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Why Do I Need to Use Coudé Catheters?

by Jessica February 16 2017 02:19
why do i need to use a coude catheter

Have you been recently told you need to use a catheter with a coudé tip? There may be a few key reasons why your doctor has recommended a coudé catheter instead of the standard straight tip intermittent male length catheters.

Read on to find out more of the basic information all about curved tip or coudé tip catheters, as well as how this catheter type may benefit you and your individual needs.


What is a Coudé Tip Catheter?

A coudé tip catheter is a variety of intermittent or foley catheter that is mainly available in male length (typically about 16 inches on average to accommodate for the length of the male urethra). 

It's very easy to tell the difference between the a coudé urinary catheter and the standard straight tip catheter, the insertion tip of the coudé catheter is bent or curved slightly, almost like an elbow. In fact, the French word for "elbow" is how the coudé catheter got its name.


coudé catheter vs straight catheter comparison


Coudé catheters are manufactured in all of the main catheter materials, including vinyl or PVC, silicone, and red rubber latex to name a few. You can get a coudé tip in most every common catheter type as well, from basic uncoated intermittent catheters, pediatric sizes, hydrophilic catheters, pre-lubricated catheters, and closed system catheters

180 Medical proudly carries one of the largest selections of catheter supplies available on the market today from all of the major manufacturers and catheter brands


180 medical catheter brands


Just a few of the popular coudé catheter options include:


coudé catheter options

Find these coudé catheter products and many more in our online catheter showcase!


When is a Coudé Tip Catheter Necessary?

Coudé catheters are generally only used when a standard straight tip catheter cannot be inserted easily or comfortably. This is due to a few reasons, usually related to a stricture or blockage in the urethra, which is the tube in the body which carries urine from the bladder outside of the body. The curved tip of a coudé catheter is often a better choice to bypassing those problem areas and drain the bladder with far less discomfort. 

A few of the most common factors that contribute to this need:
  • Enlarged prostate (or benign prostatic hyperplasia, almost known as BPH)
  • Prior prostate surgery
  • False passages in the urethra or a stoma
  • Radiation in the pelvic area to treat cancer
  • Those with urinary stricture disease or urethral trauma
Coudé catheters may be prescribed by a healthcare professional for any gender when a straight catheter does not easily pass, depending upon your individual physiology and needs. However, the majority of coudé catheter users are men and boys, due to the typical reasons for needing a coudé tip, which is why most coudé catheters are male length or pediatric length.

If you're seeking coudé catheters for women, you may find the right catheter for your needs within the range of male or pediatric length coudé catheters available, and you will have options include straight intermittent catheters, hydrophilic catheters, pre-lubricated catheters, and closed system catheters

Coudé catheter sizes range from pediatric French sizes to 20 FR and above for some particular specialty sizes. This will entirely depend on the brand and type of coudé catheter.


180 medical is here for your coude catheter supply needs


Will My Insurance Cover Coudé Tip Catheters?

Most major insurance companies, including Medicare and many state Medicaid programs as well as private insurance plans, will cover coudé catheters. The type and allowable amount you can receive per month will depend upon your specific policy's coverage of coudé catheters (HCPC code A4352).

Medicare, for instance, will typically cover up to 200 catheters per month (enough to self-cath between 6 and 7 times a day in a 30 day period), as long as there is a doctor's prescription for that amount as well as some supporting documentation offering justification why a coudé tip is necessary rather than the standard straight tip.  

At 180 Medical, we can handle verifying your insurance coverage to determine how your policy will cover your catheters! We will let you know if you will have any out-of-pocket cost, and we can also work with your doctor's office to get any required documentation, so that's one less thing for you to worry about as you begin your journey of learning to self-cath with a coudé catheter.


How Do I Insert and Use a Coudé Catheter?

Your prescribing healthcare professional will likely give you some basic instructions. They will also let you know how many times per day you will need to self-cath to drain your bladder and if you need to record your output.

Here are some basic how-to instructions for uncoated coudé catheters. For more information, visit our helpful site www.howtocath.com.

  1. Gather all of your cathing supplies and keep them nearby.
  2. wash your hands before using cathetersWash your hands, as well as the insertion site with warm soapy water. If available, you may also want to disinfect the insertion site with antiseptic swabsticks or wipes such as BZK or povidone-iodine. Just wipe the area with a circular motion around the urethral opening. This may help reduce risk of infection. 
  3. If available, put on gloves to further reduce risk of contamination of the supplies by any possible germs left on your hands.
  4. Take your catheter out of the package and lubricate it with a sterile, water-soluble lubricant.
  5. While holding the penis gently in one hand, use your other hand to hold the catheter. Pull the penis up and hold it at a 45-degree angle away from your stomach.
  6. Insert the catheter slowly into your urethra. Some brands of coudé catheters have helpful guide dots or stripes available to help you keep the curve of the coudé tip in the angle and direction as  your doctor has suggested/shown you. If there is any resistance when the catheter reaches the sphincter muscle of your bladder, take a deep breath and gently apply steady pressure but do not force the catheter.
  7. When the urine begins to flow, insert the catheter a little further and lower the penis to allow your urine to flow into the toilet, urinal, or other receptacle.
  8. Once the flow of urine has stopped, you can slowly remove the catheter. 
  9. Throw your catheter and any other used supplies away.

We can also send you full-color instructional brochures and videos that will walk you through the catheterization process step-by-step. 

No matter what kind of intermittent catheter you need, 180 Medical can help find the right supplies for you and your individual needs and preferences.

Give us a call today at 1 (877) 688-2729 to speak with one of our highly-trained, friendly Product Specialists to discuss your catheter options. 


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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.