URINARY SUPPLIES LEARNING CENTER
Has Intermittent Catheterization Been Recommended For You?
Intermittent catheterization may be recommended for you by your physician because your bladder does not empty completely on its own. Many medical conditions or medications make it difficult for certain people to completely empty their bladders. Intermittent catheterization drains urine from the bladder by inserting a small tube through the urethra to the bladder. Keeping your bladder empty is recommended by healthcare professionals not only because it will help preserve the health of your bladder and kidneys but also because it will help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
External male catheters are commonly known as condom Catheters. Condom catheters are for male use only and fit over the penis. These catheters are self-adherent with an adhesive that is integrated into the sheath or are secured by an adhesive applied to the penis prior to application. A strap is applied over the penis and sheath after the catheter is applied. These catheters include a drainage bag for disposal.
Who May Need To Catheterize
Physicians may prescribe catheters for a number of physical conditions. In general, people with neurogenic bladder or urinary tract issues may be prescribed catheterization. This includes people with spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, other neuromuscular diseases and anyone with incomplete bladder emptying. Not emptying the bladder properly allows urine to remain in the bladder and may increase your risk of UTIs.
Five Ways to Help Reduce UTIs
- Learn how to catheterize correctly. Review the correct procedure for catheterization with your physician. If you have questions, make sure to ask them.
- Use insertion kits. Insertion kits include products that help maintain a sterile environment when using catheters. Most kits include a drape, cleansing wipes with Benzalkonium Chloride, sterile non-latex gloves and an underpad.
- Use a closed system catheter. Most closed system catheters have an added safety feature called a “protective tip.” This protective tip is inserted into the urethral opening and the catheter is threaded through the tip when you catheterize. The first few millimeters of the urethral opening may contain the highest content of bacteria and the protective tip helps maintain the sterility of the pre-lubricated catheter. The use of a closed system catheter may reduce the chance of getting a UTI.
- Do not reuse catheters. In the past, people were instructed to wash and reuse catheters. Many people experienced recurrent UTIs using this method. Sterile use (i.e. using a single catheter and disposing of it afterward) may reduce UTIs.
- Try using hydrophilic catheters. Sometimes people can traumatize their urethra when catheterizing. This can be due to a number of factors, but it is commonly attributed to not sufficiently lubricating the catheter. When you cause trauma to your urethra, tiny tears can permit bacteria to enter, increasing the chance of infection. Fortunately, using a hydrophilic catheter may help. Unlike traditional catheters, hydrophilic catheters are smooth and slide easily into and out of the urethra because they are pre-lubricated with saline.
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