Whether you've heard about them from your doctor, an online support group, or even television commercials, pocket catheters are one of the most talked about types of intermittent urinary catheters due to their convenience, ease of handling, and their ability to be carried discreetly. Learn all about pocket catheters and similar travel-ready options!
What Is a Pocket Catheter?A pocket catheter is a widely-used phrase that covers a few different styles of catheters for men, women, and children. The main and most important feature of a pocket catheter is that the packaging is small and discreet enough that is that it can be easily hidden inside a pocket, a purse, briefcase, backpack, or makeup bag, and depending on the brand, even in the palm of your hand as you walk to the restroom.
Intermittent catheters are often packaged in a straight or longer parcel. Since the typical female length catheter is about 6 to 8 inches in length, they are already fairly easy to conceal. However, for pediatric length catheters, which are usually ten inches or longer, and male length catheters which are at least sixteen inches, users of these styles may want to find a more discreet or low-profile catheter.
What Options of Pocket Catheters Are Available?Many versions of pocket catheters have all the familiar, high-quality features of the catheters you may already know and use. Depending upon the brand, there will be variations in their packaging, including size, shape, and what additional amenities may be included to aid a more hygienic catheterization, like insertion supplies.
Pocket Catheters in Curved Packaging
Cure Medical has a pocket version of its standard straight male-length catheter, the Cure U Pocket Catheter, where the entirety of the flexible catheter tube is curved to make the packet smaller, discreet, and more compact. Cure's catheters are made with high-quality material and will not kink when bent.
Cure also has a few other travel-ready options, such as a pocket catheter with lubricant included for your convenience and an extra-long pocket catheter (25 inches long), the Cure Medical® Pocket XL (pictured to the right), which is great for those who often use extension tube connectors or are in wheelchairs.
The Rusch EasyCath™ Pediatric Pocket Catheter (pictured to the left) is great if you're looking for a pocket catheter for your child.
Once extended from the package, this high-quality PVC vinyl catheter is eleven inches for easy manipulation and it has polished eyelets to aid a smooth insertion.
If your child is starting to self-cath on their own and needs a discreet catheter option to carry in their backpack or their pocket at school, a pocket catheter like this may be a good choice.
The Ultra is available in straight tip for both men and women, and there is also an option with a curved or coudé tip for those who have difficulty passing a straight tip, the Cure Ultra Coudé Male Catheter.
For women who want a discreet option with less mess and no fuss, the Cure Twist may be a great choice.
The Twist's packaging is designed to look similar to cosmetic products like a mascara tube or lipstick. It has an easy-open twist top. It comes ready to use, since it's pre-lubricated. As soon as you're ready, you can self-cath with no worries about mess or dripping.
A similarly discreet item (pictured to the right) comes from Coloplast, a brand that has been around since 1957. Their mission is to develop products that make life easier on those who have medical needs, and the Coloplast SpeediCath Compact is certainly a product that fits that description due to its discreet packaging and ease of use.
Available in options for both men and women, it is designed to look like an everyday item like a cosmetic product or a marker.
The female length Compact is approximately 2.75 inches long, perfect for discreetly fitting into your pocket or packing in your suitcase for a vacation without worrying about too much additional bulk alongside your other toiletries and clothes.
The SpeediCath Compact for Men (pictured at left) is also ultra-discreet with a telescopic design that is less than half the size of a standard male catheter.
These options also come in a set with an integrated collection bag that is instantly ready to use, available both in male length and female length.
The CompactCath (pictured below) has a revolutionary design for ultimate privacy and ease of use. It looks unlike any other catheter on the market today.
The flexible catheter is coiled inside a small plastic case that fits in the palm of your hand. Incredibly easy to pocket or carry, this catheter is also touch-free and is pre-lubricated with a silicone-based oil to aid in a super-smooth, comfortable insertion without need for additional lubricant.
Pocket Closed System Catheters
Closed system catheters are a type of intermittent catheter with an all-in-one collection system. Often, they feature an introducer tip to bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria in the first few millimeters of the urethra, which may reduce the risk of infection.
Closed system catheters have attached collection bags, which gives you the freedom to self-cath wherever you have privacy, making it an ideal choice for those in wheelchairs, children, and those who are frequent travelers.
There are some discreet closed system catheter products that offer even more privacy when you carry them with you, such as the Hollister VaPro Pocket Plus, the Hollister Advance Plus Pocket Catheter System, and the Rusch PocketPac Catheter Kit (pictured to the right), which includes insertion supplies to aid the catheterization experience (gauze, BZK antiseptic wipes, two vinyl gloves, underpad, and a refuse bag to dispose of the catheter when you're done).
Other Discreet Options
Many of the intermittent catheters we carry are of such high quality that you can roll it or curve the packaging inside your pocket without kinking the tube itself or damaging the catheter.
Typically many of our pre-lubricated and hydrophilic catheter options are travel-ready and can be discreetly tucked away, like the GentleCath™ Glide, available for both men and women.
The Glide was designed based on actual feedback from real users of catheters, and it's a great option for people who want a discreet and efficient catheterization experience.
Take a look at more great options in our catheter showcase today!
How Can I Find the Right Pocket Catheter for Me?Just contact us to speak with one of our friendly Product Specialists.
We'll be glad to help you find an intermittent catheter that may best fit your individual preferences, and we also verify your insurance for you to determine how and if these products are covered on your policy.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post is intended to provide a general understanding of a few of the product options available that are considered smaller, discreet, or pocket catheters. This information should not be used in place of the recommendations for what type of catheter your professional healthcare provider recommends or prescribes for you to use, based on your personal anatomy and individual needs and preferences. Please consult with your prescribing physician for more information on which type of pocket catheter or travel catheter might work best for you.
About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 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.