have unique features such as crevices, angles, and
porous surfaces that create barriers for cleaning and are capable of quick
bacterial growth, even after professional cleanings in independent studies.
Using catheters more than once can increase the risk of UTIs (Urinary Tract
Infections). For more information, see
our article about the
risks of reusing catheters
5. Think you’re stuck paying out of pocket for your
catheters? Most major insurance plans,
including Medicare, will cover enough intermittent catheters for sterile use.
See our handy insurance guide here
. Give us a call, and we can verify your insurance policy and let
you know your plan’s current coverage for intermittent catheters and related
About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical
years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such
fun, caring company! She loves writing, music, and spending time with
friends and family.