Intermittent catheters - what are they and how are they used?

Intermittent catheters are tubes that come in sizes similar to Foley catheters, but have only one lumen for urinary drainage. They are designed to be inserted in the bladder to allow for drainage of urine and then to be removed immediately afterwards. They should never remain in the bladder.

This type of catheter is used for individuals who do not require continuous drainage, but need assistance to empty their bladder when full. Intermittent catheters typically come in two lengths for adults: 16” which can be used by both sexes, and 6” which would be considered for females only, as they have a short entrance (urethra) into the bladder. Catheter designs are constantly changing to improve user experience, with some designed to fit into your pocket or purse!

If you have any questions about your catheter, or if you are experience any issues, please don’t hesitate to consult your nurse or speak with a healthcare professional.