Frequently Asked Questions

Q : How do hydrophilic catheters differ from conventional intermittent catheters ?
A : Hydrophilic catheters have a special surface that binds water. When activated this makes hydrophilic catheters extremely slippery, which means that the abrasion caused by the catheter on the urethra is minimized. You do not need any additional lubricant when using a hydrophilic catheter.
Q : What are the benefits of hydrophilic catheters ?
A : Hydrophilic catheters have much lower friction than conventional catheters. This means less damage to the urethra. Repeated damage to the urethra can lead to urinary tract infections and various urethral complications.
Q : Who should use hydrophilic catheters?
A : With the lower friction offered by hydrophilic catheters, anyone feeling pain or discomfort when passing a catheter will usually experience a big difference when using a hydrophilic catheter compared to a conventional catheter. However, even those who do not have sensation in the urethra will benefit from the reduced risk of urinary tract infections and urethral complications.
Q : Are hydrophilic catheters reusable ?
A : No. The hydrophilic surface deteriorates after one use. If reused, friction will increase and the risk of urinary tract infections and urethral trauma will be higher.
Q : Does it matter which kind of hydrophilic catheter I use?
A : All hydrophilic catheters have the same kind of surface. However, the quality varies significantly between different brands. The hi-slip® catheters have been shown to have lower friction than other hydrophilic catheters. This could lead to even better protection of the urethra than other hydrophilic catheters.
Q : Are hydrophilic catheters latex free?
A : Hydrophilic catheters, like conventional catheters, may or may not be latex free. All hi-slip® catheters are latex free.
Q : Do I need a prescription for hydrophilic catheters?
A : All intermittent catheters require a prescription. This is mandated by law.
Q : What kind of water can I use to hydrate my catheter?
A : Most urologists recommend using regular tap water and no problems have been reported by patients doing this. If you have any doubts about using tap water you should ask your doctor. If you have concerns about the quality of your tap water, or if you are away from home, you can use bottled water to hydrate your catheter. hi-slip® plus and hi-slip® kit have a water sachet included.
Q : Do I need a lubricant when using a hydrophilic catheter?
A : All you need is to soak the catheter in water, no additional lubricant is needed. Even without the messy lubricant the hydrophilic catheter will get better and more evenly lubricated as water is extremely slippery. As opposed to an external lubricant the water will stay on the catheter, which means that it will also be lubricated on withdrawal.
Q : How often do I need to catheterize?
A : The frequency varies due to indication, size of the bladder and intake of fluid. Usually 4 to 5 times per day is sufficient. Your doctor or nurse will determine what is best for you.
Q : What size of catheter should I use?
A : The size you should use depends on your age and the condition of your urethra. Usually the largest size that is safe and comfortable is preferred as it lets you empty your bladder as quickly as possible. Your doctor or nurse will determine what size is best for you
Q : Does it hurt to catheterize?
A : If you have sensation in your urethra it may be uncomfortable to pass a catheter. Pain or discomfort can be caused by the friction between the catheter and the urethra. Generally speaking the risk of pain and discomfort is lower if the friction is lower. This means that hydrophilic catheters, and especially hi-slip®, minimizes the risk of pain and discomfort.
Q : Is it a problem if I touch the catheter?
A : No, the bacteria that you could transfer to the catheter should not be a problem. As long as you empty the bladder frequently and completely, the bacteria will normally not have a chance to colonize.
Q : What can I do if I find it difficult to hold on to the catheter?
A : The reason it may be hard to hold on to a hydrophilic catheter is that it is so very slippery. This is also why it is so beneficial to use. The hi-slip®, catheter has a special package that can be used to hold on to when inserting it, allowing you to use a touch-less technique. Please click Directions For Use to learn more about this.