There are a wide variety of conditions that can potentially interfere with the ability to void one’s bladder on one’s own. Multiple sclerosis, urinary incontinence, dementia, and urinary retention are just a few common examples. These issues may precipitate the need for intermittent catheterization to help patients fully empty their bladders and maintain a sense of independence in their everyday lives.
What Can Patients and Their Caregivers Do to Ease the Transition to Self-Cathing?
Depending on one’s individual condition and its severity, a person new to intermittent catheterization may require the help of a caregiver in order to safely self-cath. In the beginning, self-cathing may feel a little scary or seem difficult. To help ease any fears or concerns, it’s important to become educated on the basics of catheterization and maintain a self-cathing schedule as recommended by one’s prescribing healthcare professional. The average bladder will need to be emptied at least every five to six hours, but this is entirely dependent upon the severity of one’s condition, fluid intake, etc.
Tips for Basics of Self-catheterization:
- Stay hydrated
- Keep hands well-washed and utilize other options, such as advanced closed system catheter kits or antiseptic wipes, to reduce the chances of a UTI (urinary tract infection)
- Use each intermittent catheter only once and then dispose of it, as this will also reduce chances of a UTI
- Try to relax as much as possible to reduce any possible difficulties with insertion
- Contact your doctor immediately if there are any complications
In addition to the wide variety of catheter supplies that we offer at 180 Medical, we provide our customers with as many resources as possible to ensure proper self-cathing.
We encourage you to check out our Resources page for yourself or your loved one, where you can find information on how to use a catheter, the types of catheters available, and tips for reducing the risk of a urinary tract infection.