Catheters are essential in managing bladder control. Your doctor might recommend the use of a urinary catheter if you need help when emptying your bladder, which is commonly known as urinary retention. Also, urinary catheters are used by people who are going through accidental urine loss, widely known as incontinence. Research reveals that urinary incontinence is becoming a common issue among many men, women, and children, which impacts on the social and physical well-being. Fortunately, catheters help in reducing the possibilities of kidney and bladder infections. However, most people are still not conversant with the use of catheters. Therefore, below are some common questions on the use of catheters, along with their answers.
How does a catheter function?
You will only require a few minutes to fix your catheter, which is not a complicated process. However, you should first wash your hands thoroughly to avoid infections and use clean disposable gloves. After that, you should then lubricate the tube using water-soluble lubricant then carefully insert the tube into your urethra. The urine should begin to flow through the catheter once the tube reaches your bladder. Additionally, you can remove the catheter when the urine stops flowing.
How often should I use the catheter?
The frequency of using a catheter depends on your health condition and the reason why your doctor prescribed catheter use. Some people use catheters once in a day while others use them five or six times a day especially if they have urine retention. Your doctor will guide you on the number of times you need to use a catheter in a day depending on your situation. Additionally, the healthcare professional also guides on the catheter routine that suits your lifestyle and health needs.
Are there side effects of using catheters?
You might experience a slight burning sensation after removing the catheter. However, the sensation fades away with time and use. In fact, the more you use a catheter, the more comfortable it feels. Also, research reveals that continued use of catheters increases the chances of symptoms of UTIs, such as frequent urination, cloudy urine, consistent burning in your urethra, and fever. When you experience these symptoms, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
Which is the right catheter size for me?
The catheter you buy or get from your doctor must fit your health needs. You need the right size that is not too short or too long for you. For instance, a short catheter will not empty your bladder completely, while a long one will give you a hard time handling it. Catheter sizes include the diameter and length, which is usually measured in Cherrier and French sizes. Most adults use sizes between 10 to 16 French sizes, while children require 12 to 16 inch.