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Catheter Supplies: Learning More About the Catheters That You Need

Feb 8, 2022 3:00:00 PM / by ABC Medical

ABC Medical



Catheter supplies are used by people who have difficulty urinating and need assistance eliminating urine from their bodies. Urinary problems that require urology supplies can be caused by nerve damage, a blockage in the urethra, an enlarged prostate, injury, or illness.

There are many different types of catheter supplies, and it’s important to understand the products that may be prescribed to you by your healthcare provider. Continue reading and join us as we dive into the basics of what you need to know about catheters.

Catheters 101

A catheter is a tube that is inserted into the urethra to drain urine from the bladder. They may be made from medical-grade rubber, plastic, latex, or silicone. There are two types of catheters appropriate for urinary retention: Indwelling (Foley) catheters and intermittent catheters. Healthcare providers can work with you to determine which type of catheter is best suited to your medical needs and lifestyle.

Indwelling Catheters

Indwelling catheters are typically used for long-term catheterization and are inserted into the bladder, though they can also be used for a short period of time as well. Indwelling catheters are either inserted into the bladder via the urethra or through a small hole in your abdomen, and they are secured with an inflatable balloon attached to its end. The catheter is then attached to a leg bag or bedside drainage bag, which collects the urine and must be emptied when full.


Indwelling catheters can be used as a short-term solution to urological problems such as the inability to pass urine. In addition to that purpose, they can even be used to measure important information, such as bladder pressure, or introduce drugs into the patient’s body. Long-term indwelling catheterization may be prescribed in situations where patients can no longer urinate normally on their own. This may happen due to spinal cord injury, neurological disease, or if the patient is an unfit candidate for surgery. Speak with your doctor to learn if long-term indwelling catheterization is the best way to treat your urinary incontinence.

Intermittent Catheters

Intermittent catheters are for people who retain urine and must manually drain their bladder throughout the day to prevent overfilling. They are the most commonly used type of urinary catheter. Some intermittent catheters are made specifically for women or men to help ensure a comfortable fit. Unlike indwelling catheters, intermittent catheters are inserted into the bladder then disposed of multiple times in a day.

Unmanaged urinary retention can yield a bevy of consequences to an individual’s health. Urine that is not emptied from the bladder can harbor bacteria and contribute to urinary tract infections. Urinary retention may also cause overfilling of the bladder. This overfilling can create dangerous levels of pressure within the urinary tract and eventually damage the bladder and kidneys. If you have urinary retention, use of catheters for bladder emptying not only reduces pressure and removes bacteria, but contributes to overall bladder health. Ensuring that you adhere to your doctor’s schedule for bladder emptying will reduce pressure and protect your urinary tract.


If you have questions about your medical history and how catheter supplies can help, then your doctor can help determine if condom catheters are the best course of action.


Learning that you need to use a catheter is an understandably emotional experience. With so many catheter supplies on the market, it can be stressful to wrap your mind around all this essential information. However, your healthcare provider will work with you to determine which type of catheter you need so you can start putting your best foot forward towards living a fulfilling life with urinary retention. A high-quality DME company can help you get the right information and the right supplies to minimize inconvenience while protecting your health. 


Disclaimer: Information presented here is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. It is important to seek proper medical advice from a licensed medical professional regarding any of the medical conditions or supply offerings referenced.


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