What is the right size of catheter for me?

Catheter sizes include the length and diameter, which is measured in French or Cherrier sizes. Catheter French sizes generally start very small at 5 or 6 French and progresses upward in size in even 2 French size increments, through to as large as 24 French.

For adults, many will use between a 10 French to 16 French size catheter and a male or female length depending on your gender, but your healthcare provider will help to decide the right size for you.

For children, boys may need to use a pediatric length or longer 12-16 inch, 30-40cm, length catheter to ensure it is long enough to reach the bottom of the bladder and provide complete emptying. Girls can actually use either a male or a female short style catheter as the female urethra is much shorter. Any child who has had surgical creation of a catheterizable stoma will need to use a male length catheter to ensure it can reach all the way to the bottom of the bladder.

The French size required is dependent upon the anatomy of the urethra or stoma as well your or your child’s body size.


Adjusting to cathing can be tough. You might find yourself dealing with a range of practical, physical and emotional challenges. You don’t have to figure it out alone. Call and talk to a member of the me+ support team today. Call 1-800-422-8811 (M-F, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM ET).


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GentleCath™ users should feel confident knowing they are cathing with products designed for safety and ease of use. Only GentleCath™ Glide catheters feature FeelClean™ Technology, which is designed to provide greater comfort and less mess during cathing. Does your catheter have the latest technology? Learn more and request free product samples now.  

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