Coude Catheters: What You Need to Know

Date:  Jun 10, 2021  |  Read Time: 4 min

Coude catheters and urinary catheters, in general, are essential matters that people have limited knowledge about and are rarely being discussed. This results in people having difficulty choosing the right type of catheter, hindering them from having a safe and comfortable catheter that can help them manage their incontinence and achieve a better quality of life.


This blog will help you learn what a coude catheter is and its different types and sizes, so you can choose the best kind for you.


What is a Coude Catheter?

Coude catheter is a type of catheter that is majorly straight, but has a bent tip to make insertion into the urethra easier. Coude is a French word that means “bend.”


A coude catheter tip is best for people who have difficulty passing a straight tip intermittent catheter, which is most common in men. Doctors may recommend this specific type of catheter to men for reasons like urethral strictures, blockages, enlarged prostates, or false passages. Meanwhile, it can also be recommended to women who are suffering from vaginal atrophy.


Different Types of Coude Catheter Tips

Coude catheters have different types of tips that have distinct characteristics and benefits, according to the challenges being experienced by the users. These are:


Tapered Tip

Coude Catheter Tapered Tip - DMR


Tapered tip is used to navigate through strictures, bypass enlarged prostates, or deal with the most common obstruction or blockage needs, so it is more manageable. These benefits are possible because the tip is a short, strong curve that is smaller at the insertion point. This coude catheter tip is also the most commonly used and is the standard type of coude catheters.


Olive Tip

Coude Catheter Olive Tip - DMR


This type of coude catheter tip helps avoid getting stuck on any obstructions that a Tapered or Tiemann tip might catch. Its end extends out to look like a small round tip. It is a little larger than a standard tip, but the circular shape helps widen narrow urethras so that insertion is more comfortable.


Tiemann Tip

Coude Catheter Tiemann Tip - DMR

Locust Medical Supply

Tiemann tip also helps navigate narrower passages and bypass strictures just like a Tapered tip. The Tiemann tip is the most elongated and thin and is usually more flexible than other coude catheter tips. It is most commonly used by people who have a very narrow urethra and cannot fit a Tapered or Olive Tip without discomfort. Its flexibility can help achieve better comfort during catheterization.


Coude Catheter Sizes to Choose From

Below, you will find all various coude catheter sizes available to choose from, following the French scale.


  • 6 Fr Catheters
  • 8 Fr Catheters
  • 10 Fr Catheters
  • 12 Fr Catheters
  • 14 Fr Catheters
  • 16 Fr Catheters
  • 18 Fr Catheters
  • 20 Fr Catheters
  • 22 Fr Catheters


Most coude catheter sizes are male in length because men often use coude catheters rather than women.


The average male catheter French size range runs from 14-16 French (Fr), and the most common size is 14 Fr. Meanwhile, the average female catheter size range runs from 10-12 Fr, and the most common length is 12 Fr.


Possible Problems When The Coude Catheter Size is Wrong

For some men, urine may leak around the coude catheter instead of in a smooth stream through the catheter. This leak may happen if the catheter diameter is smaller than the diameter of the urethra.


On the other hand, users might feel a tight and burning sensation during insertion if the catheter is too big. Moreover, large catheters can make minor tears in the urethra and, in extreme cases, cause blood in the urine.


However, a lack of lubrication and an inflexible catheter can still make insertion uncomfortable even if the size is right.


The easiest and safest way to know the best coude catheter size is to consult a prescribing doctor to prevent complications. Some providers also give out free samples for people to try to determine what is best and comfortable for them.



To summarize, the coude catheter is often used by men who have difficulties and are uncomfortable using a straight tip catheter. Through using coude catheters, users can experience improved comfort during catheterization. It has different types of tips such as the Tapered, Olive, and Tiemann tips. Each tip has various uses and benefits, like navigating narrow strictures and obstructions.


We hope this blog helped you learn more about coude catheters and find the right kind for you. To avoid complications, we still recommend visiting your doctor and getting the best size prescribed.


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