Hydrophilic Catheters: Benefits and Instructions

What is a Hydrophilic Catheter?

Hydrophilic means water-loving. A hydrophilic catheter is a urinary intermittent catheter coated with a special polymer coating that can bind onto water molecules. When a hydrophilic catheter comes into contact with water, the polymer coating binds onto the water and becomes extremely slippery and smooth. The superior lubricity of hydrophilic catheters makes them popular among intermittent catheter users. 

This article will explain the benefits of using a hydrophilic catheter and how to self-catheterize with a hydrophilic catheter.  

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CompactCath’s hydrophilic catheters, male and female length

What are the benefits of using a hydrophilic catheter?

Potentially less urethral injury

Since a lubricated hydrophilic catheter is very slippery, the friction it causes to the urethra during catheterization is also relatively small. Less friction means there’s a decreased likelihood of urethral pain, discomfort, and injury. A study has shown that hydrophilic catheters decrease the likelihood of hematuria (blood in urine).  


You don’t need to labouriously apply lubricating jelly to a hydrophilic catheter, instead you would lubricate it with water. Hydrophilic catheters often come with sterile water pouches attached to the packaging. To lubricate the catheter, you would squeeze open the pouch and let water flow into the packaging, soaking the catheter. 

When using a hydrophilic catheter, you don’t need to carry additional lubrication with you, thus making it more convenient.


Hydrophilic catheters are often designed to be no-touch. Since the hydrophilic catheter is lubricated by water, you don’t need to touch the catheter tube to lubricate it. The non-touch catheter also comes with an insertion aid, which you can hold on to during insertion so you never need to touch the catheter tube.

Not needing to touch the catheter tube decreases the chance of germs transferring from your hands into your urethra. If bacteria and viruses travel with the catheter into your urinary tract, you will likely get a UTI (here are some tips to avoid catheter-associated UTI). 

A study done on patients with spinal cord injuries (SCI) has found that the use of hydrophilic catheters is associated with fewer urinary tract infections. 

How to use a hydrophilic catheter

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to use a CompactCath hydrophilic catheter:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Fold the water pocket towards the packing film and press it.
  3. Unfold the catheter and shake the packet from side to side so water reaches the entire length of the catheter.
  4. Use the adhesive stickers on the back of the packaging, or the loop on top to hang the catheter vertically. 
  5. Let the catheter soak for 30 seconds. This step is important for it to become fully lubricated.
  6. Tear the packing film until the connector is exposed.
  7. Take the catheter out and perform self-catheterization. 
  8. Dispose of the catheter after one use. 

Checkout CompactCath’s Hydrophilic Catheters!

CompactCath is coming out with a new line of hydrophilic intermittent urinary catheters. As a promotion, we want to give customers 

  • 20% off their first three months
  • 10% off subsequent months when they subscribe to monthly deliveries (cancel anytime). 
  • Three $10 Amazon gift cards ($30 in total) for your second, third, and fourth month of subscription.

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