FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do catheters work for men?
A male intermittent catheter is inserted into the urethra at the tip of the penis and connects directly to drain the bladder when natural urination isn’t possible due to surgery, recovery from surgery, or prostate issues. This process, called catheterization, is an extremely common procedure utilized by medical professionals until the normal bodily function can be restored.
Standard men’s urinary catheters are 16” long so they can slide all the way through the urethra and connect to the bladder. Depending on the medical need for catheterization, your healthcare professional may prescribe intermittent or indwelling catheters. Intermittent catheters are typically self-inserted as needed multiple times each day and removed after voiding is complete. They can safely drain the bladder into a urinary drainage bag or directly into a toilet and may be utilized on a temporary or long-term basis as necessary. Other types of catheters for men, like indwelling Foley catheters, are inserted by a healthcare provider or caregiver and are usually used in a clinical setting. These catheters will remain in place for longer periods of time and are generally attached to a drainage bag.
What are the differences between intermittent catheters for men and those for women?
A male intermittent catheter is much longer than a female intermittent catheter. A standard male catheter is 16” long so it can travel up through the urethra and into the bladder. Female intermittent catheters only need to be inserted two to three inches into the urethra since the tube is much shorter for females than it is for males. Females may also use both female or male intermittent catheters whereas men can only use male intermittent catheters.
Do catheters hurt men?
Intermittent catheters for men shouldn’t be very painful when inserted, but they can be somewhat uncomfortable. If the catheterization process is painful or meets resistance, stop the process immediately or ask your healthcare provider or caregiver to stop. Using catheter supplies for men like anesthetic gel and lubricants or changing the catheter size, insertion tip style, or trying a different material like silicone or rubber can help make placement more tolerable. Forcing a catheter in place when it is causing too much pain or it is not gliding easily enough can cause injury to the urethra and possibly infection.
How do I use a male intermittent catheter?
To properly insert a male intermittent catheter, make sure you have all the necessary male intermittent catheter supplies you need to successfully self cath including an anesthetic, lubricant, and sterile wipes, if necessary. Start by washing your hands. Once your hands are sanitized, apply the anesthetic and wait for a few minutes before beginning. Once the area is slightly numb, lather lubricant on the catheter if it is not already lubricated. Then pull back the foreskin with one hand and gently insert the sterile catheter with the other. Be sure to carefully slide it in and stop if you feel resistance or serious pain. If no pain or resistance is met, insert the catheter all the way into the urethra until it reaches the bladder or until urine begins to flow freely. Verify that the catheter is draining urine properly. If the flow is too slow, the catheter may be too narrow.
What type of male intermittent catheters are available?
There are a few different male intermittent catheter options to choose from. The male straight tip intermittent catheter is a long, straight tube that is very flexible. The straight shape allows it to glide into the urethra easier than a curved one for some men. The Cure Closed-System Intermittent Catheter is easy to open and use for both males and females. It features smooth polished eyelets and a straight, flexible tube. Closed-system catheters are pre lubricated, sterilized, and intended for one-time use.
The Self-Cath Intermittent Catheter by Coloplast is a latex-free catheter designed to be very flexible to allow for comfortable insertion from any angle. Finally, the hydrophilic personal intermittent catheter is made with a silicone coating that activates into a slick and smooth lubrication when combined with sterile water. These intermittent catheters are packaged with the sterile water to make catheterization convenient no matter where you are and to minimize the need for additional preparation materials.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.