What Are Straight Catheters?
Straight catheters are a type of intermittent catheter and often called “in-and-out” catheters. Straight catheters are small hollow, flexible tubes that are used to empty urine from the bladder intermittently.
Straight catheters can be inserted through the urethra or through a surgical opening called a stoma that connects the bladder to the outside of the body.
According to the FDA, straight catheters are disposable, and for single-use only.
There are two main parts of a straight catheter:
- Insertion end: contains oval-shaped holes called eyelets that allow urine to pass in through the bladder
- Non-insertion end: usually contains a plastic funnel that allows urine to drain into a collection device (toilet bowl, urine bag, etc.)
How Do You Use A Straight Catheter?
Before starting intermittent catheterization, your healthcare professional will provide you with instructions and/or educational materials about how to use a catheter.
The most important part about using a straight catheter is to maintain proper hygiene:
1. Wash hands with soap and water, and dry thoroughly. If not available, use an antibacterial hand sanitizer.
2. Gently clean insertion area using a non-alcohol based antiseptic wipe.
3.Open the catheter package and lubricate the catheter (if not pre-lubricated).
4. Position yourself comfortably. Insert catheter tip into the urethra and gently slide the catheter forward until you reach the bladder — you will feel some resistance when you reach the bladder sphincter. Continue to insert until urine starts to flow.
5. Once urine stops flowing and your bladder is empty, slowly withdraw and discard the catheter.
Who Needs To Use A Straight Catheter?
Straight catheters are used by those who are unable to empty their bladder naturally. Patients who fall under this category often include those with the following medical conditions:
– Spinal Cord Injury
– Spina Bifida
– Bladder Exstrophy
– Multiple Sclerosis
– Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
– Neurogenic Bladder
It is important to perform intermittent catheterization at regular intervals to maintain a healthy bladder.
What Are The Different Types Of Straight Catheters Available?
Straight catheters come in various lengths, diameters, and materials. Your urologist will determine what size catheter is right for you.
There are many models and brands of straight catheters available.
– Traditional straight catheters are considered the original urinary catheter. They come uncoated and should be manually lubricated before inserting into the urethra for comfort.
– Compact straight catheters are pocket-sized and travel friendly, allowing catheter users to go about everyday activities with privacy and discretion. Compact catheters often come pre-lubricated and feature a non-touch system for convenience and portability.
How Do I Get Straight Catheters?
Catheters are a prescription medical device, so your urologist will provide you with a prescription for your catheter supplies.
As catheters come in a variety of styles and sizes, and there is no one-size-fits-all catheter, you will have the opportunity to try out different catheters before deciding which is best for you. Samples can be obtained from your doctor’s office or online .
Once you’ve determined which catheter is right for you, your prescription will be handed off to a medical supplier (DME) who will coordinate your billing, insurance, and delivery to your door.