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How to use an intermittent catheter

How to Use an Intermittent Catheter

Adjusting to the process of using urinary catheters can be a drastic lifestyle change. Despite advances in medical technology which make catheters more comfortable, intuitive, and discrete, there are still manual processes involved in this procedure that can sometimes be performed several times daily. If you do not utilize good practices when catheterizing, they will not only render their treatment uncomfortable or even ineffective, they may adversely affect your health as well. Learning how to use an intermittent catheter safely and routinely, can dramatically improve your quality of life.

Catheter Preparation

Before taking any action, have all relevant supplies such as gloves, catheters, lubricant or antiseptic nearby and accessible. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. If possible, wearing gloves after hand washing can be an excellent extra step to take to prevent contamination and urinary tract infections. A collection bag or other receptacle should also be easily accessible. By taking these precautions and steps, you will be more comfortable and preserve the sterility of your catheters.

Intermittent Catheters for Men

For men, how to use an intermittent catheter can sometimes be challenging given the overall length of the catheter. Always use lubricant, either in the form of hydrophilic, pre-lubricated catheters or using separate lubricant applied to the first few inches of the catheter after opening the package. Hold your penis either pointing straight away from them or straight up, whichever they find more comfortable.

When inserting the lubricated catheter, you should not feel a great deal of discomfort or resistance. If you experience resistance, wait a few minutes and try again. Never attempt to force the catheter in, as this can damage the urethra. After the urine begins to flow, continue to insert the catheter about 2 more inches. Flex your abdominal muscles or press them to help empty the bladder completely. If during catheter removal the urine begins to flow again, you should stop and allow it to cease before continuing removal.

Always wash hands afterward and properly dispose of any refuse.

Intermittent Catheters for Women

For females, lubricate the catheter. Sitting or lying position will provide the greatest ease of catheterization. A mirror could also aid in the process by making it easier to locate the urinary opening.

After you have inserted the catheter and urine begins to flow, you should be able to insert it about 1 more inch. Tightening or pressing the abdomen helps empty the bladder completely. If any additional urine begins to flow during catheter removal, stop and wait for the flow to cease. If you feel any resistance or major discomfort tell your physicians. You might need a different catheter or additional education.

The process of how to change an intermittent catheter can seem to be daunting at first, but with proper education, practice, and making sure that you are set up with the right catheter product, it does not have to be uncomfortable, embarrassing, or inconvenient. If you or someone you know are experiencing medical conditions which require intermittent catheter use, contact Aeroflow Healthcare today.

Our trained representatives can work discretely with you and your doctor to get the products you need. We offer competitive pricing, utilize your insurance, provide continuing education and support, and ship directly to your home, helping you to maintain your quality of life.

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