It may not be an easy or fun topic to bring up, but understanding proper catheter care techniques and practices is vital to your health and safety. When you first start using an indwelling catheter, you’ll likely find yourself under a doctor’s care for a certain period of time. Eventually, though, you will need to learn how to clean your catheter and ensure it’s working properly from your home.
You’ve likely received some training from medical professionals on how to manage an indwelling catheter, but it never hurts to have a refresher for yourself or your caregiver. Let’s review some key elements of catheter care:
The area around your catheter requires some special consideration when it comes to bathing. Both men and women should use soap and water to scrub the skin around the catheter on a daily basis. This guards against infection and promotes general hygiene. Individuals with catheters should make sure to wash their hands before and after this daily procedure. Catheter users should also avoid using creams, powders, or sprays near the entrance of the device.
Cleaning Your Catheter
A catheter needs to be cleaned no less than two times per day. Catheter users should begin washing the catheter on the end near the penis or vagina, and move away from the body as they continue the cleaning process. Never clean from the bottom of the catheter and then move toward your boy, as this will greatly increase your risk of infection.
Make sure a medical professional teaches you how to empty your catheter bags without needing to disconnect them from the catheter itself.
Making Sure Your Catheter Works Properly
Through the course of use, you may encounter problems with your catheter. If you notice that urine is not draining into the bag of your catheter, check for kinks in the catheter that may be obstructing flow. Drinking plenty of water can help promote urine flow. It’s also wise to store the catheter bag below your waist for privacy and safety.
Seek medical attention if you experience abnormal pain, discolored urine, leaking around your catheter, fever, or extreme fatigue.
Take a deep breath -- you’ve made it to the end of the blog! Make sure to take the preceding advice, along with any other tips you’ve received from medical professionals, to heart. And browse our selection of catheter accessories so you can have the latest and best in hygiene and maintenance.