Using a urinary catheter has various challenges, and one of these is emptying your bladder while you’re away from home. If you’re not comfortable performing a catheterization in a public bathroom or bringing a regular catheter outdoors, you may consider using a compact catheter instead. 

With their ease of use and portability, compact catheters can be a great option for men and women who want a greater sense of freedom and control and continue their active lifestyle with less hindrance. In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of compact catheters: their definition, benefits, and the types available to you.

A brief introduction to intermittent catheterization

Intermittent catheterization refers to the insertion and removal of a catheter to empty the bladder several times a day. This process is performed through various methods: sterile, aseptic, self-catheterization, no-touch, and clean catheterization. At first, using an intermittent catheter, especially for self-catheterization, can seem daunting, but it can become easy with practice. Who should use an intermittent catheter?

Health professionals may recommend the use of intermittent catheters to patients experiencing urinary incontinence or those who recently had surgery on the prostate and genitals.  These may also be recommended to individuals with certain neurological conditions.

What are compact catheters?

Compact catheters are under the umbrella of intermittent catheters. Compact catheters are also called “pocket catheters” or “travel catheters” because they are smaller than regular catheters but made with the same materials. 

There are pocket catheters with a full standard length and a unique shorter, curved packaging. Some can also be folded without damaging the tube.

The differences between compact catheters and regular catheters

Despite their smaller size, compact catheters have the same function as standard catheters. However, the lengths and packages of pocket catheters can be shorter than regular ones.

Unlike regular catheters, compact catheters can fit inside your pocket, purse, makeup bag, or briefcase. These catheters are enclosed in a compact case, similar to a lipstick or mascara that you can easily slide into your pocket. They can also be folded, so it’s easier to bring them anywhere you go.

Why you should use a compact catheter

  • It’s a discreet catheter

Carrying a visible standard catheter in public places can make you feel uncomfortable. If you’re going on a vacation trip or you want to have fewer worries while performing outdoor activities, you may opt for a compact catheter. 

  • It offers freedom and control

With a compact catheter, you can easily empty your bladder anytime and anywhere. Adult males and females, and even children, can use compact catheters with ease through regular practice. 

  • It’s convenient

Having a catheter at all times limits your movement. With a compact catheter, you can have more privacy and freedom, so you can continue with your normal life after emptying your bladder.

  • It’s a safer solution

Unlike indwelling or long-term catheters, using compact catheters doesn’t lead to several complications such as pain and discomfort, blockage, and bladder spasm.

What to expect when using compact catheters

Inserting compact catheters or any intermittent catheters can be painful. Compact catheters are generally pre-lubricated. It is important to note that long-term use of these catheters can lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs) and narrowing of the urethra. 

Consult your healthcare expert to ensure that you are aware of the benefits and possible disadvantages of using a pocket catheter before ordering. If you experience any problems while using this type of intermittent catheter, call your doctor immediately. 

Choosing the best compact catheter for you

Whether you’re a new or seasoned user, getting the best pocket catheter for you may require some trial and error. You must consider your product options, design preferences and budget prior to ordering. To ensure that you make the best decision, you can familiarize yourself with the different features and specifications of compact catheters or seek professional advice. 

Here are the following important points you must think about when choosing a compact catheter:

  • Infection risk
  • French size (a scale used to measure the size of the catheter)
  • Length
  • Tip (straight vs. coudé/bent tip) 

Choosing a compact catheter

Compact catheters come in various lengths and types. Before buying a catheter, ask a healthcare professional for help to ensure that you can get the one that meets your specific needs.  

  • Hydrophilic Catheters

A hydrophilic catheter is an intermittent catheter that doesn’t require the application of lubricating jelly which means that you don’t need to touch the catheter tube, which reduces the possibility of germs contaminating the urethra. 

If you experience pain or difficulty during self-catheterization, you might want to try a hydrophilic catheter.

Where to get a compact catheter

Consult your doctor and search for a supplier that offers your chosen pocket catheter. You can make the process faster and easier when you sign up here at Better Health. 

We aim to effectively assist you in finding and ordering compact catheters or other medical supplies you need. As one of our members, we are also glad to provide you with free samples.

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