Urinary catheters come in many different brands; however, there are three different catheters for male and female patients. Catheters are inserted, using a sterile technique to decrease introduction of harmful bacteria into the urethra that can lead to a urinary tract infection.
Self-adhering catheter/Texas catheter/condom catheter:
This catheter is used by the male patient. It is applied over the penis; much like a condom would be used. The tubing is already attached to the sleeve over the penis. This tubing in turn is connected to a leg bag and cannot be detected under clothing. When the person is ready for bed, the tubing can be reattached to a larger bedside drainage bag for night-time use.
Intermittent catheter or straight catheter
This catheter does not have tubing and is not attached to a bag. It is inserted into a male or female urethra in order to drain the urine from the bladder, then it is removed and disposed of.
Foley catheters are inserted into the bladder for short or long term and are changed at specific intervals, usually monthly. The catheter is attached to long tubing that is connected to a drainage bag/bedside, at night or to a leg bag during the day.
Policy used to be that, catheters especially for home use could be used repeatedly. This is an unsafe practice and should not be done, due to UTI risks.