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Why use a Coudé Catheter?

Did you know Coudé is a 19th-century French word literally meaning 'bent at right angles?' They used it to describe a bend or an elbow. What does this have to do with catheters?


Well, it turns out quite a lot. We hope to help you navigate the confusing medical jargon associated with catheters so you have a firm standing for managing your health.


Some of the most common questions we get at Summit Xpress are about Coudé catheters. What are they? Why would I use them?


What is a Coudé Catheter?


There are many different types of intermittent catheters, and most people use a straight catheter type. In cases when a straight catheter cannot serve its purpose, doctors make use of the coudé tip catheter for easier insertion.


A coudé tip catheter is one of the intermittent catheter types. It has a curved tip, which helps insertion into the urethra and makes it more accessible to those who have difficulty in using a straight catheter, such as with urethral strictures or BPH.


Technically speaking, it is the same as the straight catheter apart from its specialized tip. The coudé tip also features a hollow and flexible tube where urine can pass through to empty the bladder.


Main Parts of Coudé Catheter


A Coudé catheter has two main parts. Each part plays an important role in the proper flow of urine. These parts need to function well to ensure that the catheter is doing its job correctly in aiding with urine passage.


Non-insertion end. This is the small, hollow, and plastic funnel that permits the urine to drain to a container or drainage bag. The tube needs to be flexible, and you must ensure that it is not blocked in any way. Sometimes, there might be sediments that pass through along with the urine. Sediments may stay and lodge themselves in the tube and block further urine passage. You need to check the tube from time to time to ensure that urine passes through correctly.


Insertion end. This part is the eyelets – oval-shaped holes – that you insert into the body to reach the bladder and empty the urine. During insertion, this part of the catheter must be kept sterile at all times to prevent infection and other untoward problems brought about by unsanitary practices and bacteria.


Different Types of Coudé Tip Catheters


Tapered Tip Coudé Catheter. This is one of the most common coudé tip catheter types. A tapered coudé tip catheter features a short yet strong curve that is smaller at the insertion end. It is great for people with enlarged prostates or any conditions with abnormal narrowing of the urine passage.

Tiemann Tip Coudé Catheter. The Tiemann coudé tip catheter is also a tapered coudé catheter. However, it is longer and narrower than the traditional tapered one. Moreover, it is a lot more flexible compared to other coudé catheters making it more comfortable for you during the insertion stage.

Olive Tip Coudé Catheter. An olive tip coudé catheter has a more bulbous tip. It is more rounded and larger compared to other Coudé tip catheters. An olive tip catheter is most often used when there is a need to widen a narrow urethra. It also helps in avoiding false passages within the bladder and getting away from other small obstructions, which both the tapered and Tiemann coudé tip catheters might have a hard time avoiding.

Why Do I Need to Use Coudé Catheters?


The use of coudé catheters often depends on your doctor or urologist’s assessment. A lot of factors affect this decision, such as your medical condition and your body’s natural physiology. The use of a coudé catheter is for both men and women. However, it is mostly used by men who experience blockage or obstruction in their urethra caused by several factors.


Some factors that may lead to the use of coudé tip catheters are:

  • Usage of regular catheters that give you discomfort

  • Trouble inserting regularly tipped catheters

  • BPH – benign prostatic hyperplasia

  • Abnormal narrowing of the urethra

  • False passages

  • Pre-prostate surgery

  • Cancer radiation treatment in the pelvic area

  • Urinary stricture problems

  • Urethral trauma

  • Women with atrophic vagina


It is best to consult with your physician to know whether it is suitable for you to use a coudé catheter or not. Make sure that you also get the correct French size for your catheter to ensure that it fits perfectly and will not be dislodged or pose any problems along the way. Catheterization size is an important aspect you need to know regardless of what reason you have in using a coudé catheter.


Where Can I Get the Best Brand of Coudé Catheter?


Summit Xpress Medical Supply provides you with the best brands of coudé catheters that you need!

We are a company that specializes in incontinence products and incontinence supplies, particularly on different catheter types and French sizes. Whatever types of catheter you need, and for whatever reasons, we can supply it for you.


Our company supplies the best medical products to help you live your life to the best you possibly can regardless of your health. Moreover, we provide an exceptional 24/7 customer service that will assist you with every question you have regarding the incontinence products and other incontinence supplies we offer.


We have insurance specialists to aid you in maximizing your insurance benefits! We believe that it is you who should have control over your insurance, and you have the right to maximize it the most you can. We will also handle your paperwork as well as billing so that transacting with us will be a smooth experience for you.

© 2010 Summit Xpress Medical Supply

303 Linwood Avenue Suite 1D Fairfield, CT 06824

Tel: 800-219-4301

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