A coude catheter is a special type of catheter for use by men especially if they have a prostate condition.
Coude is the name for the tip of the catheter. The tip is slightly bent or curved (about 1/8 of an inch) to help it get through the prostate more easily as it slides up your pee tube — your urethra.
It is ideal to use if you suffer from an enlarged prostate which makes catheter insertion more tricky because of the pressure on the pee tube — the urethra — caused by the enlarged size of the prostate.
Self catheterization by men, the do-it-yourself male catheter insertion, is made so much easier with the help of the coude catheter. That little bend sure helps it get through the last bit.
A well-designed one will have a slight ridge on the opposite end of the catheter, the part you hold, so you can align it facing upwards so the tip is positioned correctly as it moves through your urethra to the prostate.
Sometimes they are called a coude tip catheter to explain its purpose. It's the same thing. If you have BPH, or enlarged prostate conditions, then this is the type of catheter to use. You can still get by with straight tipped ones but the help this ones gives is worthwhile to use if you have a choice.
Inserting a catheter is not hard to do and will not be painful, a bit uncomfortable but totally doable by you if you get a prostate attack and can't go!
My first choice is the SpeediCath Coudé Intermittent Catheters. That's it in the image above. They simply make catheter insertion as simple and pain free as possible.
It is more expensive than others (about $3 to $4—I paid $10 when I first found them!), but the ease of application in an emergency is well worth it. I have used $1 catheters, and they work but nowhere near as easily. Plus they are uncomfortable to use. Be extremely careful when buying catheters and ensure they are sterile; sterility has been built into the package design of these SpeediCath beauties.
You can order them by the box, or scroll down for the option of buying one at a time to try them out.
I will describe how to use the cheap ones on a different page (Male Catheter Insertion), but the SpeediCaths are more than well worth the extra price for the hopefully rare occasions that you will have to use them. They take the trauma and worry away, believe me, because I have had difficulties getting the cheap ones through the last inch or two on several occasions.
I once failed and had to call an ambulance. It took me 5 hours to get to the emergency room. Please don’t skimp here! I will share tips on the cheap ones in case that is all you have, but these SpeediCaths (either Coudé or straight) are the ones to buy. Period.
(Just enter the "SpeediCath Coudé Intermittent Catheters" in Search. You can then choose 12 FR, 14" Length (that means 12 gauge size). You can buy one at a time or a box for the best deal.)
Inserting a SpeediCath at Home:
Pull back and out a little bit (an inch or 2 cm) and then start forward in again.
Ensure that the line is up as we mentioned above.
Twist the coude catheter with your fingers maybe a quarter of a
turn or more and that will help find a way through. Keep twisting back and forth and
very gently pushing until it slips through the last little bit. Most
of the time it will go through without any problem.
But you now know
what to do just in case. I was taught this technique by a great
emergency room nurse who explained that “finesse is the trick.”
Oh had I known that! I had been forcing it, and it didn’t work
(causing blood to come out) and that was why I was there in the
emergency room. Never force it! (By the way I was not using a touchless catheter like the SpeediCath then.)
FINESSE - GENTLE - TWIST. You will succeed easily with this trick (if you should need it). I didn’t need it after I discovered the SpeediCath coude catheter. They are just so good! If at any time even before this last bit you encounter resistance then pull back a bit and use the finesse turning trick to help the catheter through.
Here's what happens next:
It is really quite easy to use a coude catheter, even though I have gone into great length to describe what to do. You can use them anywhere you have to. I always travel with one or two and some alcohol wipes, especialy if you travel by air.
Catheter Prostate Kit
Here is a list of items to create the minimal Prostate Kit. You really won’t need the optional items, but I list them in case you can’t find the coude catheter: SpeediCaths. If you want other less expensive catheters, go here: Other Catheters
Minimum Prostate Kit:
For home use:
Tip: Add a SpeediCath Coudé Intermittent Touchless Catheter to your first aid kit.
In the very rare case that a lubricated catheter is unable to pass through the prostate using all the above techniques, then use a non-lubricated one like these below. Use a higher gauge one: if a 12 did not work, then use a 14. If 14 did not work, use a 16.
This is contrary to what you think that a thinner one would be easier to succeed. The problem is that it is not strong enough to push through your enlarged prostate. A wider one will do the trick!
Make sure the blue line is pointing upwards so the coude tip is up and you will be able to push a little firmer. Use some
Xylocaine before inserting as described earlier.
That's still a soft catheter.
Another option is a stiffer one:
But the size is the key when you have problems getting through. That is why it is wise to have a bigger size as a Plan B just in case.
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