Urinary incontinence is one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the U.S. A study reveals that around 39% of patients aged 65 and above deal with urinary incontinence in the daytime. The treatment options for urinary incontinence vary according to an individual’s requirements. Many believe catheterization is still the best solution.

Self-catheterization can intimidate some individuals since they have to administer the tube themselves. 

Fortunately, urinary catheters have been around for almost 3500 years in some form, allowing people to empty their bladder and still live a healthy life. And over the years, administering a catheter has only become more accessible.

It’s understandable if you are worried about self-cathing if you are new to them. But if you keep a handful of tips in mind when administering a catheter, you shouldn’t face any difficulties. 

Tips For How To Catheterize Yourself

Self-catheterization can feel intimidating initially since the genitals are a sensitive area to work around. However, you only need a little practice and patience to handle a catheter.

Here are a few tips that make administering a catheter easier and less intimidating.

Tip 1. Don’t Force The Catheter

The biggest mistake you can make when self-cathing is trying to force the device into place. Remember, you should never have to force a catheter in when administering it.

If you’re struggling to administer it properly or inserting it feels painful, you can step back, wait for a few minutes and give it another try. Self-catheterization requires patience, and you don’t want to force the device. Another rule is that catheterization shouldn’t hurt. If inserting the tube feels painful, you should stop immediately.

Forcing the catheter inside can damage the device or your urethral lining in the worst scenarios. Therefore, we recommend staying calm while administrating a catheter or asking a professional for help if you’re feeling anxious.

Tip 2. Make Sure To Lubricate Your Catheter Before Insertion

A significant reason why most beginners struggle with inserting their catheter is that they don’t lubricate the tube before inserting it. You will likely damage your urethral lining if you don’t lubricate the tube effectively.

Instead, it would help if you lubricated your catheter for smooth, problem-free insertion. You should also cough and take deep breaths to make administering the tube much more accessible. 

It would help if you also tried bearing down (try to urinate) and focusing on your breathing. Bearing down and breathing can help relax muscles and allow for easier insertion. 

If you don’t know how to lubricate a tube, you can always buy a pre-lubricated or hydrophilic-coated catheter. These catheters are more comfortable and hygienic to insert.

Note: Never use petroleum jelly as a lubricant for your catheter, but you can still use water-soluble and sterile products to reduce the chances of infection. You can discuss the details with a professional for lubricant recommendations.

Tip 3. Ask Your Doctor If A Coudé Tip Catheter Is Right For You

Before considering a self-catheterization, ensure you have all the necessary supplies. There are various catheter options you can choose from, thanks to all of the varied requirements in the industry. 

You should discuss the correct type of catheter with your doctor since it will affect how you administer the tube. For example, many people who have problems self-catheterizing can try an intermittent catheter or Foley catheter. 

Here are the main catheter types of catheters you can choose from:

  • Closed-system catheter kits
  • Coude-tipped catheters
  • Hydrophilic catheters
  • Pediatric catheters for kids
  • Straight catheters

Consult with professionals to find the most suitable options for your specific needs.

Tip 4. Don’t Reuse Your Catheters

Catheters are always single-use devices since there’s a high risk of infection upon reuse. Therefore, you should dispose of the device once you are finished using a catheter. Similarly, using someone else’s catheter can also be very dangerous since it considerably increases the infection risk. 

Tip 5. Contact Your Doctor If You Notice Any Red Flags

If you feel pain when administering a catheter or notice anything concerning, you should contact a professional immediately. Contacting a professional can help avoid any future complications. The most common red flags to keep in mind include the following:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Lack of urination 
  • Painful insertion
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) or bladder infection signs

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.