Many women of all ages deal with urinary incontinence, bladder retention, or other conditions that can affect one’s urinary system. Females, in particular, are more likely to deal with stress urinary incontinence in their lifetime than males.
If you’ve been dealing with the symptoms of being unable to control when and where you void your bladder, your doctor or other healthcare professional may prescribe a treatment option of intermittent urinary catheters, which can help you drain your bladder to prevent “accidents” and allow you the freedom to get back to your life.
When you begin researching places to buy your female catheters, the first thing to consider is which of the three main types of intermittent catheters might work best for you, your lifestyle, and your needs. There are:
Straight catheters are basic catheter tubes, typically made of PVC/vinyl, silicone, or red rubber, and these are most often paired with individual packets of lubricant to help facilitate a sterile and smooth self-cathing experience. Some brands also offer a nitrofurazone coating for additional antibacterial protection.
Hydrophilic catheters are similar to the basic catheters, but they offer an additional benefit of being lubricated or ready to lubricate with a simple application of water (often included in a breakable water sachet right inside the catheter package). This offers an extremely smooth, slippery catheterization from insertion to withdrawal, and no additional lubricant is required.
Closed system catheters are an all-in-one product, which typically includes a pre-lubricated or hydrophilic catheter tube, a collection bag for your urine to drain into, and various insertion supplies (typically gloves, an antiseptic or disinfecting wipe, underpad, and occasionally additional lubrication) to facilitate the most hygienic catheterization. These are helpful for those in wheelchairs, certainly, but this catheter type is a perfect all-in-one option for travel, school, work, business trips, etc.
Female Catheter Sizes
Your prescribing healthcare professional can discuss your options and help you narrow down your choices to find the right female catheter for your individual needs, as well as determining the correct French size for your urethra. This will help you get the best catheterization experience every time, because if a catheter is too large, it could be uncomfortable or even painful, and if it is too small, urine could escape around the sides, which can get messy.
Female Catheter Length
While many women prefer the convenience of a shorter catheter, since female length catheters are typically between 6 to 8 inches, others like to use male length catheters for extra room to manipulate and guide the tube into their bladders. One great benefit of female length catheters is that, since they are usually at around 10 inches shorter than male length catheters, they are easier to pocket or tuck into a purse or cosmetics bag for discretion. There are even some brands that manufacture hydrophilic or pre-lubricated female catheter options to be as compact and discreet as a tube of lipstick.
Your choice between male/unisex length and female length is usually based on personal preference, but we here at 180 Medical like to make sure you are fully educated on all of your options, and that you get the best urinary catheter that works for you.
How Do You Use Female Catheters?
You can find full instructions and more helpful information at www.howtocath.com. We also provide helpful step-by-step color booklets and instructional DVDs for your added convenience which can be mailed with your order.
Do You Find the Female Catheter That’s Right For You?
As the first step in determining the right female catheter (particularly its size) for you, please consult with your prescribing healthcare professional.
It’s important to remember that what might work for one person will not necessarily be the best option for another. Since everyone is an individual with personal preferences, different body types, and conditions, from every gender and age from newborns to senior citizens, 180 Medical makes it a point to carry catheters of all types and sizes from all of the major catheter manufacturers today.
Feel free to contact 180 Medical by filling out the form on this page or by giving us a call at 1-877-688-2729 to speak with one of our trained specialists. We are happy to help you find the right female catheter for your needs!