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How to Catheterize

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Instructions for How to Catheterize

Are you learning how to self-catheterize for the very first time? Have you been having issues using catheters? 180 Medical is here to guide you through the steps of using a catheter. Although it may take time and practice, these instructions will be a lot of help in getting down the basics of self-catheterization.

Please click on the appropriate button below to view the self-catheterization instructional material.

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If you have any more questions, please contact us. Our Catheter Specialists can help walk you through the process.

Disclaimer: Please note these pages are intended to provide a general understanding of catheterization. Do not use this educational content in place of a visit, call, or consultation with your healthcare provider. This content may contain graphic depictions and descriptions of catheterization for informational purposes, which may be offensive to some viewers. 180 Medical disclaims all responsibility for such materials.


Instructions for Catheter Use

As a company dedicated to values of service and education, 180 Medical is glad to offer some helpful resources to educate you on how to use catheters hygienically and properly.

Learning how to cath can help you feel more confident and comfortable with the process. We want to assure you that everyone is new to using catheters at some point in their health journey.

The information we provide here may be of help to our customers as well as healthcare professionals, such as doctors or nurses who prescribe catheter use. Soon, you’ll know how to catheterize yourself without any problems. In fact, many testimonials from our customers with bladder issues prove how important our support and educational resources can be.

What are the Fundamentals of Catheterization?

So what is a catheter for? The primary function of any urinary catheter is to drain urine from the bladder when it’s not able to function normally. Urinary problems may be due to many different issues, and we are proud to supply a wide and diverse group of customers of all genders, ages, and journeys of life. If you have difficulty beginning to urinate, controlling when you start and stop urination, or being unable to completely empty the bladder, it’s possible your doctor may prescribe the use of intermittent catheters to help manage your bladder issues.

While we recommend clicking the above buttons to get detailed, step-by-step instructions, we’ll also go over some basics here.

1. Practice good hygiene.

First, you should always make sure you have clean hands. The best way to do this is to wash your hands with water and soap. Hand sanitizer may also be a good option.

Try to avoid directly touching the catheter tube during catheterization. Contamination from hands may cause issues such as urinary tract infections.

2. Don’t ignore red flags like pain or bleeding

Take care to watch out for any catheter pain or bleeding, as this could be a sign of improper insertion or something else. If you experience any symptoms like this, reach out to your healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Most importantly, do not force the catheter if you encounter any pain or resistance.

3. Prepare for potential spills or leaks.

Urine leaks may also happen during catheterization, especially if you’re using a catheter that’s too small for your urethra. Urine may leak around the edges of the catheter. This is a good reason to use an underpad or a bathroom towel during the first few times you learn to catheterize.

Also, be sure to direct the end of the catheter, which usually features a color-coded funnel or connector, toward a toilet, urinal, or another receptacle. This will direct the flow of urine into an appropriate receptacle with less risk of spilling or urine leakage. Alternatively, you can connect the funnel to a collection bag. Some advanced catheters are pre-connected, such as closed system catheters.

What are the Differences Between Men and Women in Catheterization?

Keep in mind that both men and women will each have different considerations during the catheterization process.

For example, females need to become familiar with their genitalia before catheterization. Be sure to find the urethral opening before unwrapping your catheter. Some women have difficulty with correct insertion at first, such as accidentally inserting the catheter into the vagina. However, all it takes is a little more time and practice. Some women find using a mirror helpful.

On the other hand, men may need to hold the penis at a certain angle during catheter insertion. Your prescribing doctor can direct you on this based on your unique condition and anatomy.

All genders may want to use an antiseptic wipe to clean around the urethral opening prior to beginning.

Why is Sterile Use Catheterization Important?

It is considered best practice to use a new, sterile catheter every time you cath. This may help reduce the likelihood of contracting a urinary tract infection (UTI). Recurring UTIs are a common problem that many catheter users are familiar with. However, you have options if you are prone to getting UTIs.

Using a closed system catheter with a pre-lubricated introducer tip is just one way that you may be able to minimize your risk. This handy feature bypasses the highest concentrations of bacteria typically found in the outer rim of the urethra.

Another helpful feature you might want to try is a catheter with a handling sleeve. This helps facilitate “no-touch” catheterization. In other words, it keeps your hands from directly touching the catheter tube. This reduces contamination and may also reduce the risk of UTIs.

Who Needs to Use Catheters?

Someone may have to start using intermittent urinary catheters for a number of reasons. Ultimately, the basic reason is to help aid in regular urination. Some people only have to use catheters for a short period of time, while others may need to use catheters long-term or for the rest of their life.

Short-Term or Temporary Catheter Use

Short-term catheter use often occurs due to an operation, pregnancy or childbirth, or a hospitalization. Sometimes, medical staff will handle the insertion of catheters, especially in the instance of using an indwelling catheter (also known as a Foley catheter). However, many times a person will need to continue catheter usage at home after discharge. Using intermittent or in-and-out catheters will often help regulate their bladder and urine flow until recovery.

Long-Term, Permanent, or Chronic Catheter Use

Long-term catheter use is also very common. This is primarily for people living with chronic medical conditions or disabilities affecting the nerves or the bladder. For example, this may include catheter users with diagnoses such as a spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, spina bifida, interstitial cystitis, bladder retention, or urinary incontinence. Also, sometimes men with enlarged prostates or survivors of prostate or bladder cancer may need to use catheters.

No matter your reason for needing to use catheters, 180 Medical is glad to be your trusted provider of catheter supplies. Plus, we do all we can to support you and give you the compassionate care you deserve. Our specialists are always happy to help you find the right catheter product for your needs among all the catheter types and catheter brands available on the market today.

For more information about how to use catheters or how to find the right catheter for your unique needs, we encourage you to contact us. We’ll gladly provide you with free catheter samples while we help you navigate your product options.

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