Urological Product Glossary

Incontinence Product Manager | Shield HealthCare
06/30/11  8:16 PM PST
Urological Product Glossary

See the glossary below for more detailed information about catheters and their most common accessories.


Closed System: These are ready-to-use hydrophilic intermittent closed catheters, also known as a cath-in-bag. The JAW (Just Add Water) is a closed system, all-in-one hydrophilic catheter.

Coude Tip Catheter: The coude tipped catheter is a Foley or intermittent catheter with a curved tip. It is used when there is an obstruction in the urethra that a normal straight tipped catheter can not circumvent. If a physician orders a coude tip catheter, he must write “coude tip catheter” on the prescription. The justification for this type of product must also be documented on the prescription.

Coude Tip Catheter Considerations:

  • If the patient’s anatomy is such that a straight catheter is ineffective in passing through the urethra, a curved tipped catheter is required to conform to the person’s anatomy.
  • The patient has an enlarged prostate gland, creating an obstruction that requires a coude tipped catheter.
  • The patient has a Koch or Indiana pouch that requires a coude tipped catheter for drainage.
  • Unless the prescription is specifically written for a coude tipped catheter and includes medical justification, a straight catheter must be dispensed. This applies to all insurance types.

Indwelling Catheter (Foley Catheter): A tube of latex or silicone is passed through the urethra into the bladder to facilitate drainage. After insertion, the catheter is held in place by inflating a balloon located at the end of the catheter. The balloon is inflated with sterile water through the injection port. The catheter is connected to a drainage bag or leg bag.

Indwelling catheterization is generally viewed as treatment of last resort. It can lead to fungal skin infections, irritation, fissures,  urinary tract infections (UTIs) and permanent damage to the urinary system. It is recommended only when there are no other alternatives, and must be prescribed by a physician.

Indwelling (Foley) Catheter Considerations: French size,  material – latex, red rubber, silicone or teflon coating, type of tip – Straight tip or coude tip, balloon size – 5cc (child) or 30 cc (adult).  Related products:  Irrigation tray – flush tubing, night drain bag or bottle, extension tubing, leg bag

Intermittent Catheter: A tube of latex or silicone is passed through the urethra into the bladder at regular time intervals to facilitate bladder drainage. When the bladder is emptied, the catheter is removed until the next catheterization.

Intermittent catheterization is a far better alternative. With it, the incidence of infection is  much lower. Patients may perform this procedure themselves (self-catheterization) using clean equipment every two to four hours. This procedure must be prescribed by a physician.

Intermittent Catheter Considerations: French size, type of material, type of tip, male or female

Male External Catheter (also known as a Condom Catheter): A collection device worn externally over the urethral opening to collect urine as it drains. The external catheter consists of a thin latex condom-like sheath with a tube. The device is connected to a drainage bag or leg bag.

With a proper seal, the external device should remain in place an average of 24 hours without leakage. Many patients achieve up to a 48 hour wearing time.

Male external catheters are available with various adhesive application methods due to differences in patient skin sensitivity, penis size changes during wearing time, penile retractions and manual dexterity. Catheter removal, disposal, and new application is required on a regular basis to thoroughly clean and inspect for skin irritation, blisters or lesions. Catheter usage may also be directly related to frequency of intermittent catheterization since the necessary removal of the male external catheter destroys the latex sheath and adhesive properties.

Touchless Catheter: System has an auto-lubricating urinary catheter and its own drainage bag. It is a completely closed system that effectively bypasses organisms that cause nosocomial UTI’s.

Urological Accessories

Adhesive Spray: Non-irritating adhesive to secure external devices onto sensitive tissue. Adhesives come in liquid form and spray form.

Appliance Cleaner: Cleaning solution specifically designed for urinary products (drainage bags and leg bags etc.). A cleaning brush should be suggested to every customer using this equipment.

Catheter Tube Holder: Catheter tube holders hold a Foley catheter in place. It may be a soft leg band with Velcro loop to hold catheter in position or adhesive sticks to abdomen or to the leg with Velcro loop to hold catheter in place.

