There are many different types of catheters from many different brands, but they all are used for one main purpose: to drain urine from the bladder. Catheters are available in many different sizes and thickness (cc's). Some catheters have different inflation capacities, 30cc French thickness catheters are generally used for women and 5cc sizes are made for men.
There are also external catheters for men. They look like a male condom that is pre-lubricated and easily slides over the penis for easy placement and drainage. Some catheters are latex free for those with latex allergies, and are instead made from a pure silicone material. There are also silver catheters, which are catheters coated with a phosphate silver ion designed to help prevent infection in the bladder and/or urinary tract.
Another thing to take in consideration is how long the catheter will stay in the bladder. Foley catheters are designed to stay in the bladder for longer periods of time than a urethral catheter, which should only be used as needed. All catheters inserted into the urethra should always be sterile to reduce the chance for infection. External male catheters are the only type of catheter that is not required to be packed sterile.
All catheters are designed to drain urine from the bladder in a clean and efficient manner. Choosing the right catheter for you or your patient is important, and can depend on many factors including personal situation, need, and preference; but with such a large variety available on the market, finding what you need should be simple.
For more information on catheters and other urological products visit our website. Or call to speak with a helpful Medical Supply Professional at 1-888-687-4334 for assistance.