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Depending on your specific needs, there are a variety of common types of female catheters used to manage urinary incontinence. If you do not find information regarding the specific female catheter you are looking for or have any additional questions, please call a Catheter Supply-Care Specialist at 1-888-244-0789.
Liberator Catheter Supply-Care provides a wide range of female catheters and top-quality catheter supplies from leading manufacturers you can trust like Bard, Astra Tech, Kendall, Cure, Coloplast/Mentor, Hollister, Rochester Medical, and Rusch.
A female intermittent catheter is generally six inches long and comes in French sizes 8Fr-24Fr. Intermittent catheters (IC) are recommended for women with urinary retention (incomplete bladder emptying) and for women suffering from spinal cord injuries (paraplegics and quadriplegics).
Intermittent catheters come in antibacterial and hydrophilic varieties. The antibacterial catheter features a site-specific controlled release of nitrofurazone, an antibacterial agent that significantly reduces urinary tract infections associated with female catheter use. Nitrofurazone has been found to be effective against common Gram-positive and Gram-negative urinary bacterial pathogens. This specialized coating is known to inhibit bacterial adherence and preserve the integrity of the urethral mucosa.
Hydrophilic-coated catheters have a layer of polymer coating bound to the surface of the catheter. The polymer absorbs and binds water to the catheter, producing a thick, smooth, and slippery surface that remains intact upon introduction into the woman's urethra and lubricates the urethra in its entire length. Use of hydrophilic catheters have led to increased patient satisfaction with this type of technique and is assumed to reduce the risk of urethral damage by decreasing the friction applied when the catheter is inserted and withdrawn.
Female External Catheters
Women have the option of utilizing external collection devices designed to funnel the urine by way of a pouch attached to a tube and collection bag. Unfortunately, female external catheters have not proven to be completely practical for bedbound elderly women or those who use wheelchairs.
An indwelling urethral catheter, also known as a Foley catheter, is a closed, sterile system inserted into the urethra that allows the bladder to drain. The female indwelling catheter is six inches long and comes in French sizes 12Fr-18Fr. Widely considered to be a unisex catheter, the indwelling urethral catheter is used by both women and men with urinary incontinence caused by obstruction (blockage in the urethra) or urinary retention (incomplete bladder emptying) who are unable to be treated through other methods like sterile intermittent catheterization, medication, or surgery. The 16-inch indwelling catheter for men can also be used by women requiring the extra length for specific medical applications.
Moreover, indwelling catheters are used in sick people when the incontinence interferes with the monitoring of urinary output, in severely impaired or terminally ill women for whom moving is painful, and women with skin irritation or pressure ulcers caused by incontinence. Indwelling urethral catheters are also used when a woman is homebound, lives alone, and is unable to receive assistance from a family member or a caregiver. Indwelling catheters need to be replaced at least every four weeks.
Indwelling catheters also come in hydrophilic and antibacterial varieties. Indwelling catheters are usually attached to overnight bags, urinary catheter bags, or urinary leg bags. An overnight bag is attached to a long tube that is used overnight. The bag is hung over the side of your bed below the level of your catheter so the urine will flow more easily.
When a suprapubic procedure occurs, a doctor may insert an indwelling or intermittent catheter through a small incision made in the wall of a woman's lower abdomen just above her pubic bone and below her bellybutton. Hydrophilic catheters can also be used for this type of procedure. It is used for a short time after surgery on the bladder or after a woman has had a hysterectomy.
French Catheter Scale Chart
The French catheter scale, or "French units" (Fr), is commonly used to measure the outside diameter of needles, catheters, and other cylindrical medical instruments.
1 Fr is equivalent to 0.33 mm = .013 inch = 1/77 inch in diameter. Thus, the size in French units is roughly equal to the circumference of the catheter in millimeters.
If you're uncertain of which type of female catheter you need, Liberator Medical's Catheter Supply-Care Program* is the perfect resource and healthcare advocate. Our Supply-Care Specialists will work with your physician and/or insurance company to ensure that you receive top-quality urological care and supplies. Our Catheter Supply-Care Program includes enrollment in our FREE customized sampling program, so you always have access to the best products available, and can be sure you’re using the most comfortable catheter for you.
Contact Liberator Medical or call us directly, toll-free at 1-888-244-0789 to learn more!
*Co-payments, deductibles, and conditions apply.
Click links below for more information on: Types of Catheters
Catheter Bag Care • Catheter Care • Catheter Insertion • Catheter Supply Care • Self Catheter Care
Female Catheter Information: Types of Female Catheters
Female Catheter Care • Female Catheter Insertion • Female Urinary Catheter • Female UTI • SpeediCath Compact • Cure Twist
Foley Catheter Information: Foley Catheter Types
Foley Catheters • Foley Catheter Care • Foley Catheter Insertion • Foley Catheter Removal
Male Catheter Information: Types of Male Catheters
GeeWhiz Male External Catheter • Male Catheter Insertion • Male Urinary Tract Infections
Additional Catheter Information: Catheter Types
Catheter Insertion • Catheter Pain • Female Catheter Insertion • Intermittent Catheterization • Male Catheter Insertion • Why have a Catheter Supply Care Plan?
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