Drainage Bags/Night Drains:Plastic collection unit with tubing which connects to a Foley or external catheter to contain urine as it drains. The bag hangs by the bedside for use when the patient is in bed. It is also available in a plastic container form which has a greater capacity.

Foam Strips: Non-irritating adhesive coated on single-sided and double-sided foam strips to secure external devices onto sensitive tissue. Primarily used with non-adhesive external catheters.

Insertion Trays: Sterile packed equipment used to insert a catheter into the bladder. Available for Foley as well intermittent catheters and can be ordered complete with a catheter or without. Contents may include: Sterile gloves, underpad, syringe with prefilled sterile water, lubricating jelly, swab sticks with povidone or BZK, specimen container.

Irrigation Trays: Sterile packed equipment used in irrigating or flushing out a Foley catheter. Irrigation solution must be prescribed by the doctor and ordered separately. Contents may include: Bulb syringe, plastic graduate, cleansing towelettes presaturated with povidone or BZK.

Leg Bags:  A plastic or latex collection unit which connects to a Foley or external catheter to contain urine as it drains. The bag is worn on the patient’s leg and allows for greater mobility than the bedside drainage bag.

Leg Straps: Designed with velcro to hold a leg bag in place. Variations in this product occur mainly in the material, construction, durability, size and comfort.

Male Urinal: Latex sheath or vinyl collector worn over or around the base of the penis. It is held in place by rubber or cloth supporter.

Penile Clamp: Clamp designed to squeeze the penis to stop the flow of urine. Metal or plastic frame with foam cushion. Adjustable size.

Saline Solution:  A solution used for irrigation of the bladder if prescribed by a doctor.

For more information, see related catheter articles and resources here:

Recent Urological


  1. The clear tubing do not work as well as the yellow tubing.
    I know you are trying to make it better for people with
    disabilites, but the clear tubing is not better.

    1. Thank you for sharing your feedback about the tubing. Your opinion is important to us. When you place your next order, you may want to ask your Customer Service Rep about other options that may be available to you. Thanks again.

  2. I am looking for a bedside bag (2000 ml) that has a Christmas tree on the long tuning that goes into the silicone cath .Do you have any suggestons?

    1. Hi Dana. Thank you for your question. Our urological expert asked me to pass on this answer: “Yes. Try the Rusch bedside bag, RY 390000. It has a Christmas tree connector at the end of the long tubing.”

  3. I have been using intermittent catheterization at home for about two months. It seems to be going well since I can wash hands and genitals each time in a place that I control. I will be traveling, and am concerned about how to manage this if the only available place is a public facility. At home, I have ample soap and water, towels, stools, benches, and counters, so two hands are enough. But I am having trouble envisioning how this can be managed with two hands in a typical men’s restroom stall. If there are people here with applicable experience, please send suggestions. I am ambulatory and have no major motion limitations.

    1. Hi John! Thank you for commenting. Nice to hear that you’ll be traveling soon – we hope you have a great trip! We don’t have any articles about catheterizing in a public restroom currently, but we will add that to our list of articles to research and write. In the meantime, this article looks helpful. And we would recommend a product of ours, the JAW (stands for Just Add Water). You can use it to self-cath while on the go. Check it out, and feel free to order a sample to see if it works for you. Thanks! -Aimee, Shield HealthCare

  4. John, When I use a catheter in a public wash room, I wash my hands and take extra paper towels with me and look for a stall with a flat surface such as a window sill, a commode cover, or a toilet paper dispenser. With a flat surface I can open the catheter package, then use a sterile wipe to clean the penis with, using the same wipe I also clean the lubricant package (4 gram) and my fingers and hands before touching the catheter. I the open the lubricant packet and squeeze the lubricant onto the opened catheter. Next step is to carefully pick up the catheter and rotate the tip part (about 4 inches) of the catheter in the lubricant to cover it with the lubricant. Then proceed to insert the catheter and relieve yourself. When finished I carefully wrap all of the paraphernalia in the extra paper towels I have ,flush the toilet and leave the stall. After discarding the “trash” I again wash my hands and leave. Not having a flat surface means that you must “juggle” all of this activity. It can be done, just don”t drop anything! By the way I always carry at least two catheters, lubricant and sterile wipes in my fanny pack. Best wishes.

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