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Types of Catheters

Types of Catheters

Three main types of intermittent urologic catheters are available, including closed system catheters, hydrophilic catheters, and intermittent uncoated catheters. Each type of catheter has different options, such as catheter material, catheter French size, insertion tip (straight or coudé), and more. In addition, we have types of catheters available in lengths for women, men, and children.

Some of the different options are detailed below, as well as male catheters, female catheters, and pediatric catheters for children.

  • Closed System Catheters

Bard Touchless Closed System Catheter

Closed system catheters are pre-lubricated catheters self-contained in their own collection bag, which creates a sterile environment. Its features include an introducer tip, which helps bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria located in the first few millimeters of the urethra. This may reduce the risk of infection. Also, closed system catheters have an attached collection bag, which offers a way to discreetly-self-catheterize and measure urine output.


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Hydrophilic (Self-Lubricated) Catheters

SpeediCath female catheters near makeup

Hydrophilic catheters feature a hydrophilic polymer coating that becomes very slippery when wet. This unique feature in these types of catheters promotes excellent gliding properties, which provides up to 95% lower friction than other catheters. The result is a much more comfortable insertion.


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Intermittent Straight Catheters

GentleCath straight catheters in backpack

Straight catheters are a straight uncoated tube of flexible vinyl plastic or rubber. You must manually lubricate them before use. One end has a rounded insertion tip while the other end typically features a funnel.


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Pediatric Catheters

Woman holding a LoFric Primo catheter

Pediatric catheters typically come in lengths of 10 inches on average, which accommodates for the shorter urethral length of adolescents. 180 Medical carries intermittent types of catheters for children from all the major brands in every available type, including pediatric hydrophilic catheters, pediatric straight catheters, and pediatric closed system catheters.


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Male Catheters

SpeediCath Male Length Catheters in Mens Briefcase

Looking for male catheters? 180 Medical offers one of the largest selections of intermittent catheters, including urinary catheters for men. Male length catheters are most often 16 inches long to accommodate the male urethra.


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Female Catheters

Cure Twist catheters in makeup bag

Female catheters offer a shorter, more compact catheter length of anywhere from 3 to 7 inches to suit women’s anatomies. Discreet female length catheters are available in all types, including straight (uncoated) female catheters, hydrophilic and pre-lubricated female catheters, as well as closed system catheters for women.


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The Basics of Catheters
An Overview of Types of Catheter Materials
Catheter French Sizes