Toll-Free(877) 688-2729

The Full Guide to No-Touch Catheters

by AmyHernandez June 26 2018 05:51

Since the introduction of clean intermittent catheterization as an alternate way to drain the bladder, there have been many advances in cathing techniques as well as new types of catheter products.

No-touch catheterization techniques and no-touch catheters have become increasingly popular over the years. This is likely due to the convenience and independence these products can offer, as well as a way to reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs).

UTIs and CAUTIs can be an issue for many people who perform intermittent self-catheterization, which is why sterility is most often at the top of the list of most important things to consider when deciding which intermittent catheter type is right for you.


A no-touch catheter, also known as a touch-free catheter or touchless catheter, is a urinary catheter that can be inserted without the user having to directly touch the catheter tube (the portion of the catheter system that is inserted into the urethra).

No-touch catheters have been available on the market for several years; however, they are generally called closed system catheters or sterile catheter kits.

Closed system catheters are either pre-lubricated or have a hydrophilic coating that is easily activated by sterile water to become lubricated. What makes a no-touch closed system catheter truly unique is that it is an all-in-one option that is housed inside its own sterile collection bag. The catheter tube can be easily manipulated and advanced forward to insert into the urethra without touching it, which minimizes the risk of contamination from the hands.

Another benefit of closed system catheters is that the majority of them come with what is known as an introducer tip. The introducer tip is usually a pre-lubricated, soft, flexible cover that shields the tip of the actual catheter tube and helps it bypass the first short section of the urethra where the highest concentrations of bacteria can be found. This also does its part in potentially reducing the risk of contracting a UTI.

Many brands of closed systems will come packaged with additional insertion supplies that can make the cathing process even more hygienic. This may include items like gloves and antiseptic wipes.


There are many reasons why using a no-touch catheter might be the best option for you, depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and needs.

Of course, the added protection against contamination from touching and bacteria, as mentioned above, is a huge reason why many people prefer and chose to use no-touch catheters.

Touch-free catheterization has been shown to be incredibly effective at preventing the onset of catheter associated UTIs in spinal cord injured people. Clinical studies have shown the use of a no-touch catheter is associated with a 30% UTI reduction and general low UTI rates of .68% in a study conducted with spinal cord injured people.

Medicare may also cover these advanced catheter products for catheters users who have experienced two or more documented urinary tract infections (UTIs) within a single year while using sterile straight intermittent catheters and sterile lubrication packets.

In hospitals, the introduction of no-touch catheter systems and techniques has been well accepted by both caregivers and patients, and has not been associated with higher costs. On the contrary, it has actually reduced costs while saving time and reducing infection complications in general, according to Clinical studies.


There are a few different options when it comes to choosing a no-touch catheter system, depending on your insurance coverage. If your insurance policy does not currently cover closed system catheters, which are billed under HCPC code A4353, you may still be able to qualify for a hydrophilic catheter.

Here are the two main options of no-touch catheters:

Closed System Catheters

Closed system catheters are the preferred cathing system for many, including people in wheelchairs, children, and those frequently travel, work, or go to school. This is because of their convenience as well as the ability to reduce the risk of infection with the all-in-one system and introducer tip, which helps minimize the risk of contamination or pushing harmful bacteria into the bladder. One of the most popular closed system catheters on the market is the Bard Touchless Plus kit, which features a patented catheter guide, allowing for better control during insertion.

Hydrophilic Catheters

Hydrophilic catheters come pre-hydrated and ready to use, or they can be easily activated by an included sterile water packet. Once it’s ready to use, the catheter stays optimally lubricated and offers a more comfortable, smooth insertion. Hydrophilic catheters work to minimize urethral friction, which can also help reduce the risk of infection. Most hydrophilic catheters are considered no-touch catheters, thanks to included handling sleeves that keep your hands off of the catheter tube and help guide the catheter into the urethra. You may be interested in the popular GentleCath™ Glide, a no-touch hydrophilic catheter for both males and females. It was created specifically to make cathing more comfortable and reduce the mess sometimes left behind by alternate brands of hydrophilic catheters.

Intermittent straight catheters are not typically considered no-touch catheters, but there are cathing techniques which can reduce the risk of contamination from your hands, such as using gloves and antiseptic wipes during your catheterization routine.

Still not sure which catheter option is right for you? Contact us today and speak with a trained catheter specialist who can help you decide which intermittent catheter is best for your unique circumstances. Your health is too important to risk not using the right catheter product.

