Image credit: 123rf
Different catheters are used depending on whether they stay in your bladder or are removed once your bladder is empty.
An intermittent catheter is inserted into your bladder to drain the urine, and once your bladder is empty it’s removed.
Intermittent catheters are inserted a few times throughout the day, as decided by your doctor or nurse. Many people learn how to insert a catheter themselves (self-catheterise).
An indwelling catheter (IDC) is a flexible tube inserted into your bladder but, unlike an intermittent catheter, it’s not removed when your bladder is empty. It’s held in place by a small, water-filled balloon that’s connected to the catheter. The catheter is attached to a drainage bag outside your body that can be secured to your leg or rest on the floor.
Some indwelling catheters continuously drain urine from your bladder while others have a valve that is opened every few hours to drain your bladder when it feels full.
A suprapubic catheter is a tube that is inserted through your abdominal wall into your bladder. Urine is drained from your bladder into a drainage bag outside your body. A small stitch in your abdomen helps to keep a suprapubic catheter in place.
Suprapubic catheters are used when your urethra is damaged or a catheter is unable to be inserted through your urethra. They can be a good long-term option and are more practical for people who are sexually active.
Uridomes or condoms
A uridome is a sheath placed over the penis to collect urine. It's made of silicon and is attached to a urinary bag. These are a non-invasive alternative to a catheter for males with incontinence. They can be helpful to reduce infection. They're not suitable for everyone and require assessment first with an ultrasound of your kidneys and bladder.