Did you know that approximately 1/3 of all men and women in the U.S. live with urinary incontinence? Millions of Americans are finding a need to treat their bladder issues, and doctors often prescribe catheters to treat symptoms of incontinence, bladder retention, or overactive bladder.
While the most common type of intermittent catheter has a straight insertion tip, some people may find they’re not able to insert straight catheters.
In cases like this, coudé catheters may be the right choice for your needs. Read on to find out why!
What is a Coudé Tip Catheter?
Intermittent catheters are used to drain the bladder manually at prescribed intervals throughout the day to treat symptoms of retention, incontinence, neurogenic bladder, and other medical conditions that affect how the urinary system normally functions.
Many men require the use of a coudé tip catheter instead of a straight catheter, so they can better bypass obstructions like an enlarged prostate from BPH or narrow urethral passages.
A coudé tip catheter, also known as a curved tip catheter, is a variation of both intermittent and Foley catheters. Most commonly, you’ll find coudé catheters available in male length. Male length catheters average about 16 inches to accommodate for the length of the male urethra.
It’s easy to tell the difference between coudé catheters and straight urinary catheters by examining the insertion tip. As you can see in this example, a coudé catheter’s tip is bent or curved slightly, almost like an elbow. In fact, the coudé catheter got its name from the French word for “elbow.”
You can find out more about the different types of coudé tip options, including tapered tip, olive tip, and Tiemann tip, with this informative blog post about the Basics of Coudé Catheters.
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 Intermittent 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.
When is a Coudé Tip Catheter Necessary?
Coudé catheters are generally only used when a standard straight tip catheter cannot be inserted easily or comfortably. This is due to a few reasons, usually related to a stricture or blockage in the urethra, which is the tube in the body which carries urine from the bladder outside of the body. The curved tip of a coudé catheter is often a better choice to bypassing those problem areas and drain the bladder with far less discomfort.
A few of the most common factors that contribute to this need:
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
- Prior prostate surgery
- False passages in the urethra or a stoma
- Radiation in the pelvic area to treat cancer
- 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.
Will My Insurance Cover Coudé Tip Catheters?
Yes, most insurance companies that pay for catheters will also cover coudé tip 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? Give 180 Medical a call today. We handle verifying your insurance to determine how your policy covers catheters, and 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 self-cath with a coudé catheter.
How Do I Use a Coudé Catheter?
180 Medical gladly offers information and educational materials to help you to learn to cath. 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.
- Gather your cathing supplies.
- 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.
- If available, put on gloves to reduce the risk of contamination from any germs still on your hands.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When urine begins to flow, insert the catheter a bit farther. Then you can lower your penis to let urine to flow into the toilet or urinal.
- Once the flow of urine has stopped, slowly withdraw the catheter to remove it.
- Throw your used catheter supplies away.
Need more detailed information? Check out our helpful site at www.howtocath.com.
Where Can I Buy Coudé Catheters?
No matter what kind of intermittent catheter you need, 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.
Give us a call today at (877) 688-2729 to speak with one of our highly-trained, friendly Product Specialists to discuss your catheter options.