3 Things to Know When Deciding What Catheter Type to Use

A catheter refers to a hollow tube that people with bladder problems use for urine collection. Medics use urinary catheterization process to introduce this hollow tubes to the bladder. Catheters give people complete control over their urinary systems. It can be made with silicone, latex, rubber, or plastic. Different catheters are used differently, and misuse may result in health complications. Here are three core factors to consider before choosing a urinary catheterization option.




Medical technicians use different materials to make catheters. As such, it’s prudent to choose a material that may have no effects on your health. For example, some people are allergic to latex, rubber, and silicon, which are the most common materials used in making catheters. It’s, therefore, critical to know which material you’re not allergic to before making a final decision.




Your lifestyle factors are integral when it comes to choosing a catheter. A discrete and comfortable catheter is ideal for anyone who would want to go about their daily activities regularly. Such a catheter will function efficiently and allow you to walk around comfortably. Moreover, it’s essential to consider the intended purpose of a catheter before undergoing catheterization process. For example, an intermittent catheter is easier to use and ease the process of emptying the bladder during surgeries. Conversely, anyone that has lost control over the bladder can resort to a condom catheter.




Catheters are classified into three broad categories. Firstly, external catheters refer to the hollow tubes that are situated outside the body. Doctors use a condom-like device to connect the tip of the penis to hollow tubes used for urine collection. External catheters work well for people with functionality disabilities and the ones that can hardly control their bladder. It is an ideal catheterization option and doesn’t carry risks of kidney damage or allergies.


Conversely, short-term catheters are an ideal option for patients who have undergone surgery. They are often used for a short period. These catheters are normally inserted into the bladder and urethra to help drain urine. Short-term catheters carry a low risk of kidney damage and infection as you’ve to empty them regularly.


Indwelling catheters refer to hollow urine collection tubes that medical professionals insert into the bladder and urethra of patients with bladder problems. You can use two options to empty indwelling catheters. You can either use a valve or bag to empty the bladder when it gets full. Indwelling catheterization is the best option for people with permanent bladder disabilities. However, this option carries a higher risk of kidney infection and damage. Indwelling catheterization should be the last resort if other catheterization options fail. While other factors such as shape, design, and size of a catheter are worth to consider, the above factors are the main ones.

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