Catheters are thin, flexible tubes inserted into the urinary tract, allowing the body to eliminate urine without movement from the patient. They are primarily used when patients cannot get up to use the bathroom.

Why Do People Need To Use Catheters?

Patients use catheters to help their bodies release urine. Without catheters, patients can’t get up and use the bathroom. Consequently, there are chances of patients wetting the bed and infecting themselves with bacterial contamination.

How Does The Urinary System Work?

The urinary system flushes out fluids from the body by filtering the blood. The filtration process removes excess water, salts, and urea from the urine tract. The urinary system includes the renal pelvis, kidneys, ureters, urethra, and bladder.

After the body absorbs all the nutrients from food, it converts them into energy. The blood cells carrying that energy help absorb nutrients and later die off, leaving behind waste products. The urinary system process allows the body to eliminate liquids by passing them through the urinary tract.

What Conditions Lead To The Need For Urinary Catheters?

The use of urinary catheters comes in handy when the patient cannot urinate. Naturally, the catheter empties the bladder before or after surgery. The urinary catheter drains urine and allows the patient to urinate if their bladder is weak. 

Urinary catheterization is also used to transport medicine to the bladder, such as to fight against bladder cancer. It is also used during childbirth if the patient has epidural anesthesia. It’s also the last option for urinary incontinence if the other methods are unsuccessful.

What Is Clean Intermittent Catheterization?

Clean Intermittent Catheterization is known as a method of draining urine through the use of a catheter in patients that are unable to use the washroom on their own. It is inserted through the urethra, passing the sphincter, and straight into the bladder.

Once the urine is drained, the catheter is disposed of safely. CIC is essential to reduce bladder pressure or drain off residual urine before or after surgery, keeping the patient’s kidneys healthy in the process.

How Do I Learn How To Perform Clean Intermittent Catheterization?

It’s best to learn from a doctor or nurse, but first, always ensure self-catheterization won’t lead to bacterial contamination. Prepare by urinating and washing hands and genitals with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection.

Follow the instructions on how to open the catheter bag depending on your catheter type. If it requires a lubricant or water application, ensure safety using the following instructions.

For catheterization, slowly insert the tube into the urethra while holding the other end of the tube over the bowl or container. Continue inserting until the tube reaches the bladder. Once it does, urine will start flowing through the tube and into the bowl.

Continue to insert it further and wait until the bladder is empty. Pull out the tube and dispose of it safely.

How Often Will I Need To Catheterize?

On average, you will need to catheterize 4-6 times a day and should catheterize every morning and before bed to avoid any wetting. If you drink fluids frequently, then you are more likely to use a catheter.

What Size Of Catheter Do I Need To Use?

The French size is used to determine the circumference of the catheter, measured in millimeters. French or FR is equivalent to 0.33 millimeters; however, the measurement doesn’t apply to the length of the catheter tube.

Men’s and women’s average catheter sizes are 14FR to 16FR and 10FR to 12FR, respectively.

What Type Of Catheter Do I Need To Use?

When choosing the right type of catheter, it’s entirely dependent on the type of tip the device uses. Here is the most common type of intermittent catheter out there.

Uncoated Straight Catheters

These non-lubricated straight-tip catheters are made of plastic and can only be used once.

Hydrophilic Catheters (Coated Catheters)

These are pre-lubricated catheters that allow for smooth insertion and removal of the catheter without the use of lube.

Closed System Catheters

This is a self-contained pre-lubricated catheter attached to its bag.

Pocket Catheters

These are compact or foldable versions of an intermittent catheter, allowing it to fit into smaller places and be more discreet.

Coude Tip Catheters

These catheters can slightly bend or curve at the insertion tip, allowing them to navigate past difficult areas.

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.