An in-depth survey by the NARCM revealed that 26% of participants with multiple sclerosis self-catheter. Furthermore, four out of five people used intermittent self-catheterization.
Try self-catheterization if you’re struggling with a similar illness or accident-related dexterity issues. Doing this for the first time can be intimidating, especially since self-catheterization is intricate.
To ease the process and help you feel confident, we’ve created an in-depth guide to the dos and don’ts of self-catheterization.
The Dos Of Self-Catheterization
Follow these six dos to learn to self-catheter safely and effectively:
Prepare Yourself With A Catheterization Kit
Before catheterizing, gather your supplies to ensure it includes the following items:
- Antiseptic wipes or swab sticks
- An intermittent catheter (one extra)
- Lubricating jelly packets (if needed)
- Sterile, single-use gloves
- Underpad for accidents
We also recommend taking an extra pair of underwear/pants in case of leakage during self-catheterization.
Ensure Proper Hygiene
Whether you’re catheterizing at home or elsewhere, it’s essential to sterilize your environment. Start by wiping down the countertops where you’ll set down your catheterization supplies.
Wash your hands before touching your supplies, and consider using antiseptic wipes to clean off the product packaging. Remember to use antibacterial soap and clean water to mitigate the risk of contamination and risk.
You can also look for no-touch catheters to ensure maximum safety and enhanced sterility.
Drinking plenty of fluids is critical to improving overall health and avoiding dehydration. Not staying hydrated can result in the concentration of bacteria and toxins in your bladder, leading to irritation.
If you self-catheter daily, ensure you drink a healthy amount of water.
Use Catheters the Right Way
There are various types of catheters to fit different needs. Ensure you do your research and consult a professional before choosing a catheter.
Furthermore, use self-help guides and self-catheterization tips to use catheters correctly.
Get Catheter Supplies Covered Through Insurance
Are you planning to pay for your catheter supplies? Save up cash by using your health insurance to enjoy intermittent catheter coverage.
Seek Medical Advice
Before you do anything, speak with your healthcare provider. Your urologist or medical professional can help identify which type and size of intermittent catheter best match your needs.
They can also give you an effective self-catheterization schedule to follow.
The Don’ts Of Self-Catheterization
Learn these six don’ts of self-catheterization to ensure your urinary system stays healthy:
Reuse Intermittent Catheters
Never reuse your intermittent catheter; it’s the fastest way of getting infected. Intermittent catheters are ideal for single use, and reusing can cause pain, irritation, and UTIs.
So, ensure you throw away a sterile catheter after use and carry extras with you.
Touch The Catheter
Avoid touching the tube while preparing and inserting your catheter. It can increase the risk of contamination and infection.
You can find intermittent catheters with an insertion sleeve to enjoy better control while self-catheterizing.
Force The Catheter
Insert your intermittent catheter gently to avoid discomfort and pain. If you experience resistance, take a few deep breaths and apply firm and slow pressure to get past it.
However, if you feel strong resistance, pain, or like it’s not going inside, try using a new catheter.
Forget Io Take Your Catheter Supplies With You
Ensure you take your self-catheterization kit whenever you’re on the go. That way, you can follow your catheterizing schedule.
Moreover, pack a couple of extra catheters if you plan to be away from home.
Worry Too Much
It’s common to feel nervous when using a catheter for the first time. Keep reminding yourself, “I can do this!” and keep trying. As you continue to practice, the process will become easier.
Avoid Visits to Your Doctor
Visiting your healthcare professional is essential when you self-catheterize, especially if you start experiencing problems. If you notice signs of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) or another bacterial infection, make an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Here are several symptoms of UTI to look out for:
- Bloody urine
- Burning when peeing
- Cloudy, pink, or red urine
- Frequent urges to urinate
Self-catheterization is not as challenging as it seems. You’ll learn to use the catheter safely and effectively with practice and patience.
If you’re looking for high-quality and hygienic catheters, Active Life Medical Products can help! Visit our website to access premium quality catheters available in different sizes and features to match your unique needs!
You can consult your doctor if you are still determining which of our products is perfect for you. They’ll offer insights into what features and types of catheters suit your current condition.
How Active Life Medical Products Can Help With Catheter Supplies
You need a trusted catheter supplier when you require catheter supplies. Active Life Medical Products makes ordering the entire catheter supply process easy. Our Product Specialists can help you get your prescribed catheter covered through most insurances. Everything will be delivered directly to your front door.
Call Active Life Medical Products at (800) 319-2336 to place your order.