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Choosing The Best Female Catheter

Akanksha Nigam

A catheter is a tube that is inserted into the urethra to draw urine from the bladder. It is used for people who have urinary incontinence, urinary retention, neurogenic bladder, multiple sclerosis, or have undergone surgery.  

The choice of catheter varies among men and women. Men have longer catheters compared to women because of the difference in anatomy. Female catheters are 6 inches long on average. However, compact catheters are also available.

Tips For Choosing The Best Female Catheter

To make female catheter insertion comfortable and easy, manufacturers have now developed more advanced options like pre-lubricated, hydrophilic, and closed-system female catheters. These catheters for women are also available in flexible materials like vinyl (PVC), silicone, POBE, or red rubber, which make catheterization smoother and more comfortable.

1. Female Catheter Length and Sizes

Female catheters are smaller in length (6 inches) because the female urethra is smaller than a male. Compact and unisex catheters are also available and range in sizes up to 16 inches long.

The universal measurement criterion for a catheter is the French Size (FR) which refers to the catheter tube diameter. Catheters also follow a color-coding system for easy size identification. Your doctor will help you figure out which female catheter size would be the best for you, keeping in mind overall comfort and smooth catheterization. 

Choosing the right-sized catheter makes all the difference. A catheter size that is too small will cause urine leakage, and a larger catheter will lead to painful insertion and discomfort. That is why choosing the right size is vital.

Once the size has been determined, the type of catheter must also be selected.  

2. Female Catheter Types

The three main types of catheters for women are:

1. Straight or Intermittent Catheters

Originally these catheters were uncoated and needed to be lubricated using a lubrication jelly before insertion. However, medical advancements have created two options for intermittent catheters – coated and uncoated. The coated catheter can be used instantly, whereas an uncoated catheter needs to be manually lubricated.

Straight catheters can be easily carried in a purse, backpack, makeup bag, or pocket.

2. Hydrophilic Catheters

These types of catheters are similar to straight catheters, with one big difference. They have a unique lubricating coating which is activated with water and stays lubricated from insertion to removal. 

Some hydrophilic catheters come with a sterile water packet. Once the packet is opened, the catheter must be soaked in that sterile water which activates the lubricant. Others come pre-lubricated and ready to use upon opening the pack.

3. Closed System Catheters

These are basically a kit of all the essential supplies for catheterization and include a urine bag, catheter, wipes, gloves, etc. Most female catheter systems also come with a pre-lubricated introducer tip that easily crosses the initial few millimeters of the urethra and minimizes the chances of a urethral or urinary tract infection.

Closed-system catheters are the preferred method of catheterization for those confined to a wheelchair as they make it easy to catheterize while sitting on the chair.

Where to buy urinary catheters for women? 

HPFY carries a wide range of catheters for women and their accessories. Some of our best sellers are:

1. PureWick Female External Catheter

FSA Approved

A soft and flexible external catheter is designed keeping the female anatomy in mind. It has a low-pressure suction wall that wicks away urine, leaving the body dry and odor-free. This non-invasive catheter reduces the chances of UTI infections. 

Features of PureWick Female External Catheter

  • Works while lying on the back, side, or while seated
  • Urine is not stored close to the body
  • No need to use glue, tape, or straps
  • Non-sterile and single-use
PureWick Female External Catheter



2. Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Female Intermittent Catheter

FSA Approved

Designed for self-catheterization for women, this straight-tip hydrophilic catheter suits the anatomy of the female body. This catheter has a low-friction coating that helps reduce the risk of urethral damage.

Features of Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Female Intermittent Catheter

  • Comes in a pre-hydrated, ready-to-use pack
  • Polished eyelets are gentle on the body
  • Easy-grip handle allows for non-touch insertion
  • Catheter length – 7cm
Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Female Intermittent Catheter



3. Cure Catheter 6 Inches Female Intermittent Catheter with Straight Tip

FSA Approved

Enables a smooth catheterization process; this straight catheter makes it easy to insert and direct the catheter to the bladder. This high-quality DEHP, BPA, and latex-free catheter also help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections.

Features of Cure Catheter 6 Inches Female Intermittent Catheter with Straight Tip

  • Comes with a unique dual opening
  • Sterile and single-use
  • Fire polishes eyelets
  • Easy to use
Cure Catheter 6 Inches Female Intermittent Catheter With Straight Tip



Selecting the right catheter size is important for urethral health and overall hygiene. The wrong size could make the whole process of self-catheterization messy or painful. However, modern advancements have made using a catheter relatively convenient, with flexible materials that reduce the chance of injury and discomfort. Talk to your doctor to help you determine which catheter is right for you.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text, were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

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