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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I order supplies from S2 Medical Supply?

A. Call S2 Medical Supply at 1-888-799-3767 Monday thru Friday from 9AM to 5:30PM or

Fax your order to 1-888-799-2489.

Q. What products does S2 Medical Supply offer?

A. S2 Medical Supply provides intermittent catheters and related supplies, external catheters and related supplies, foley catheters and related supplies, ostomy pouches & wafers and related supplies, as well as child, youth, and adult incontinence supplies.

Q. How do I establish an account with S2 Medical Supply?

A. Call us with the following information:

  • Your name, address, telephone number, and date of birth
  • For Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, the information from your card
  • Your insurance company name, ID, effective date, group name, and telephone number
  • Your physician’s name, address, and telephone number
  • Your diagnosis
  • The supplies you need

Q. How are my supplies shipped?

A. Your supplies are shipped FedEX, USPS or UPS

Q. How long does it take for my supplies to reach me?

A. Usually it takes 1 to 5 business days.

Q. Do I have to pay for shipping?

A. No, orders are shipped free if we bill your insurance company, Medicare, or Medicaid.

Q. Can I get my supplies on a schedule without you calling me?

A. Medicare, Medicaid, and some insurance companies require that we talk to you to determine your current level of supplies, before we can ship your order.

Q. Do I need to call Customer Service each month to re-order my supplies?

A. No, each month your Customer Care Specialist will call you about a week before your next supply order would be needed based on your established usage. Our goal is for you to never run out of suppies.

Q. What if my doctor makes changes to my care that results in me needing fewer or more supplies?

A. Call your Customer Care Specialists as soon as you can.  We will obtain all the necessary documentation to ensure that your supplies are not interrupted.

Q. Do I have to pay any money up front for my supplies?

A. No, not for covered supplies that we bill Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance for.  We will bill you any deductibles or copays after we receive a response from Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance and any secondary insurance you may have.

Self Catheterization


Intermittent self-catheterization is the simple procedure of inserting a catheter through the urethra to drain urine from the bladder.  For most individuals, catheterizing 4 to 6 times a day is average.  The catheterization frequency can vary some and is usually determined initially by your doctor.  As you become expert at managing your bladder, you may find that you can adjust your cathing regimen to your lifestyle.  For the most part, you will cath during the day or waking hours, since the production of urine decreases during the night.  Food, fluid intake, medications, anatomy, other health conditions, and other factors can contribute to how often you need to drain your bladder, so you will need to pay close attention to your body’s needs especially during your first few months of cathing. It is a good idea to keep a record of foods eaten, medications taken, fluid intake, exercise, and basically how you feel each day.  This information can assist your physician as he/she evaluates and manages your condition as well as help you to establish routines that are best for you.

There are many instruction booklets, pamphlets, and sheets that describe how you should catheterize. Most all the catheter manufacturers produce such directions in great detail.  The following basic instructions are only intended to serve as a general guide.  Always follow your physician’s instructions for your care. A series of informational questions and answers will follow the guide.

Male Catheterization
  1. Wash your hands thoroughly cleaning the palms, backs, and fingers well.  Some recommend a full 20 seconds of scrubbing. Dry your hands completely.
  2. Slowly peel the catheter package fully open to expose the entire catheter, but leave the catheter in the package.  It is best not to place the catheter on an unclean surface.
  3. Clean the urethral opening and surrounding area with soap and water, a BZK wipe, or other wipe as instructed by your doctor or other informed medical professional.

    NOTE: You may want to re-order Steps 2 and 3 to best suit you.
  4. Apply a water-soluble lubricant to the tip and first few (5 or 6) inches of the catheter. NOTE: Hydrophilic catheters do not need lubricant.
  5. Position yourself to drain urine into the toilet.
  6. Hold the penis up at a 60 or 70 degree angle with your non-dominant hand. With the fingertips of your dominant hand, slowly insert the catheter into the urethra until urine begins to flow. Continue until urine flow stops.
  7. Slowly withdraw the catheter with a gentle rotating motion. If urine restarts to flow, stop withdrawing until the urine flow stops. Continue that process until no urine flows.
  8. Complete the catheter withdrawal.
  9. Dispose of the catheter, packaging, and lubricant pack in a waste can.
Female Catheterization
  1. Follow Steps 1 through 5 above.
  2. Use your non-dominant hand to spread the labia and use the fingers of your dominant hand to gently insert the catheter through the urethral opening until urine begins to flow.
  3. Push the catheter in another ¾ to and 1 inch.  Finish draining the bladder.
  4. Slowly remove the catheter.  NOTE: If urine begins to flow again, stop withdrawing and allow the urine to finish draining.
  5. Remove the catheter.
  6. Place catheter, packaging, and lubricant packet in waste can.

