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    Just like men, there is no one-size-fits-all catheter for every woman! We always recommend consulting your healthcare professional to ensure you are matched with the right catheter for your unique medical needs.

    • Intermittent Catheters – Intermittent catheters are single-use catheters that require lubrication before use. Because they are single use, it eliminates the need to wear a continuously draining catheter. Intermittent catheterization can aid in eliminating the risk of UTIs and can improve urinary incontinence in some patients.
    • Compact Catheters – A Compact catheter is a general term for any catheter that is compact enough to fit discreetly in your pocket or purse. Many women prefer a compact catheter, because they resemble a tube of lipstick or mascara. 
    • Closed System Catheters – Closed System catheters are made with an attached collection bag, and the catheter itself is pre-lubricated for immediate use. These systems are single-use only, and most have an introducer tip that passes through a pre-lubricated sleeve which keeps it straight and lubricated as it is inserted. When the plastic sleeve is squeezed, it prevents the catheter from slipping for easy use. 
    • Indwelling/Foley Catheters – Also commonly known as urethral or suprapubic catheters, these closed-system catheters are inserted during a surgical procedure where an small incision is made below the navel and above the pubic bone, where they then reside in the bladder for a period of time. Unlike other catheters, indwelling catheters are not disposable and are not self-inserted. Indwelling catheters are recommended for individuals with urinary incontinence, inability to empty the bladder or those who have undergone surgery on the genitals. 
    • Pre-Lubricated Catheters – These catheters come with a gel lubricant already applied and ready to use for more convenience and ease during application. Women who have a history of UTIs trauma caused by intermittent catheterization may greatly benefit from pre-lubricated catheters as they will not have to touch the catheter to apply lubricant before use.

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    How To Use Female Catheters

    For a first time catheter user, self-catheterization can seem incredibly daunting – and that is why we are here to help! Here are a few simple steps to get you started:

    1. Gather everything you will need. Depending on what style of catheter you use, your supplies could include a water-soluble lubricant, sanitary towelettes, drainage bag, etc. 
    2. Sanitize! This is an incredibly important step to reduce the risk of infection. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and sterile water. No sink nearby? No problem! A sanitary wipe or towelette can also do the trick. 
    3. Check your catheter. Get into the habit of looking at your catheters before insertion, to make sure the product is still securely in the packaging and not damaged or the incorrect type. 
    4. To prepare for self-cathing, sit comfortably on the toilet with your thighs spread apart, or in a chair across from the toilet. Clean yourself by spreading your labia apart (the folds at the opening of the vagina) and use a sanitary wipe to clean in between them. This helps eliminate any bacteria that may be present. If you are not using a pre-lubricated catheter, apply the lubricant 2-4 inches down the catheter tube. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the opening to the female urethra, so it can be helpful to use a mirror or your finger to find the urinary tract opening. Slowly begin to insert the catheter into the urethra until urine begins to flow freely. While it is normal to experience slight discomfort, any pain should alert you to contact your healthcare professional immediately.
    5. Once you’ve finished insertion, allow your bladder to empty completely. Once the urine stops flowing, slowly and gently pull the catheter out of the urethra. To finish, discard your used catheter and supplies in the trash bin and clean up by washing your hands or using a sanitary hand towelette. 

    Make sure to always consult your healthcare professionals with any questions or concerns you may have.

    Female Catheter Sizing

    Because the female urethra is generally only several inches in length compared to the male urethra, female length catheters are typically six inches long on average. Should you prefer something smaller, discreet catheters (like pocket catheters) can be as short as 2.75 inches long! However, some women do prefer a longer catheter, and use unisex catheters that can be up to 16 inches long. A longer length catheter can be easier to handle for some female users.

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