How to Use a Urinary Catheter

Are you new to using a urinary catheter at home?  The idea of taking this device home with you is appealing, since you can save money on visiting a hospital or a clinic.  However, you should first learn about self-catheterization, and whether it is truly advantageous for you.

As any medical site would tell you, these tubes are inserted into the urethra in order to directly reach the bladder.  The reasons for catheterization can be anything from diagnosis to medical treatment.  Usually, they are used when a person has a urinary obstruction, or following surgery, or with unconscious patients.  Additionally, the process may be required if there is any other problem with the body, requiring that the bladder be emptied. 

These devices all do the same thing: they empty the bladder.  Once the tube is situated, a drainage bag is attached, which stores the urine.  The difference between permanent and intermittent CIC is that the latter only involves emptying the bladder on a temporary basis, whereas a permanent urinary catheter is permanently installed, especially made for individuals who cannot perform the self-catheterization procedure. 

Contrary to popular belief, inserting a urinary catheter is not a painful procedure.  These small devices are not painful when you insert it along with adequate lubricant.  Use only water-based lubricant and not any oily substance.  The lubricant, together with the fact that catheters are made of soft materials like silicone or rubber, can also help minimize the discomfort.  The only “pain” involved is if you develop an infection, so make sure to follow the doctor’s orders closely.  Remember to keep all items exceptionally clean.

Never self-diagnose and self-manage the problem without first seeing a doctor.  This is a disastrous occurrence and can involve huge amounts of pain and serious risks, if you do not do the procedure as directed.  The good news is that once you learn how to do self-catheterization, you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself (or having one permanently installed). 

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