Urological Catheters - Self Catheterization - Ostomy & Medical Supplies

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What You Should Know About Self Catheterization

People with a range of ailments undergo catheterization when they have difficulty urinating or cannot control urination frequency. Using a catheter lessens the number of infections a person may contract from an undrained bladder and lowers bladder pressure. Urinary catheters can help certain individuals feel more comfortable and increase their quality of life.

While trained medical professionals may perform catheterization in a clinical setting, some individuals may be ideal candidates for self catheterization, which does not require the inconvenience of traveling to a hospital or waiting for a nurse to come to the home.

Why Use a Urinary Catheter?

A urinary catheter is a tube inserted into the urethra to collect and drain urine from the bladder. Such a procedure may be ideal when an individual experiences frequent urinary incontinence, or uncontrollable urination. It may also be utilized when a person suffers from urinary retention, or the inability to urinate when necessary. Sometimes prostate or genital surgery makes urinary incontinence or retention a serious problem. Other conditions that might merit a catheter include a spinal cord injury, bladder nerve damage, diabetes, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis or dementia.

Urinary catheters allow individuals to empty their bladder on a regular basis, reducing the risk of kidney damage, urinary tract infections and bladder distention. They allow people to feel more comfortable on a daily basis, consequently helping them experience a more active and healthy lifestyle.

What Are the Benefits of Self-Catheterization?

Self-catheterization maximizes comfort and convenience. Personally inserting a catheter at home is easier than waiting for a trained medical professional or taking multiple trips to a hospital or other clinical setting. People who self catheterize can avoid dealing with Foley catheters that must be worn continuously. The process is ideal for patients who are able to retain urine for two to four hours stretches, possess a reasonable amount of manual dexterity and retain mental cognition.

What Are the Benefits of Intermittent Self-Catheterization?

Intermittent self-catheterization, inserting a catheter into the urethra several times throughout the day, is ideal for people who experience issues thoroughly voiding the bladder at appropriate junctures. It can be performed on a short or long-term basis. When used correctly, intermittent catheters help lower bladder pressure and reduce urethral strictures, urinary tract infections and other complications.

What Are Some Different Types of Catheters?

Individuals can purchase catheters in a wide array of materials and sizes for men and women. Supply stores sell latex-free, vinyl, red rubber and latex catheters, some of which are designed especially to reduce insertion discomfort associated with certain ailments. For example, a coude intermittent catheter features a curved or tapered tip meant to ease insertion for individuals who have enlarged prostates or urethral strictures. Additionally, a hydrophilic catheter has a slippery surface that reduces friction and allows water to bond to the catheter for easy insertion.

Individuals particularly susceptible to infections may benefit from antibacterial catheters that release specific amounts of nitrofurazone to reduce bacteria. Nitrofurazone helps prevent urinary tract infections.

Indwelling catheters, or Foley catheters, come in silver-coated latex, silicone-coated latex or silicone. Anchored by a balloon containing sterile water, they may remain in the body anywhere from a week to 30 days. Foleys allow easy urine testing for kidney function or infection. Indwelling catheters are recommended for those who do not have to change their catheters as frequently as others. For instance, people with clotting disorders or infections may want to use another type of catheter.

External catheters, or condom catheters, are worn over the penis and help prevent urinary tract infections.

How Do I Order a Catheter?

Different types of catheters can be ordered online from a catheter supply store. Catheters designed to be inserted at home are usually sterile and meant to be used once. They are easily and discreetly disposable.

Regardless of the type, ordering a catheter is an ideal way to manage urological issues without sacrificing a healthier, more active life.