Disclaimer: Please note that this post is not to be taken as medical advice and is only intended to provide a general understanding of the potential risks of reusing catheters according to research. This information should not be used in place of the recommendations and medical advice of your professional healthcare provider.

Sources:Bennett CJ, Young MN and Darrington H. PubMed. 1995.

Bennett CJ, Young MN, Razi SS, Adkins R, Diaz F, McCrary A. PubMed. 1997.

Related Posts You May Find Helpful:

About the Author:

Amy is the Web Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical. Her favorite thing about working at 180 Medical is being part of a company that is truly committed to improving the lives of its customers. When she's not at work she enjoys traveling, kayaking, rock climbing, and spending time with her husband and three, incredible stepkids.

180 Medical Participates in 2017 MS Society Walk MS Event in Oklahoma City

by Jessica April 26 2017 07:05
At 180 Medical, we like to do all we can to support important causes and participate in charitable events when we can in the community. This year makes it our sixth year to participate. The National MS Society's Walk MS event is always a great time for us to get together with our fellow co-workers, connect with others, and do our part to raise funds for the MS Society and take steps to end Multiple Sclerosis for good. MS affects more than 2.3 million people across the world, and as of today, there is still no cure, but every day gets us closer, and every dollar raised means a great deal to those who are living with Multiple Sclerosis.

180 medical walk ms 2017 collage 1

This year's Central Oklahoma Walk MS was held at the Myriad Botanical Gardens on April 22nd, 2017. Everyone who came out had a blast, and as always, many of us brought our families and our dogs for the morning out. We also loved getting to meet people who came by our 180 Medical table. A local group of high school marching band drummers came out to lead everyone when the walk began at 10 a.m., and the path led us around some beautiful sights and building around downtown Oklahoma City. 

Just as it is for us every year, we had a wonderful time supporting a wonderful cause, and we look forward to the future Walk MS events.

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. In her free time, she loves writing, making art, and hanging with her dogs and loved ones.

180 Medical Supports MS Awareness Month

by Jessica March 3 2017 09:00

Each year, the beginning of March is the start of National MS Education and Awareness Month. At 180 Medical, we like to make sure to do what we can to raise awareness about this condition and support the millions who are affected by MS all across the world, including many of our customers, who depend on us for their catheter supplies. Take some time to learn a little bit more about MS and find out what you can do to help raise awareness this month. 

What is MS & Who is Affected?

MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is an "unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body." (Source: National MS Society)

This can affect one's optic nerves, spinal cord, brain, and nerves of the body in general, and the condition seems to attack the myelin sheath, the fatty protective material surrounding nerve axons that transmits impulses through the body).  

Since over 2,500,000 people around the world live with MS, there's a chance that someone you personally know is currently living with MS. 

What are the symptoms of MS?

MS can present itself in a multitude of different ways in the body, so the symptoms are not the same for every single person living with this condition.

Early warning signs of MS may include:
  • Vision changes
  • Cognitive issues
  • Sudden lack of coordination or difficulty walking
  • Loss of balance
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Sudden or gradual weakness in your limbs 
If you suspect you may have Multiple Sclerosis, see your doctor as soon as possible to begin the process of diagnosis, as some of these symptoms are attributable to other conditions. The first diagnosis usually occurs when one is between twenty to forty years old, but symptoms can appear earlier or later in life.

Other MS symptoms one may experience include: 
  • Fatigue
  • Coordination and balance issues
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Cognitive dysfunction, mental fogginess
  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • For a more comprehensive list, visit National MS Society's MS symptoms page.

Getting Involved in Raising Awareness About MS

A great way to connect with others and share information in order to help people understand more about this condition is through social media, so if you have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another social media account, consider using it to help raise awareness. 

One of the fun happenings that we here at 180 Medical love to participate in is the annual National MS Society Walk MS event with the local Central Oklahoma chapter. Find a walk near you, sign up, and even a group of friends or family together to have a great time while taking steps to find a cure.

Some other fun ideas might be having a day during March for you and your co-workers, fellow students, or family to wear orange as a way to promote awareness, or having a fundraiser like a bake sale or car wash to donate to one of the great foundations and organizations that are working toward a cure for Multiple Sclerosis or dedicated to supporting and helping those living with MS. 

