People may utilize intermittent catheters for a variety of reasons throughout their lives. Although using a catheter supply may seem inconvenient, it can offer several advantages. Once you learn how to catheterize, using the medical device becomes simpler. It is an excellent approach to address issues that might lower your quality of life.

Typically, intermittent catheterization involves utilizing a brief, hollow tube to help empty your bladder. You can keep it in for as long as needed before removing it. It is worth mentioning that the risk of significant problems and infection increases if you leave intermittent catheters in place. 

Remember that intermittent catheters are only for single use. Reusing the same catheter for catheterizing may lead to mild to severe UI infections. 

Here’s why it’s never a good idea to reuse intermittent catheters.

The Surprise Risk Of Washing And Reusing Catheters

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are unpleasant and painful conditions many individuals experience. The percentage of people who develop the condition is relatively high. You may have experienced the symptoms.

Using catheters again can increase your risk of contracting UTIs.According to numerous tests conducted in academic research settings, people develop infections when reusing catheters. The risk persisted even after cleaning the catheters.

In a laboratory test employing PVC urethral catheters, researchers discovered that an antibacterial washing procedure could not sanitize entirely 67% of the catheters.

Whatever method you choose to clean a catheter, it is not entirely possible to remove bacteria and organisms such as E. coli. They can lead to illnesses, including urinary tract infections.

Can I Wash And Reuse My Catheters?

In many circumstances, intermittent catheterization is advantageous. It can lessen the signs and discomforts of urine retention, incontinence, surgical recovery, and other conditions. Intermittent catheterization keeps your body in top condition without overtaxing your bladder.

However, people must consider intermittent catheters a single-use device. Every catheter package has a little symbol resembling a 2 with a slash over it. Moreover, scientists at the University of British Columbia (UBC) also found that reusing a catheter increases the risk of developing infections.

Andrei Krassioukov- a renowned professor and clinician in Vancouver, shared his working experience of the Summer Paralympics in the UK. He discovered that athletes who used their catheters once had 3 to 4 times fewer UTIs than those who repeatedly used them.

Urinary Tract Infections From Reusing Catheters

If you’ve ever had a UTI, you already know how uncomfortable and painful the infection is. You must take the most typical course of antibiotics recommended by your doctor to treat this infection.

In the United States alone, UTIs cost around $1.6 billion yearly, resulting in over 7 million doctor visits per a published study.

Examples Of The Most Common Symptoms Of UTIs Include:

  • Abdominal and back pain 
  • Burning sensation in the bladder and  urethra
  • Chills and shivers 
  • Cloudy, bloody, smelly Urine
  • Increased urge to use the restroom
  • Pain and inflammation when urinating 
  • Urinary Incontinence

Untreated UTIs can spread to the bladder and reach the kidneys. If the infection spreads to the kidney, it can result in severe symptoms that may require hospitalization or a visit to the emergency department. You must treat UTIs in time and take every precaution to maintain good cathing hygiene to lower your risk of infection.

Several intermittent catheter suppliers claim to make or design reusable products. However, the FDA doesn’t advise using intermittent catheters more than once. The risk of bacterial- infections and a non-sterile environment is too high, which makes reusing the medical device unsafe.

Always consult your doctor if you have any queries or concerns about your intermittent catheter. Prioritizing your health and well-being is crucial, mainly if using a catheter to treat underlying diseases or post-operative recovery.

Reusing your catheter isn’t safe as it may cause severe bacterial infections and UTIs.  Regardless, you need intermittent self-catheterization; it is simpler if you can access the necessary supplies from reliable manufacturers like Active Life Medical Products.

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.