If your doctor has just told you that you need to start using catheters, you may wonder how you can start the transition to self-catheterization.
A variety of conditions can interfere with the ability to urinate on your own. For example, multiple sclerosis, neurogenic bladder, dementia, incontinence, and bladder retention are just a few common examples. These issues may lead to the need to use catheters to empty the bladder. Plus, intermittent catheters can often help you maintain a sense of independence because you don’t have to stay attached to a drain bag or leg bag as is common with using indwelling catheters.
How to Transition to Self-Catheterization
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 catheterize.
In the beginning, self-cathing may feel a little scary or seem difficult. To help ease any fears or concerns, it’s important to learn the basics of catheterization.
Plus, you need to maintain a self-cathing schedule according to your doctor’s prescription.
Tips for 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
For more tips, check out our 14 dos and don’ts of self-cathing.
More Catheter Resources
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