What Is Urine Catheterization? Different Types of Catheters and Their Working

January 5, 2023

As a patient who is recommended to use urine catheters, you must have a set of questions starting with the basics, such as “What is urine catheterization?” or “How are the urine catheters inserted?” or “Is urine catheterization a painful procedure?” Catheterization of the urinary tract is a common medical procedure that involves the insertion of thin, flexible tubes called catheters into the urinary system to drain the bladder. And it is recommended by doctors for patients who find difficulty peeing or as a pre-surgery procedure. 

Urinary bladders are drained empty with a flexible tube called a catheter, hence the name urine catheterization. These urinary catheters are inserted by nurses, doctors, or other special health care providers. Apart from that, post-hospitalization, urine catheterization at home can be done with ease. 

Keep reading to learn more about urinary catheters, including how they are inserted, what benefits they provide, potential drawbacks, and home urinary catheter care.

Urine Catheters and Different Types of Urine Catheters

A urinary catheter is a hollow, transparent tube that is inserted into the bladder to collect urine and then drained into a collection bag. Catheters that drain urine can be roughly put into the following groups, with the details depending on the needs and medical history of the patient: 

  • Indwelling Catheters/Urethral or Suprapubic Catheters

The main advantage of indwelling catheters is that they can stay in the bladder for an extended period instead of being painfully removed several times per day. To access the bladder, indwelling catheters (also called Foley catheters) are threaded through the walls of the stomach or the urethra. It can be placed there for a very long period, even up to 8 weeks, and changed later by a nurse.

Catheters inserted through the urethra are called urethral catheters, while those inserted through the walls of the stomach are called supra-pubic catheters. When comparing the two types of catheters, the urethral catheter is the clear winner due to its simplicity of insertion. On the other hand, one will also have to deal with infections that are related to it.

  • Intermittent  Catheters/Short-Term Catheters

What distinguishes intermittent catheters from indwelling catheters is how often they must be removed. There will be a need to insert a new catheter each time the urine is drained. This means that you get to change your catheters every time you go to the bathroom. Since intermittent catheters can be inserted by themselves, this type of catheterization is also referred to as CISC, which stands for clean intermittent self-catheterization.

By emptying the bladder at regular times, the chance of getting an infection is greatly reduced. This makes intermittent catheterization a good choice. As was previously mentioned, the insertion of an intermittent catheter into the bladder does not require any additional assistance. On the other hand, it is important to see a nurse if you have recurring infections. It is an intermittent catheter preferred by doctors when you opt for home urinary catheter care

  • Condom Catheters/ External Catheters

Males who suffer from frequent episodes of urinary incontinence may be fitted with external catheters, which, as their name suggests, are positioned externally. The device is similar to a condom in that it covers the head and is connected to a drainage bag. It is highly recommended that you change it daily to reduce the risk of severe infections.

What Are the Different Methods of Emptying Bladders with Indwelling Catheters?

Indwelling catheters are more popular than other catheters because they can be inserted in a variety of ways to meet specific needs. Indwelling catheters can be inserted in a variety of ways, as follows:

  • Intermittent draining of urine with the help of a catheter valve

As the word “intermittent” suggests, the drainage bag can be opened so that it can be drained at regular intervals. The valve can then be closed to refill the bag. By doing this, you won’t need to keep a drainage bag on you at all times. So, draining your bladder every once in a while keeps it from getting infections and keeps it in good shape.

  • Continuous draining of urine with the help of a catheter attached to a drainage bag

This type of draining involves the permanent attaching of drainage bags. Due to the lack of hand dexterity associated with spinal cord injuries, a supra-pubic catheter is the preferred method of catheter insertion. Since the drainage bag is attached for an extended period, the urinary bladder can be continuously emptied.

Thus, indwelling catheters owing to these many options can become one of the best choices when choosing urine catheterization at home

Indwelling catheters come with additional options for people:

  • Who are unable to walk

For those who have trouble getting around, a 2-liter drainage bag can be attached to the catheters for extended periods. These drains must then be attached to the bed or chair.

  • Who can walk 

With the help of straps, a drainage bag can be worn for an entire day along the leg or stomach. Each individual’s needs can be met by adjusting the length of the tube.

How to Benefit from Inserting Urine Catheters?

Catheters, whose primary function is to empty the urinary bladder, have a slew of advantages, including:

  • Urine catheters make it simple to pass urine even if the urethra is blocked.
  • Designed to aid urination in cases where nerve damage has rendered normal urination difficult.
  • Mothers who experience problems with their bladder control due to epidural anesthesia during childbirth may benefit from urine catheters.
  • It gives the person more control over their bladder and allows them to empty it regularly.
  • It paves the way for the nurses and doctors to drain the bladder before, after, or even during the procedure.
  • It can even be used to treat urinary incontinence when other treatments have failed.

Who Might  Require Urine Catheterization?

Urine catheterization is recommended for people who can’t control when they urinate or who have urinary retention or incontinence. Moreover, the following factors contribute to this condition:

  • Kidney stones, a clot, or an enlarged prostate gland can all cause urinary obstruction.
  • When undergoing procedures involving the hip or genitalia.
  • In cases where there has been significant nerve damage.
  • Inability due to certain physical or mental abilities like dementia.
  • The consequences of a spinal cord injury.

Top-Notch Home Catheter Care in UAE

It is a known fact that healing happens faster and better at home than anywhere else. Salamati home care professionals are committed to meeting this demand by offering comprehensive catheter care in the UAE in their comfort zone. Our team of qualified experts stands out from the competition for their ability to provide timely, appropriate care and assistance.

Urine catheterization at home is performed with ease by professionals, making your life easier and less stressful. Our expert staff will make you feel at ease as they change your urinary catheter promptly while maintaining your privacy and comfort. Get in touch with us right away to discover how our services can enhance your life.


  • What happens if urine catheters are not inserted in the bladder of patients with difficulty peeing?

If a catheter is not inserted in a patient with difficulty urinating, they may experience complications such as urinary retention, bladder infections, and kidney damage. Urinary retention is when the bladder is unable to empty, leading to an accumulation of urine in the bladder which may lead to further complications.

  • What are the risks associated with urine catheterization? 

Risks associated with urine catheterization include urinary tract infections, bladder or urethral damage, bleeding, or pain.

  • How is a urine catheter inserted? 

Urine catheters are inserted through the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Depending on the type of catheter used, the procedure may be done in a doctor’s office or a hospital setting.

  • Who will care for my urine catheter at home?

Salamati healthcare has a team of licensed nurses who can insert, care and maintain a foley catheter. 




Salamati is one of the premium healthcare providers in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and the UAE. We provide a wide range of healthcare services in the comfort of your home, hotel, or office. Our services include home nursing care, physiotherapy, speech therapy, doctor on-call, and nutrition consultation at home.


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