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Why Do I Need to Use Coudé Catheters?

Why Do I Need to Use Coudé Catheters?

why do i need to use a coude catheter header

Approximately 1/3 of all men and women in the U.S. live with urinary incontinence. Doctors often prescribe intermittent catheterization to treat symptoms of incontinence, bladder retention, or overactive bladder.

While most people find straight tip catheters can suit their needs, not everyone can easily insert straight catheters. This may lead to a need for a curved tip or coudé tip catheter.

When is a Coudé Catheter Used?

Straight tip catheters are the most commonly used intermittent urinary catheter. However, they don’t always work for everyone’s anatomy. A coudé tip catheter, which is a normal urinary catheter with a curved or angled tip, may make self-cathing easier and less painful in those individuals who find difficulty or pain when using straight catheters.

Factors that may lead to the need for a coudé tip catheter:

  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
  • Prior prostate surgery
  • Urethral strictures
  • False passages in the urethra or a stoma
  • Radiation in the pelvic area to treat cancer
  • Females with an atrophic vagina
  • Those with urinary stricture disease or urethral trauma

The majority of coudé catheter users are men and boys, which is why most coudé catheters are male length or pediatric length. However, doctors may prescribe coudé catheters for any gender when a straight catheter does not easily pass. It all depends upon your individual physiology and needs.

coude tip catheter compared to straight catheter tip

Will My Insurance Cover Coudé Tip Catheters?

Most insurance companies that pay for catheters will cover coudé catheters. That includes Medicare, private insurance plans, and many state Medicaid programs. The type and allowable amount per month will depend upon your insurance policy’s specified coverage.

For example, Medicare covers up to 200 catheters per month with a doctor’s prescription. Coudé catheter coverage requires some supporting documentation offering justification for the need for a coudé tip. That’s enough catheters to sterilely self-cath between 6 and 7 times a day within a 30 day period.

Not sure what your insurance policy’s catheter coverage is? 180 Medical’s specialists will gladly handle verifying your insurance to determine how your policy covers catheters. Plus, we go over any out-of-pocket costs you may have. We also work with your doctor’s office to get any insurance-required documentation.

That’s less for you to worry about as you begin your journey of learning to use a coudé catheter.

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Types of Coudé Catheters

Coudé catheters are manufactured in all of the main catheter materials, including vinyl or PVC, silicone, and red rubber latex, just to name a few.

You can get a coudé tip in almost every common catheter type as well, from basic uncoated intermittent catheters, pediatric length catheters, hydrophilic catheters, pre-lubricated catheters, and closed system catheter kits.

Uncoated Coudé Catheters

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense coudé catheter option that you can lubricate yourself, an uncoated straight intermittent catheter with a coudé tip may be your best bet.

180 Medical carries one of the widest varieties of coudé catheters available today. You can also choose from options like vinyl coudé catheters and soft silicone coudé catheters, alongside the popular red rubber coudé catheters.

Hydrophilic Coudé Catheters

Hydrophilic coudé catheters have a specialized coating that reacts with water to completely lubricate the catheter and make it slippery. No need for additional lubrication! The lubricated coating will not slough off as you insert it, which makes cathing more comfortable and frictionless.

Closed System Coudé Catheter Kits

Closed system catheters with coudé tips are great options for those in wheelchairs or on the go. Each closed system features a hydrophilic or pre-lubricated coudé catheter housed inside its own self-contained collection bag. Closed system coudé catheters offer you more convenience, discretion, and comfort, as well as an added benefit of a reduced risk of urinary tract infections.

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How Do I Use a Coudé Catheter?

Using a coudé catheter can become second nature with a little practice. Here are some basic instructions for how to cath with a coudé catheter.

  1. Gather your cathing supplies.
  2. Wash your hands and the insertion site with warm soapy water. If available, you may also want to disinfect the insertion site with antiseptic wipes. Just wipe the area with a circular motion around the urethral opening to help reduce the risk of infection.
  3. If available, put on gloves to reduce the risk of contamination from any germs still on your hands.
  4. Take your catheter out of the package and lubricate it with a sterile, water-soluble lubricating jelly. This helps reduce friction and make cathing more comfortable.
  5. While holding your penis in one hand, use your other hand to hold the catheter. Hold your penis at a 45-degree angle away from your stomach.
  6. Insert the catheter slowly into your urethra. Some coudé catheters feature guide dots or stripes so you know where the curve of your coudé catheter is at. This helps you keep the tip in the angle your doctor has suggested. If there is any resistance when the catheter reaches your bladder, take a deep breath, and gently apply pressure. However, do not force the catheter.
  7. When urine begins to flow, insert the catheter a bit farther. Then you can lower your penis to let urine flow into the toilet or urinal.
  8. Once the flow of urine has stopped, slowly withdraw the catheter to remove it.
  9. Throw your used catheter supplies away.

Need more detailed information? Check out our helpful site at

Where to Buy Coudé Catheters

180 Medical’s catheter experts will work hard to find the right supplies for you and your individual needs and preferences.

With your first order, we can also send you full-color instructional brochures and even a DVD that walks you through the catheterization process step by step.

180 Medical proudly carries one of the largest selections of catheter supplies available on the market today from all of the major manufacturers and catheter brands.

catheter brands at 180 medical

Contact us to speak with one of our highly-trained, friendly specialists about your coudé catheter options.

Call Toll-Free (877) 688-2729

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About the Author
Jessica is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical, where she's worked for 12 years. She loves seeing the positive impact we make on our customers' lives through our values of compassion and education.

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