    As you become comfortable with cathing and adjust your regimen to what is best for you, always keep in mind some basic goals for your cathing program:
  • Drain urine as completely as is practical
  • Work on your cathing technique to minimize discomfort
  • Avoid  Symptomatic Urinary Tract Infections
Questions and Answers

Q. Can I re-use my catheters?

A. The FDA has determined that sterile intermittent catheters are for single use only.  While a few individuals have experienced success with washing and re-using catheters, there is evidence that re-use of catheters can cause urinary tract infections. Medicare, Medicaid, The Office of Veterans Affairs, and many insurance companies recommend or cover sterile single-use catheters.

Q. How do I know if I have drained all the urine out?

A. Use the catheter withdrawal technique of slowly removing the catheter and if urine flow restarts, stop withdrawing until drainage stops, then repeat. When no more drainage occurs as you slowly withdraw and the catheter is no longer inside the bladder, completely withdraw and dispose of the catheter.

Q. What should I do if I see blood in the urine?

A. A small amount of blood on occasion can be normal.  If there is a lot of blood or if you see blood all the time, contact your physician for evaluation.

Q. I am new to cathing and feel like I am meeting too much resistance when I attempt to insert the catheter.

A. Make sure that the catheter is sufficiently lubricated.  Also, try to relax. If you are anxious, you can get tense which can make the sphincter muscle tighten and make it difficult to move the catheter from the urethra into the bladder. As your technique improves, inserting the catheter will become easier.  If you are an experienced catheter user and you encounter difficulty inserting you catheter, see your physician for evaluation.

Q. How much fluid should I drink each day?

A. Adults usually need about 6 to 8 glasses (8oz.) of fluid per day.  This may not be for everyone though so you should work with your physician to establish an appropriate amount for you.  Also, as you become alert and sensitive to your body’s need for hydration, you can adjust to what is best for you.  We usually drink more in hotter more humid climates.  If you suspect a urinary tract infection, you may want to drink more.  When other health factors such as heart and/or kidney disease are involved, you will need your physician to determine how much fluid you should have.

Q. How often should I catheterize?

A. Basic catheterization schedules suggest 4 to 6 times a day.  You and your physician will determine what is best for you.  The goal is to drain the bladder often enough to keep the bladder urine volume at a level that does not cause pressure on the ureters and kidneys. For some conditions, this can be one time a day and for others it may need to be eight times a day. For many conditions, a pre-planned cathing schedule is best. Very active individuals may need to vary their cathing schedules with jobs, hobbies, interests, or travel.  The key is to be sensitive to your cathing needs and never wait too long in between catheterizations especially when you are consuming extra fluids. You must protect your kidneys from damage.

Q. The catheter I am using feels to stiff and hard. Are there other catheters that I could try?

A. Yes, depending on the catheter you are using now, there are soft versions of PVC catheters and red rubber catheters are very soft.  Your S2 Medical Catheter Specialist can discuss the options with you.

Q. I also wear a male external catheter.  Can I catheterize without taking the external catheter off?

A. It is possible but not recommended because when the external catheter is in place, it becomes extremely difficult to clean the urethral opening since it is covered and difficult to access.  Inserting the catheter past the tip of the external catheter without contaminating the tip of the intermittent catheter would be almost impossible.  If possible, you may want to consider using an external catheter that is not self-adherent. This would help minimize skin irritation associated with applying and removing the external catheter.

Q. I have had several urinary tract infections over the last year.  Is there a different catheter that I could use to avoid getting a urinary tract infection.

A. You may benefit from using a closed system catheter. Your S2 Medical Catheter Specialist can discuss the different options with you and work with you and your physician to obtain the medical documentation necessary for you to receive these special catheters.

Q. I am a female. Can I use a male intermittent catheter instead of the female catheter that I have been using?

A. Yes, the female catheter is about 6 inches long and the male catheter is 16 inches long. The male catheter can help female catheter users who need extra length to handle the catheter. Use extra care when cathing so that you do not insert too much of the catheter into the bladder.  The extra length of the male catheter should be for handling purposes or drainage into a toilet, etc and not for deeper insertion into the bladder. If you insert a catheter too far into the bladder, you may not be able to drain urine fully or at all and you may damage the lining of the bladder.

Tips for Using Male External Catheters


Male External Catheters, also called condom catheters, are designed to be a secure leak-free method of draining urine from the bladder.  Remembering a few key points can provide a better experience for the user and for caregivers.

