A Coude Catheter: Made for Easy Male Catheter Insertion and
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.
Male Catheter Insertion
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.)
For a visual
demonstration, you can go here to watch a video of how to use these
catheters. When on the page, choose “Male using SpeediCath” on
the left side of the page:
Showing Practical Steps for Using a Coude Catheter
SpeediCath at Home:
- Gather all the above items, which you should have ready in a kit
in a ziplock bag plus the towels and a plastic collection bottle for
the urine. A liter or quart size is adequate.
- Wash your hands, including your thumbs, really well then wash your penis with the glans
- Decide where to do the job. I really prefer lying down leaning up,
which is different from the video. Why? Because unlike regular users
who use catheters every day (perhaps because of a spinal cord
injury), you are in trauma by now, having tried everything, and still
you can’t release. You have an enlarged prostate problem. Lying down helps you relax and is less stressful
than standing or even sitting (which is a good second choice). You do
not have to be in the bathroom for this.
- Lay a protective towel under you and another to the side where
your bottle will be to place the external end of the coude catheter tube to
collect the urine.
- Place the items from the kit on the side towel.
- Pull back the tab on the back of the catheter package to expose
the sticky part. Attach the sticky part to the bedframe or side table
within easy reach and pull down on the pull-tab enough to expose the
catheter top without touching anything inside.
- Take the bottle of alcohol, remove the cap and pour some onto the Kleenex or open the swipe pads. You can also use iodine wipes if you prefer. The goal now is to sterilize
everything. Always remember that what you touch from now on must be
wiped clean before using. And you must re-wipe your fingers if you
touch something not yet sterile! Be very careful so as to avoid the
risk of possible infection through careless use.
- Sterilize your hands and then the top of your penis with the glans
pulled down. Using the alcohol, wipe your hands again.
- One hand (your dominant one) now takes the coude catheter out of the
package by gently taking the top of the exposed catheter, pulling it
out of the package and without touching the lower part guides the
catheter tip into the opening at the tip of the penis while the other
hand holds the glans down, tip opened and the penis vertical up from
the body. It won’t be an erection at this point
- If the catheter by accident touches anything, then wipe the spot
with a clean Kleenex with alcohol on it or a pad. Then reinsert. Be
hyper-careful at all times that what goes into the penis is sterile.
- The coude catheter is stiff enough to hold its length as you insert it. Notice that on the external tip there is a line on the edge to show you which way the coude tip is bent. Have that mark facing you upwards... that is the correct angle for it to help pass through the prostate.
- Once in at the top, steadily push it and it will glide its way
through quite easily and with only minor discomfort.
- Once inside, you start to push at a steady slow pace. PULL YOUR PENIS UP STRONGLY SO IT IS STICKING STRAIGHT UP
at a right angle to your body. STRETCHING IT WILL MAKE IT EASIER TO
FIND ITS WAY THROUGH AS IT GOES DEEPER! THIS IS AN IMPORTANT TECHNIQUE!
- Remember to breathe deeply and relax! You are almost done!
Continue to push it through.
- After 8-10 inches you will be coming through the prostate to the
entrance to the bladder, or may be at the entrance to the prostate.
- The sphincter muscle now has to relax
enough to let the catheter through. So if you feel any resistance,
STOP pushing. Finesse is the key to success now and the smooth tip
will be helping you out.
- You basically want to knock on the door and give a bit of time
for the sphincter to relax and open. Wait a good few seconds.
- Push gently. Never force. If it seems blocked and won't pass through, here is the trick
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
Here's what happens next:
- Once you pop through into the bladder (and it will seem like a
lot of the catheter has disappeared inside—leaving 3-6 inches
outside), suddenly urine will squirt free from the external end. Just
put your thumb against the end and place it in the bottle. Then push
the coude catheter a little further so that it is well inside the bladder. (If you want, you can put your finger on the external tip before it enters the bladder, so as not to have the urine release into the air. Just place it in the bottle as you move it through the last bit.)
- Keep the bottle as low as you can beside you so gravity works to
void the bladder.
- You should now be emptying and feeling such a wonderful sense of
relief. Aaaah! Oh so good! At last relief!
- Job well done! Keep holding the coude catheter in place so that it
doesn’t slip out a bit.
- Just lie there and feel the blessings of this little device that
just saved your life!
- The bottle will be receiving more and more of the urine, slowing
down eventually to a trickle.
- Relax and empty. Oh feels so good now!
- After a few minutes or so—there is no rush—and no more urine
flows, then slowly remove a bit of the catheter towards the neck of
the bladder. That may release the last bit of urine near the neck of
- When done pull the catheter all the way out and discard beside
- Rest a bit before clean up.
- Sleep if you can.
- There is no need to worry now, because the act of putting the coude catheter through seems to open the channel and keeps it open after it
is out. Soon, you will have your first pee. It may burn a bit as the
ammonia in the urine touches any part that may have been irritated by
the catheter but this should be very minor as these are such good
catheters. Any discomfort will soon pass as the day progresses.
- If you do not know the cause, do your detective work and figure
out what caused the prostate attack. Now is the time to personally
test all that you recently ate.
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:
- 1 SpeediCath catheter lubricated: SpeediCath Coudé Intermittent Catheters or Straight-Tip SpeediCath. Choose 12 gauge 14” (#28492 - 12 FR, 14" Length) catheter for men. Buy several so that you have back-ups for the car, home, work, travel bag, etc. 12 gauge is the thickness of the tube. If you can't get 12s then 14s are ok as well but not quite as thin. 10s are too thin.
- 6– 10 Alcohol Prep Pads. You can get 200 for a few bucks.
- Xylocaine (very optional): Xylocaine Ointment Tube or Lidocaine With SpeediCath, you really do not need these, but if you are worried, then get some.
- KY jelly (also very optional)
- A plastic ziplock bag to hold all the items together as your emergency prostate kit.
For home use:
- The same kit as described above, but you can substitute a bottle of alcohol with Kleenex tissues that you wet for sterilizing in place of the Alcohol Prep Pads.
- Include 2 towels.
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. 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:
Go from Coude Catheter to Catheter Insertion