No particular type or size works for everyone when it comes to catheters. We recommend that you reach out to your healthcare provider for medical advice about your specific needs and condition and decide which type of catheter is ideal for you.
Whether you are new to catheterization or are a current catheter user, Aeroflow provides products specifically for the male anatomy and support to keep you worry-free.
A doctor can prescribe urinary catheters to treat various conditions that cause the bladder not to drain correctly. Common conditions in males that may require catheterization include:
- Urinary incontinence (leaking urine or the inability to control the bladder).
- Urinary retention (being unable to empty your bladder).
- Obstruction in the urinary tract, such as a bladder stone or swollen prostate gland.
- Surgery on the prostate or genitals.
- Injury to the spinal cord or bladder.
Types of Catheters for Men
There are many different types of catheters made for the male anatomy. Discuss them with your healthcare provider or an Aeroflow Continence Care Specialist to see which catheter type is right for you.
- Intermittent: An uncoated, single-use catheter that requires lubrication before use.
- Coudé tip: A catheter with a bent or curved tip to assist with insertion around narrower areas or blockages. Most coudé tip catheters have a colored stripe or raised surface to indicate the position of the coudé tip. This type of catheter is ideal for individuals who experience discomfort while using straight catheters, have undergone prostate surgery, or find it difficult to navigate around their enlarged prostate.
- Pre-lubricated/Hydrophilic: Coated catheters that come pre-lubricated for easier use and help to prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).
- Closed System: A closed sterile system catheter with a retention balloon inserted to keep the catheter in the bladder. These catheters will drain into a drainage or leg bag.
- Indwelling urinary/Foley: A closed sterile system catheter with a retention balloon inserted to keep the catheter in the bladder.
- External/ Condom: This type of catheter fits over the penis and is attached to a tube that drains into a collection bag or leg bag.
French Sizes and Lengths
French size refers to the external diameter of the catheter tube. The higher the number, the greater the diameter. Your healthcare provider will help you select the right size, but if you ever feel any pain during insertion or experience leakage around your catheter, be sure to let your doctor know.
Catheters that are too large may cause friction or pain when inserted, while catheters that are too small may cause drainage to be slow or leak while inserted. Most intermittent catheters with drainage funnels will use a color-coding system to indicate the French size. This way, you don't have to worry about using the wrong size catheter by accident.
Catheter lengths vary, but most male catheters (sometimes called unisex catheters) are around 16 inches long. Those that require a caregiver's assistance may prefer a longer-length catheter.
Self-catheterization can be daunting to a new catheter user, but we are here to help. Follow these steps for successful, stress-free self-catheterization.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies. The first step in self-catheterization is to ensure that you have all the supplies you will need. Depending on what type of catheter you have, this could include the catheter you intend to use, moist towelettes or soap and water, a dry towel, a water-soluble lubricant, and a toilet or drainage bag.
Step 2: Wash Your Hands. It’s essential to make sure your hands are clean to decrease the risk of infection. Before beginning self-catheterization, wash your hands with soap and sterile water or a moist towelette.
Step 3: Stop and Look at Your Catheter. Before you use your catheter, make sure that the packaging hasn’t been previously opened or damaged.
Step 4: Self-Catheterization. Position yourself by standing in front of the toilet or sitting in a chair across from the toilet. Push back the foreskin, hold the penis in one hand, and clean the head of the penis with a moist towelette to remove any bacteria that may be present. If you have an uncoated catheter, apply lubricating jelly from the tip of the catheter to about 6 inches down the flexible tube. While handling and lubricating the catheter, ensure that the catheter does not touch anything before you begin inserting it, including your clothes, the sink, or fingers. If it does, discard it and open a new catheter. Next, hold the penis up toward your stomach at a 60 to 70-degree angle, and slowly insert the end of the catheter into the urethral opening until your urine flow begins to flow freely. Insertion may be slightly uncomfortable but should never be painful.
Step 5: Make Sure Your Bladder is Empty. When urine stops flowing, slowly begin to pull the catheter out of your urethra to make sure your bladder drains completely.
Step 6: Clean Up. Once you have finished, dispose of your used catheter and supplies in a proper waste bin and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or a moist towelette.
Contact A Healthcare Professional
Reach out to your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Cloudy or bloody urine.
- Urine leakage around the catheter.
- Pressure, pain, or discomfort while inserting the catheter or in the lower back or stomach.
- Fever or chills.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Burning in the urinary tract.
Need Aditional Help?
If you have questions about intermittent catheterization, self-catheterization, or the basics of urinary catheters, don’t worry. Aeroflow is here to help! Our Continence Care Specialists are happy to discuss male catheters with you. In addition, we help you find the perfect catheter and provide samples to ensure we get it right.
Feel free to reach out to us at (844)-276-5588 or at email@example.com, and one of our Continence Care Specialists will assist you and provide discreet answers to your questions.