  1. Make sure the right size has been chosen.  If the diameter of external catheter is too large, the catheter will “bunch up” on the skin which can allow leakage to occur.  If the diameter of the external catheter is too small, the catheter may “pop off” which can produce a spill.
  2. Trim hair on the shaft and base of your penis.  It is much better to be overzealous with the trimming.  A razor and shaving cream produce the best results.  Use scissors or electric beard trimmer to trim surrounding hair to about ¼ inch.  This will ensure that the surrounding hair is not caught under the adhesive and result in pulling and/or leaking.
  3. Wash the skin of the penis very well with soap and water before applying the external catheter. It is best to not use soap that contains lotion.  Allow the skin to air dry.  If you have very oily skin or if you live in a climate that is extra humid, you may want to repeat the washing and air dry procedure.  If you do not have air conditioning, you should choose the coolest part of the day to change your catheter and have a fan blowing on you to minimize sweating.  Most external catheters are designed to stay on for 24 hours, but only if the skin is well cared for.
  4. Do not apply a male external catheter to skin that is inflamed, macerated, or has sores.  The skin on the penis must be healthy to use external catheters.
  5. Uncircumcised men should leave the foreskin in place over the head of the penis when applying an external catheter.
  6. After the catheter has been rolled onto the penis, make sure that there are no wrinkles; then gently squeeze for a few seconds. This is to ensure that the adhesive evenly adheres to the skin so that the chance of a “pop-off” is minimized.
  7. Always keep an underpad handy.  Pop-offs can and do happen.  If you external catheter unexpectedly comes off, use the underpad to catch any dribble while you get to an area where you can wash up and re-apply another catheter.
  8. Always maintain enough catheters on hand to get through 10 days.  This allows for bad weather or any other factor that might delay your catheter shipment .
  9. Never pull you catheter off.  Genltly roll it off the penis.  A warm washcloth will help loosen the adhesive.
  10. Check the skin between every change.

Urinary Tract Infections


According to the Mayo Clinic, there are about 3 million cases of urinary tract infections reported in the US each year making it a very common diagnosis in the general population.  Certain groups of individuals including those with spinal cord diseases or injuries, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, prostate problems, those on a catheter program and others are at a higher risk of getting urinary tract infections.

Common symptoms of urinary tract infections include cloudy urine, foul smelling urine, fever, chills, nausea, headache, and a general discomfort in the lower abdominal area.  Individuals with sensation in the urinary tract may have a burning sensation on urination.  Further, individuals with spinal cord disease or injuries may experience autonomic dysreflexia, increased spasms, the need to catheterize more, and/or blood in the urine.  Often, high risk individuals develop a keen awareness of the symptoms of a UTI and are quite informed about seeking treatment.

Tips For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

Master Cathing Techniques

Wash your hands thoroughly before you catheterize.

Clean the urethral area well before you catheterize.

Make sure that you do not touch the tip of the catheter or allow it to touch anything before it is inserted.

Use plenty of lubricant to minimize urethral irritation.

Store your catheters and lubricant in a cool area.

Slowly withdraw your catheter to allow the bladder to drain as completely as possible.

Catheterize on a schedule.

Use a New Catheter Every Time Your Catheterize

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies intermittent catheters as single-use only and it is marked on every intermittent catheter package sold in the US.  Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA all cover a new catheter every time you catheterize because of the cost associated with urinary tract infections.

Use a Catheter Insertion Kit Every Time You Catheterize

Catheter Insertion Kits are packaged individually or with a catheter included.  The kit usually includes a BZK or povidone iodine wipes or swabsticks, gloves, underpad, lubricating jelly, and a collection container. They are designed minimize the presence of bacteria at the urethral opening thereby minimizing the number of bacteria that can ride the tip of the catheter into the bladder.

Use a Closed System

There ae many closed systems available each with its own claims about results.  There is scientific evidence to suggest that the use of closed systems will reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections.  Medicare, Medicaid, and some private insurance companies do cover closed systems; however, they require a significant history of UTIs with fever and other symptoms.

Drink Cranberry Juice or Use Cranberry Extract 

Cranberry juice has been advocated as effective in preventing UTIs. Recommended daily intake can be up to three glasses per day.  In a UTI, bacteria colonize on the wall of the bladder forming a bacterial film that can become pathogenic. Cranberry juice is thought to make it hard for the bacteria to stick to the bladder wall thereby making it difficult to colonize and form a bacterial film.  There are a couple of things to consider:  first, some in the medical establishment support the use of cranberry juice while others do not; second, the cost of drinking cranberry juice for a year can be significant. Discuss this with your doctor. If there is no apparent contraindication, it may be worth a try.

Helpful Resources

American Urological Association

National Spinal Cord Injury Association

Spina Bifida Association

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Association for Continence

Spinal Cord Injury Information Network

American Stroke Association