Life After an MS Diagnosis

If you or one of your close loved ones have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis by a qualified healthcare professional, please know that life is not over. There are many ways to manage your symptoms, including medication, changing your diet, getting better sleep, and getting regular exercise, all of which may help you feel your best. Support groups and connecting online with others living with MS in forums can be a big help. Sometimes just knowing someone else is living through and dealing with what you are can be a big relief and a way to feel less alone in your diagnosis.

This year, the National MS Society is launching Breakthrough MS, where those living with MS can share their personal stories, what inspires and keeps them going, and what their personal breakthrough with MS has been or one that they hope to achieve in the future. Learn more at

At 180 Medical, we understand that there are some symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis that can feel embarrassing to discuss, like the inability to control your bladder, whether that's incontinence, bladder retention, or a combination of those symptoms. Talk to your doctor to find the right solution for your individual needs, and if intermittent catheters are recommended or prescribed as a treatment plan, know that when you contact 180 Medical at 1-877-688-2729, you will speak to understanding, professional specialists who are ready to offer you a compassionate, listening ear and set you up on the best catheter supplies for your needs.

Related Posts:

5 things to know about ms
5 Things to Know
About Multiple Sclerosis 
benefits of catheters for ms patients
The Benefits of Catheter Use
for MS Patients 

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for over 7 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

180 Medical Participates in Annual Multiple Sclerosis Walk in OKC

by Jessica May 3 2016 09:13
On Saturday, April 30th, the National MS Society held their Central Oklahoma chapter's 2016 Walk MS event at the Wild Horse Park in Mustang, OK, and we here at 180 Medical made sure to take part, as we have for the last six years now. 

Multiple Sclerosis affects millions of people all over the world, including many of our customers, who depend on us every month for reliable, friendly service and top-quality supplies. So we like to do what we can to show our support for those affected. Not only that, but taking steps with Walk MS helps support research to help find a cure as well as improve the quality of life for the many men and women living with MS today. 

180 medical ms walk 2016 collage 1
It's a great cause, and it's always a lot of fun for us to get together with our co-workers on a weekend and connect with other local companies and people who are there to support the MS Society. We couldn't have asked for a day with better, more perfect weather. Some of us brought our dogs along for the walk, and many of us brought spouses and children too. And who knew our kids would get to meet some of their favorite characters from Star Wars, Captain America, Ghostbusters, and some Disney Princesses at the finish line too? All in all, it was a great day for a great cause, and we look forward to next year's event!

180 medical ms walk 2016 collage 2
To find a local Walk MS event in your area, find out more at the official Walk MS page of the National MS Society.

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. She loves writing, playing music, creating art, and spending quality time with her dogs, friends & family.

5 Things to Know About Multiple Sclerosis

by Jessica March 28 2016 09:24
5 things to know about ms header

March is National MS Awareness Month. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is estimated to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide, and it is one of the leading causes of catheter use. In fact, many individuals who suffer from MS report that one of the first symptoms they experienced was incontinence. National MS Awareness Month was created to put MS in the spotlight, so that more people around the world can be aware of how it affects those currently living with the disease. Having a month dedicated to raising awareness can also help increase funds for research for a cure and more treatments. Here are some common things you should know about MS:

  1. It Might Affect More People Than Estimated: According to the National MS Society, many more people may be suffering from multiple sclerosis that we don't know about. This is because physicians do not need to report new cases, and the first symptoms of MS are often undetected in the beginning.
  2. We Don't Know How It Is Caused: So far, doctors and researches have not been able to pinpoint what exactly causes the immune system to attack the central nervous system. It's not clear if this is a genetic disorder, but it does seem apparent that some people are more likely to suffer from MS. Women, for example, are almost three times as likely to have MS. Smoking can also worsen symptoms.
  3. There are Myriad Symptoms: No two individuals with MS will have the exact same symptoms, and the symptoms will vary depending on the level of inflammation, health of the individual affected, etc. The most common MS symptoms include fatigue, numbness, tingling, difficulty walking, and incontinence.
  4. You Can Go Years Without Experiencing a Flare-Up: Although there is no cure for MS at this time, there are medications available which can improve symptoms. There are also technological and therapeutic solutions to help patients manage their symptoms. Because of this, it's possible to go years without experiencing any new or worsening symptoms. 
  5. It is Not Fatal: MS is life-changing, but it's not usually fatal. In fact, individuals with MS should enjoy a normal life expectancy except in very rare situations. The important thing is to practice a healthy lifestyle as much as possible, take any prescribed medication, and schedule regular visits to your doctor. 
180 Medical provides disposable urinary catheters and other medical supplies to customers living with MS all across the country. Please visit our website for more information related to catheters, billing, insurance, etc. To learn more about National MS Awareness Month, please visit the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation's information site.

