Intermittent Catheters

Intermittent urinary catheters are meant for individuals who are unable to pass urine on their own yet do not require continuous catheterization. They provide an effective bladder management strategy to those suffering from urinary incontinence. At HPFY we have an extensive range of intermittent urinary catheters under different brands and they have varying features including catheter tips, material of the tubing and multiple size options. We provide an array of intermittent urological catheters ranging from disposable catheters, hydrophilic catheters, straight tip catheters, funnel end catheters, silicone catheters, red rubber catheters and latex catheters.

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Using Intermittent Catheters

  • Intermittent urinary catheterization involves inserting a catheter into the urinary bladder every time it gets full and draining out the urine into a bag. This procedure is repeated several times a day. It reduces risks of kidney and bladder infections, urethral strictures or male infertility, prevents discomfort and allows for more freedom of movement. Intermittent catheterization may be done by a caregiver or self and is suitable for home self-catheterization. 

  • Intermittent catheter is required by a person who cannot control urine because of weak bladder muscles, stress incontinence, urge incontinence or who is unable to pass urine the normal way. Persons needing intermittent catheterization include those suffering from stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, erectile dysfunction, trauma, accidents, cerebral palsy, central nervous system tumors, etc. Intermittent urinary catheterization may be used for the short term or be bladder management for life.

What Are Intermittent Urinary Catheters Made Of?

Intermittent urinary catheters are usually made of silicone or plastic (polyvinyl chloride or PVC). A silicone catheter is softer than PVC catheter and easier to insert or withdraw. Catheters made of latex, silver or stainless steel are also available though they are not so common. Latex catheter is not suitable for those with latex sensitivity while silver or stainless catheters, which can be washed and re-used multiple times,are rigid and for women only.

How to Choose an Intermittent Catheter?

  • Intermittent urinary catheters are most common among catheters and available in straight tip and coude tip. 

  • Straight tip is more frequently used but requires lubrication before insertion. An example of straight catheter is the Teleflex straight tip intermittent catheter manufactured by Rusch FloCath. It is hydrophilic coated and made from high-grade medical PVC material. 

  • Coude tip is slightly bent at the tip to offer easy insertion into the bladder. Coude catheter is used by patients with enlarged prostate, narrow urethra or any other obstruction. 

  • The bent tip allows the tubing to go past obstacles without causing injury or trauma in which case a straight tip may buckle if having to maneuver in a tight space. The Coude Olive Tip from Coloplast is a good example of a coude catheter. 

  • Intermittent urinary catheters are coated, non-coated or pre-lubricated. 

  • Coated catheters have hydrophilic coating that becomes slippery once soaked in water for around 30 seconds. 

  • An example is the Adolescent Hydrophilic intermittent catheter from Medicath which has a special surface that provides high degree of slipperiness when soaked in water. No additional lubricant is needed. 

  • Non-coated catheters do not come with a coating but if required then a lubricant can be applied on it before insertion. 

  • Pre-lubricated catheters come with a coating of water-soluble gel and are ready for use. 

While selecting an Intermittent Urinary Catheter you must consider: 

  • Length: There are three different catheter length options – male, female and pediatric. Length of the catheter tubing needs to be considered because adequate length tubing will ensure complete emptying out of the bladder and easy handling. However, extra-long tubing will be difficult to handle. Those confined to wheelchairs may require extra tubing. 

  • Size: Catheter sizes are measured in FR and involve thickness or diameter of the tube.Choosing the right size is important because it will affect how the catheter works in your urethra and the time it takes to empty out the bladder. The more correct the size the better the drainage and lesser the trauma. 

  • Safety: This is an important point to remember when choosing catheter type. To avoid injury or trauma, the catheter preferably should be soft and lubricated for easy insertion and removal. Hydrophilic catheters are preferred by those who are sensitive to pain. They are pre-coated catheters and when soaked into water, the lubricant binds to the water making the surface slippery and allowing for smooth insertion. 

  • Handling: To avoid touching the catheter and increasing risks of infection, some catheters have non-slip finger grips.


There are several types of intermittent urinary catheters to suit all needs. Apart from the choices mentioned above, also consider your selection from red rubber intermittent catheters, funnel end intermittent catheters, round tip intermittent catheters, tapered tip intermittent catheters and olive tip intermittent catheters. All products are from expert intermittent catheter manufacturers like Bard, Hollister, Teleflex, Coloplast, Astra Tech/Wellspect, Peco Medical, Rochester Medical, Cure Medical, Covidien/Medtronic, etc.