HomeblogWhat is the difference between an intermittent catheter and a Foley catheter?

What is the difference between an intermittent catheter and a Foley catheter?

  • Purpose: Intermittent catheters are used for short-term drainage, typically several times a day, while Foley catheters are used for longer-term drainage, typically several days or more. 
  • Insertion method: Intermittent catheters are inserted and removed each time they are used, while Foley catheters are inserted once and left in place for a longer period of time. 
  • Balloon: Foley catheters have an inflatable balloon at the end that helps keep the catheter in place in the bladder, while intermittent catheters do not have a balloon. 
  • Materials: Intermittent catheters are typically made of flexible materials, such as silicone or PVC, while Foley catheters are made of more rigid materials, such as latex or silicone. 
  • Management: Intermittent catheterization requires more frequent attention and management, as the catheter needs to be inserted and removed multiple times a day. Foley catheters require less frequent attention, but may require more monitoring to ensure they are functioning properly and not causing any complications. 

The type of catheter used depends on the individual’s specific needs and the length of time that urinary drainage is required. Your healthcare provider can help determine which type of catheter is best for you based on your specific circumstances. 

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