MS Education & Awareness Month Begins

by Jessica March 4 2016 12:38
It's March, and that means National MS Education and Awareness Month has begun. At 180 Medical, we like to bring attention to this time in order to support and honor those who are affected by Multiple Sclerosis, as well as spread awareness and offer education, tips, and extra resources. 

march is ms awareness month

What is MS?

Multiple Sclerosis, most commonly abbreviated as MS, is a chronic disease that attacks one's Central Nervous System (brain, optic nerves, spinal cord, etc.). More specifically, it seems to focus on and attack the myelin sheath (which is the fatty, protective material that wraps around nerve axons and transmits impulses in the body). This damage can cause symptoms such as:

Who Is Affected by MS?

With an estimated 2.5 million people living in the world today with MS, there's a very good chance that you may know someone affected by this disease, whether a friend, family member, or co-worker. MS is not contagious, nor does it seem to be an inherited from parent to child, but scientists have identified some factors that seem to have some effect on whether or not someone may be more likely to get MS. For instance, it is most common among Caucasians, although it can affect anyone from any ethnic group. It is also more than twice as common in women than in men. Learn more about MS here

Get Involved

Thanks to social media, spreading awareness can be as simple as sharing a status update, a blog, or informative link on your page. There are also plenty of helpful educational videos on YouTube that may be interesting and informative. 

One way that we all here at 180 Medical like to support the cause is by participating in our local MS Society Walk which occurs annually every spring to raise funds for research and support. Check out your area at the National MS Society page here and see when the next Walk MS event is being held to show your support with your friends, family, or co-workers! Not only do you get a little exercise and fun with a great group of people, you're also helping with a wonderful cause.

ms walk 2014

Another fun way to show support is by picking a day to wear orange to raise awareness about MS. You could coordinate with your workplace, school, or your family on a day. 

The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation also offers Awareness Kits which have tools to help you raise awareness in your community during this month. Learn more here.

Many people can attest to how MS affects the quality of life. So let's work together to support research and let others know about this disease, so that one day, a cure can be found.

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 6 years and currently works as Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, music, art, and & spending time with her dogs, friends & family.



180 Medical Supports Multiple Sclerosis Society's Annual MS Walk in OKC

by Jessica May 5 2014 10:50
Multiple Sclerosis affects over 2.3 million people worldwide. Chances are, you know someone who has MS.

We here at 180 Medical like to support important causes and do what we can in our local and national community to help out, and every year, we get a group together to participate in the MS Society Oklahoma City chapter's annual MS Walk. Not only is it a fun time to get together with our co-workers outside of the office and connect with others who are there to support this cause, but we all want to do a little bit to help raise awareness and funds for the MS Society.

Here are a few pictures from the event, which was held this year at the Wild Horse Park in Mustang, OK, on Saturday, May 3rd.

180 Medical Attends MS Walk 2014

You can learn more about the MS Society's Walks with this great video that details how these events help those living with MS every day.

180 medical jessAbout the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 4 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

180 Medical Supports MS Awareness

by Jessica March 3 2014 13:54
The beginning of March kicks off National MS Awareness Week and National MS Education & Awareness Month. During this time, we here at 180 Medical wish not only to honor and support those who are affected by MS but also to share some important educational information, tips, and resources.

180 medical at ms walk 2014

What is MS? MS stands for Multiple Sclerosis. And what is that, exactly? Well, the truth is that a lot about MS remains a mystery. No specific cause has been nailed down, and as of now, there is no cure. What we do know is that Multiple Sclerosis is an immune-mediated "chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves" (Source: National MS Society).

ms nerves

What are the symptoms of MS?

MS specifically attacks the myelin sheath, which is the fatty material that wraps and protects nerve axons in order to transmit impulses in the body.

This damage can cause symptoms such as (but not limited to):

  • Fatigue
  • Coordination and balance issues
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Cognitive dysfunction, mental fogginess
  • Vision changes
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Depression
  • For a comprehensive list of symptoms, visit National MS Society's symptoms page.

The Big Picture On MS

With about 2,500,000 people around the world who have MS, there's a good chance you know someone who is currently living with MS. In fact, MS is the most common disease of the central nervous system among young adults, and the first diagnosis usually occurs between 20 and 40 years of age.

