Catheter BasicsCatheter Sizes
Catheters are sized by French size (Fr). The French size refers to the diameter of the catheter. Typically sizes range from 5 Fr - 20 Fr. You can tell the French size of the catheter by the color of its funnel end. See chart (below) for funnel colors and French sizes. Your physician will determine which catheter French size is right for you.Catheter Funnels
Funnels are often attached to catheters for various reasons.
As mentioned above, they are often color-coded for easy French size identification.
They are useful for better gripping of the catheter without touching the tube
itself and directing the urine flow into a receptacle. Funnels are also
designed to attach to drain bags, in the case that a urinal or toilet is
Catheters don’t always come with funnel ends, however. There
is an option called a luer end, which comes just like a regular catheter (same
features, same insertion tip) but without the funnel, leaving the end like an
There are three different lengths available for catheters: male, female, and pediatric.
- Male length catheters are usually 16 inches in length.
- Female length catheters range from 6-8 inches in length. There are some instances where females prefer to use male-length catheters.
- Pediatric length catheters typically range from 6-12 inches in length. Women and children generally use shorter lengths because of their shorter urethral length.
Catheters can have a straight tip or a coude tip
. The coude tip or "bent tip" catheter is used when a blockage or stricture is present, making the use of a straight catheter more difficult.
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Note: Always consult with your physician or other health care provider on what type of catheter is right for you.