Continence Issues: Catheters and their uses

Author: Coloplast Ltd.

There are many different reasons why you, or someone close to you, may need to pay special attention to managing their bladder.

Bladder problems typically take the form of urinary incontinence (leaking urine) and urinary retention (inability to empty the bladder) and can arise from neurogenic disorders such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and spina bifida. Incontinence and retention can also be age related, or result from an underlying physical disease, caused by a dysfunction in the bladder.

Dealing with urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence issues are more common than you may think. Approximately one in 20 men over the age of 18, and one in 10 over the age of 60 may experience symptoms of incontinence.

If you have issues with leaking urine, the condition is often treated with absorbent pads and pants, despite there being alternative and discreet solutions such as sheaths and bags are used effectively by many men and surgical solutions for women, which have been proven to improve the quality of life.

Conveen sheaths are worn over the penis like a condom and connected to a collecting bag. It is important you use the right size sheath while finding the right collecting bag depends on how much you leak.

Dealing with bladder retention

If you have difficulty emptying your bladder, you will typically use an intermittent catheter. Your first step will be to find a catheter that fits you and your lifestyle. It is important that you follow the guidance of your health care professional when choosing a catheter and finding the right routine for you.

Intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC) is simply a term to describe the process of regular catheterisation to remove urine from your bladder. A catheter is a thin plastic device specifically designed to empty your bladder artificially.

ISC will help you take back control of your bladder, and give you the freedom to get on with activities that are important to you. It may take some practice at first, but once you know the routine you will be able to fit it into your daily life.

Sticking to your catheterisation routine is important, because it helps keep your bladder healthy.

It is also important that you use a catheter that fits with your lifestyle, so that you can do the things you want to and make sure catheterisation takes up as little of your time and attention as possible.

Self-catheterisation should only be commenced following advice and guidance from your healthcare professional. Maintaining good hygiene practices is important when self-catheterising in order to avoid infection.


Coloplast develop products and services that make life easier for people with very personal and private medical conditions. Working closely with our consumers and healthcare professionals, we create solutions that are sensitive to your special needs. Whatever the reason, Coloplast are committed to improving your quality of life through the provision of continence products and solutions designed to make the management of your symptoms easier and more convenient.

Choose a catheter that fits your everyday life

Finding the right catheter is a very personal choice and the best one for you might not be the first one that you try. Research shows that being satisfied with your catheter solution is very important for maintaining a good routine and thereby ensuring good bladder health. * Therefore it is important to find the catheter solution that suits you.

Which catheter should I choose?

Different life situations or everyday activities sometimes require different intermittent catheterisation solutions. There are a number of different types of catheter you can use for intermittent catheterisation: standard length catheters, compact catheters and catheter sets where a urine bag is attached to the catheter.

Our compact catheters are designed to be more discreet and they have a non-medical look to avoid unwanted attention.

You might need to try different ones before you find one that fits you and your lifestyle the best.

Why is the coating important?

There are several types of coatings for catheters. Surveys suggest that hydrophilic-coated catheters are the most comfortable, convenient and easy to use. They have also been linked with lower rates of infection and urethral damage when compared with other catheters.

All of our SpeediCath catheters have a hydrophilic coating and are instantly ready to use.

View the complete range of innovative catheter solutions, designed to offer you discretion, ease of use, and convenience.





*Barbosa et. al. 2012

Information contained in this Articles page has been supplied by a company who has paid to promote here. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments and cannot vouch or verify any claims that the authors have made. talkhealth cannot provide any advice on whether a particular product or treatment is suitable. If you are in any doubt about any of the products you read about, we advise you to either contact the company concerned or seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine.

Last revised: 2 November 2016

Next review: 2 May 2018