Choosing the Right Female Catheter

Female catheters are used to treat a variety of medical conditions. Several styles are available, and the most effective option depends on the nature of the condition that is being treated. Some women just need catheters temporarily while overcoming injuries or illnesses. Others need them on a more long-term basis.

The only way to ensure that the correct catheter is being used is by consulting a medical professional. In most cases, women are prescribed catheters by their doctors while being treated for injuries and/or illnesses. Certain conditions can only be treated by specific types of female catheters. There are also conditions that may be treated by a few different styles. In that case, patients have the option of switching to different catheters if they are unhappy with the first ones they use.

Types Of Female Catheters

Urinary Retention - With this condition, the bladder fails to completely empty itself. Over time, this can lead to problems like urinary tract infections. Two different types of female catheters are popularly prescribed to treat this condition. The first is the intermittent catheter, which comes in two styles: antibacterial and hydrophilic. Women who are susceptible to UTIs should use antibacterial catheters, and women who are susceptible to urethral injury or who find other styles uncomfortable should try hydrophilic intermittent catheters.

Urinary Incontinence - This condition involves the involuntary release of urine. Women who have assistance often prefer to use intermittent catheters to cope with this condition, which is sometimes brought on by injury or illness. Those who live alone tend to prefer indwelling catheters, which are also known as Foley catheters. Foley catheters have closed, sterile systems, and they only need to be replaced every four weeks. As unisex catheters, they can be used by male and female patients.

Obstructions - Women who have obstructions that affect their ability to drain their bladders are usually prescribed Foley catheters.

Additional Options

Another type of female catheter is the external catheter. However, it isn't widely used because it doesn't work well for women who are bedbound or in wheelchairs. As the name implies, this type of catheter isn't inserted into the urethra. Instead, it funnels urine away from the body with a tube. This type of catheter tends to be messier and more difficult to use, but some women prefer them to the other options.