Skip to main content

Top 5 Tips to Help Using a Catheter Less Painful

Top 5 Tips to Help Using a Catheter Less Painful

top 5 tips to help make cathing less painful

Is using a catheter supposed to hurt? No. Is it normal for catheterization to feel painful or uncomfortable? No! If you feel that using a catheter is painful, you may wonder if there are ways to troubleshoot this issue.

The good news? Catheter pain doesn’t have to be the norm for you.

Thousands of people use catheters painlessly every day to treat urinary conditions like bladder retention or incontinence. You can find a catheter option that works and feels better for you too!

Request Free Catheter Samples

Top 5 Ways to Help Make Using a Catheter Less Painful

If using a catheter feels painful or uncomfortable, let’s troubleshoot the issue. We’ll address some of the possible causes of catheter pain as well as some tips that may help.

1. Use a catheter with polished eyelets.

What are catheter eyelets? Catheter drainage eyelets are the small holes near the insertion tip of your urinary catheter. Urine drains through these holes into the catheter tube. Then it drains out of the funnel end into a receptacle (urinal, toilet, or collection drain bag).

Some catheter manufacturers use a process similar to punching a hole in a sheet of paper to create their catheter eyelets. This can create rough edges that sometimes create friction and discomfort in the urethra, which may be the cause of painful cathing.

Fortunately, 180 Medical carries plenty of intermittent catheter options with smooth, polished eyelets.

For example, all GentleCath™ catheters are designed with recessed, polished drainage eyelets on a rounded insertion tip for maximum comfort and reduced urethral trauma.
polished eyelets for catheter pain

2. Use lubrication with your uncoated catheters.

When using straight intermittent catheters, it’s important to manually lubricate them before each use. Catheter lubricating jelly helps reduce friction and discomfort during the insertion and withdrawal of your catheter.

Every individual’s anatomy and preferences are different. While some people don’t need much lubrication, others may require more to have a comfortable catheterization.

As the leading provider of intermittent catheters and related urological products, 180 Medical provides high-quality brands of lubricating jelly to suit your needs, including bacteriostatic and kosher options. Whether you prefer your catheter lube in a tube or perfectly dosed single-use packets, we can supply it.

lubricate your catheter

3. Is it painful trying to get the catheter inserted? You may need a coudé tip catheter.

Why are coudé catheters necessary for some people? This sort of curved insertion tip is only needed when straight tip catheters will not work. This is usually due to medical conditions like urethral strictures or an enlarged prostate, which can make it difficult for a straight tip catheter to bypass and navigate around to reach the bladder.

Request Coudé Catheter Samples
If you feel you’re encountering a blockage or obstacle while trying to get your catheter fully inserted, it’s best to speak to your urologist immediately so they can fully diagnose the problem. Painful cathing due to a straight tip may require the need for a coudé tip catheter.

coude tip catheters may help

4. Experiencing itchiness or irritation after using a latex catheter? You may have a latex allergy.

Less than 1% of people in the US have a latex allergy. However, it is more common in people with certain medical conditions like spina bifida. If you suspect this may be the issue, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

180 Medical is sensitive to our customers’ concerns and needs, so we make it a point to stock a wide variety of latex-free catheter products.

latex free catheter options

5. Switch to an advanced catheter.

Catheter technology is advancing all the time. Many manufacturers are developing their urethral catheter products to be more efficient, comfortable, and discreet.

If you’ve been using one type of catheter for many years, you may be happy to hear that there are all kinds of catheter options available that may help reduce urethral pain.

Additional benefits of using advanced catheter products exist, such as a potentially reduced risk of UTIs (urinary tract infections). For example, you may be interested in products like hydrophilic catheters, closed system catheters, pre-lubricated catheters, and compact pocket catheters.

Want to know whether your health insurance plan covers advanced catheter options like closed system catheters? Reach out to 180 Medical to get started!

Verify Your Insurance Now


Just a few of the many advanced technology catheters that 180 Medical has in stock include:

SpeediCath Compact Set

This closed system catheter is small and discreet for easy carrying. It also comes ready to use. The catheter’s hydrophilic coating is pre-activated since it is housed inside its own sterile saline solution. The lubrication will be smooth and comfortable throughout catheterization.

An additional bonus of the Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Set is that the catheter comes with its own collection bag. This is a great option for those who want a more comfortable catheter that’s also great for travel and use in public restrooms.

Available in male length and female length.

Request Free SpeediCath Set Samples Now
speedicath compact set 180 medical

GentleCath Glide Hydrophilic Catheter

The GentleCath Glide, also available for both men and women, is one of the newer catheter products on the market. It’s quickly becoming a popular option for those who want a hydrophilic catheter that is easy to use as well as potentially minimizes the risk of UTIs.

Plus, it makes catheterization smooth and comfortable from the moment you insert the catheter until you withdraw it. Just pop the included water sachet to activate its low-friction hydrophilic coating featuring FeelClean™ technology, and it’s ready to go!

Available in male and female length as well as coudé tip options.

Request Free GentleCath Glide Samples Now
gentlecath glide catheter comfortable

Are You Still Experiencing Catheter Pain?

For first-time users, you may feel some slight discomfort at first while your body adjusts. You may get over that hurdle once you get used to the sensation.

However, if you continue experiencing painful cathing or experience any bleeding, please talk to your doctor before trying any solutions on your own. Above, all, never force your catheter.

Our Catheter Specialists are ready to help you find a comfortable catheter that will work best for your needs. Contact us today!

Reach Out to Us to Get Started

180 Medical employees discussing catheter
180 Medical’s specialists know our products inside and out. Let us help you find a catheter that will feel comfortable and fit your needs best.

Disclaimer: Do not take this blog as medical advice. Its only intent is to provide a general understanding of product options that may reduce discomfort during intermittent catheterization. This information should not be used in place of any recommendations, prescribed treatment plans, or medical advice from your professional healthcare provider.

Call Toll-Free (877) 688-2729

Join the 180 Community


About the Author
Jessica is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical, where she's worked for 13 years. Her favorite part of her job is getting to be creative and seeing the positive impact we can make on our customers' lives.

Outside of work, you can find her hanging out at home with her husband and their dogs or browsing garden centers where she will almost certainly buy another houseplant she doesn't really need.