Frequently Asked Questions

We have answers to many questions about catheters and self-catheterization.

Common Questions about Catheters and Self-Catheterization

What are catheters?

Catheters are tubes that are inserted into the body, most commonly through the urethra, or a stoma in the body, into the bladder to empty urine. These tubes are typically made from flexible materials made from rubber, vinyl, or silicone. They also come in latex-free options. Catheters are usually either connected or inserted into a drainage bag or can drain urine directly into a receptacle like a toilet.

There are different types of catheters for different uses. We sell intermittent catheters, which are for everyday, daily use without medical supervision. Emptying your bladder with an intermittent catheter is a part of your everyday routine. Indwelling catheters, or Foley catheters,  are left in the body, connected to the bladder, and do not move.

Why are catheters used?

Many people have different conditions that often chronic that disallow them from urinating normally. Many people suffer from urinary incontinence, which is loss of bladder control, or urinary retention, which is the inability to empty one’s bladder. Millions of Americans suffer from urinary continence or symptoms of urinary continence– 1 in 4 men and 1 in every 2 women. Other people need catheters to empty their bladder because they cannot urinate after a surgery on the prostate or genitals. Other medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, or any condition that prohibits movement requires the need for a catheter.

Intermittent catheters specifically allow people to live their lives as normal as possible, only inserting the catheter and disposing of urine as needed throughout the day. Catheters are recommended for people who cannot empty their bladder on their own.

What is self-catheterization?

Self-catheterization is a term used to describe the process of draining urine with the use of a catheter by oneself, without the constant help of a medical professional. Intermittent self-catheterization is this same process, except with the use of solely intermittent catheters. Intermittent self-catheterization is when a person uses an intermittent catheter to drain their bladder by themselves for a short period of time or every day for a long period of time, while continuing their daily activities.

Which catheter would be best for me?

You don’t have to ask this question– we can help! Our specialists at US Supply Medical are here to answer all of your questions, and can help find the right catheter for your personal, specific needs and your budget.

What are the different types of catheters?

Hydrophilic Catheters

Hydrophilic catheters either come with a special coating that becomes lubricated when activated by water, or often come already coated with lubricant. Many hydrophilic catheters come with a sleeve that prevents you from directly touching the catheter. This ensures a more safe insertion and withdrawal, minimizing bacterial contamination.

Straight Catheters

The most popular type of catheter. It is simple to insert but requires additional lubricant for easy insertion and withdrawal.

Closed System Catheters and Cather Kits

These systems and kits features either a hydrophilic or coated catheter, often attached to a disposal bag. Many kits also include gloves, antiseptic wipes, and an underpad. This is a no-touch catheter system, which reduces risk of bacterial infection and has everything you need for self-catheterization.

We offer these types of catheters in multiple brands and for male, female, unisex, and pediatric sizes and made of various materials like vinyl, silicone, and red rubber. Many brands also carry these catheters with coudé tips.

What is a coudé tip?

A coudé tip is a curved insertion tip. Many catheter brands offer their catheters with a coudé tip, which can help with comfortability. Many people prefer a coudé tip, especially if they have an enlarged prostate or other obstructions.

Can I self-catheterize in a public restroom?

Yes, absolutely. Intermittent catheters are made to accommodate to your life and all of your everyday activities. It’s simple, just insert your catheter and either dispose of your urine in a urine collection bag or straight into the toilet if your movement allows you to do so. To reduce the risk of infection you can also use a hydrophilic catheter or a closed catheter system, which allow for a no-touch experience.

Does using a catheter hurt?

Often it takes time getting used to inserting and withdrawing a catheter. A catheter may be painful to insert if you are not lubricating it enough, are using the wrong size, or other reasons. US Catheter Supplies offer a wide array of catheter lengths, types, and sizes to reduce the pain and discomfort of using a catheter to empty your bladder. However, if you experience severe pain or bleeding during self-catheterization, contact your doctor or emergency services immediately.

Where can I buy catheters near me?

US Catheter Supplies can ship catheters directly to your door. You can get your catheters sent to you through the mail discreetly, by simply ordering your favorite catheters through our easy online process, .

How do I get the right size for my catheter?

All catheters are measured using a French sizing system, though many brands have made it easier to find the perfect catheter size for you. Ensuring you have the best size is critical to avoid damage to your body or a messy drainage situation. We also offer catheters from brands with male, female, and pediatric lengths.

Our specialists at US Catheter supply can help you figure out which French size is best for your cathing needs.

Can I get sick from using a catheter?

Not necessarily!

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are the most common infection many people get when self-catheterizing. The following hygienic tips can help prevent infections:

  • Using antiseptic wipes and consistently washing your hands before self-catheterizing is equally important.
  • Keeping your genitalia clean and preferably use an antiseptic wipe to clean the area before inserting the catheter.
  • Have bowel movements after you self-catheterize– this can minimize bacterial infection.
  • Be careful to not touch the tip of the catheter to other surfaces.
  • Ensure your catheter is fully lubricated. If it is not fully lubricated you may cause excoriations, or tiny scratches in the urethra and the surrounding area, which could cause pain and entryways for bacteria to infiltrate the body.
  • Do not reuse catheters! Our catheters are made for a single, sterile use. Reusing a catheter may increase the risk of bacterial infection.

We also offer catheters that can prevent bacterial infection. For example, no touch catheter systems like closed catheter kits and hydrophilic catheters are great options to reduce bacterial contamination.

Common Questions about US Catheter Supplies

What catheter supplies do you sell?

US Catheter Supplies supplies catheters from the best brands in a wide range different types and sizes.

We sell catheters in the following lengths and sizes:

  • Unisex
  • Male
  • Female
  • Pediatric
  • Pocket-size

We also supply catheters of the following types:

  • Hydrophilic catheters
  • Coated catheters
  • Straight catheters
  • Closed system catheters

We supply catheters made of the following materials:

  • 100% silicone
  • Red rubber
  • Vinyl

We supply catheters with:

  • Coudé tips
  • Straight tips
  • Silicone tips

Can insurance cover my catheter products?

Yes! Our specialists can work with your insurance provider to determine the cost of your catheters. We will work with your insurance to ensure you can get the lowest copay possible, or  insurance specialists will contact your insurance provider to verify the catheter benefits on your policy.

When will US Catheter Supplies start selling product?

We are working on developing our inventory and our website. We will begin selling and delivering your favorite catheters to your home very soon.