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April 24, 2019

5 Care Tips to Know When Using a Catheter

Using a catheter is a great way to deal with urinary incontinence. However, using a catheter takes special care to ensure that it functions properly, and that you have no issues with infections. Below are 5 care tips that should help make your life easier when using a catheter.

1. Check Your Catheter Position

When using a catheter you will want to make sure that it does not become positioned underneath the buttocks or the leg. This can cause pressure injuries. The catheter can also be a tripping hazard. A great idea to combat this is to wear a leg bag. A leg bag keeps the catheter secured to the leg so that you will not trip over it.

2. Increase Fluids

If you have a catheter, you should be drinking around 8 to 10 glasses of fluid a day. This will help to flush the catheter, bladder, and the kidneys. Try to avoid anything with caffeine and alcohol because this can cause leaks from the catheter and bladder irritability. If you can, try adding a half of a glass of pure cranberry juice a day. If you do not like cranberry juice, look for cranberry capsules that you can take as a daily supplement.

3. Ensuring Proper Hygiene

When you have a catheter, you will want to make sure that you follow proper hygiene. Clean the genital area every day with mild soap and water. Make sure that the genital area is rinsed well and dried well. You will not need to disconnect the catheter from the bag for bathing or showering. In fact the more you disconnect the bag, the higher the risk for infection.

4. Improving Your Diet

One thing that can hinder your catheter from draining is being constipated. You will want to make sure that you have bowel movements daily, so you should increase the fiber in your diet to help aid in this. Consider adding fiber-rich foods like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax meal, whole-wheat, nuts, and dried prunes.

5. Monitoring for Leaks

While your catheter is in place you will want to make sure that you monitor yourself for any leaks. Leaks may be caused by bladder spasms, intake of alcohol and caffeine and more. While leaks can be annoying, they are not life-threatening. Periodically inspect yourself to make sure that the catheter is in place correctly and is not leaking. If you do experience leaking around your catheter site, you may want to speak with your doctor to find out the root cause of the leaks.

Making sure that your catheter works properly is important so that you are not at risk for any infections, and your bladder is drained correctly. Follow the above tips to ensure that your catheter is functioning as it should.