While it's not known to significantly affect the length of one's life, many can attest to how it affects the quality of life. That's why it's so important that we all become aware and support research on this disease, so that more can be learned, and a cure can someday be found.

Get Involved With MS Awareness

  • What is one way you connect daily with hundreds of your friends, family, and co-workers? Social Media! Consider changing your social media profile picture (Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) to something MS-related. Or you can share an educational status update or a YouTube video with your followers.
  • Think up a fun way to promote the color orange (color for MS Awareness), such as suggesting that you and your co-workers/employees or family wear orange one day during MS Awareness Week.
  • Put together a fundraising bake sale for an MS organization at your place of work or school, or you could even coordinate the event with a local business. You could sell orange cakes, orange iced cookies and cupcakes, etc.
  • Register and participate in an MS Society fundraiser event. We here at 180 Medical always love being a part of our local MS Walk each year!

MS Resources

Visit the links below for more information on MS, to find support and help, and to connect with the online MS community or locally.

Multiple Sclerosis International Federation
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
180 Medical's article "The Benefits of Catheter Use for MS Patients"
Personal stories of those living with MS
Connect with others with MS around the world at MS Connection
Check out the multiple Social Media networks dedicated to MS
Talk to fellow MS patients in a large forum at MSWorld

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for almost 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Multiple Sclerosis Society MS Walk

by kier May 4 2013 21:21
180 Medical enjoyed attending the Multiple Sclerosis Society at a local MS Walk in Oklahoma City this morning.

Over 125 of us braved the brisk temperatures with our families and friends to show our support for the cause. Employees raised money and attended this event today in honor of all of our customers impacted by multiple sclerosis and do our part to help end MS! 

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society helps people address the challenges of living with MS through their 50-state network of chapters. The Society helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.

The Benefits of Catheter Use for MS Patients

by Catheter Experts April 10 2013 08:29
benefits of using catheters for MS

How many people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) do you think use catheters?

The Center of Disease Control estimates that there are 400,000 people in the US living with MS, and more than 100,000 of them rely on catheters. According to a study done by doctors at the University Hospital's Case Medical Center in Cleveland, more than a quarter of patients with MS have either previously used or currently use catheters.

Intermittent straight catheter usage can make a world of difference for many people who have MS and experience bladder dysfunction. 

male and female length catheter illustration

Multiple Sclerosis & Its Effect on the Bladder

bladder dysfunction in those living with MSAlmost 80% of people with MS also experience urinary problems. Lesions created by this condition can either block or delay the transmissions of nerve signals in the areas of the central nervous system that control the urinary sphincter and bladder.

There are two distinct types of bladder problems that affect MS patients:
These issues can not only be sources of embarrassment and discomfort, but incomplete bladder drainage can make those living with MS more prone to recurring urinary tract infections. 

Intermittent Catheterization & Multiple Sclerosis

Catheterization has an array of medical benefits and can significantly improve overall quality of life.

Intermittent catheters prevent the bladder from overfilling, eliminate residual urine, and help prevent urinary infections from urine that might otherwise remain too long inside the bladder.

Some people are reluctant to use catheters because they worry about discomfort. However, we want to assure you that modern disposable catheters have come a long way since their invention.

Today, catheters are made from a variety of materials, many of which are designed to be soft, pliant, and comfortable for the user.

how to cath dvd and bookletsConcerned about your privacy? Many catheters are small and easily concealable. There are even pocket catheters that are discreet and can easily fit in a small bag, makeup case, or even a pocket.

Intermittent catheter usage paired with any necessary supplements or prescription medication along with regular doctor check-ups can do a lot to improve your urinary health as well as your overall well-being.

If you'd like to learn more about bladder management for those living with Multiple Sclerosis, visit the National MS Society's website for helpful information and tips on maintaining good urinary health.

Are you seeking a reliable catheter supply provider? 180 Medical will be glad to help you find the right product for your needs, and our specialists will treat your concerns and questions with kindness. 

We can also include some helpful information in your first order, like our unique how-to-cath instructions in full color booklets with all the information you need to know about intermittent catheter usage, as well as DVDs that can walk you through the process step-by-step on how to use straight catheters, hydrophilic catheters, and closed system catheter kits.

Give us a call today at 1-877-688-2729!

180 medical customer testimonial multiple sclerosis