Having a catheter is something that has become really quite commonplace all throughout the United States and, of course, in countries that fall outside of it as well. Needing to be catheterized often comes after the develop of a more overarching medical condition, but sometimes it is something that people need just on its own as well. After all, having urinary incontinence is actually quite common, and is particularly prominent among the elderly community. In fact, with up to 45% of those who have reached the age of 85 or older dealing with some significant level of urinary incontinence, the need to have a catheter places is likely to rise exponentially among this very same population.
Kidney disease can also lead to the need for urogical supplies like free catheters or intermittent catheters to be used. After all, kidney disease that is not managed well can have profound repercussions on the whole, leading to things like reduced kidney function (even leading to kidneys with only about 10% function in some patients) and the need for dialysis or even a transplant. In some cases, the use of urology supplies such as intermittent catheters can help to reduce the likelihood that such drastic measures will ever become essential.
Of course, having a catheter such as a free catheter or intermittent catheter can be hugely beneficial, taking away much of the stress from your life. However, caring for intermittent catheters and beyond requires a bit of a learning curve, as your catheters will need to be maintained properly. Failing to do so can, again, have very real repercussions on your health, repercussions that are hugely ideal to just avoid in the first place. Fortunately, this is very much obtainable through the means of proper care.
But what exactly does this proper care of intermittent catheters and other types of catheters even really look like? Some of it is really quite simple indeed. For instance, you’ll need to empty your bag regularly. For most people, this will mean twice a day, as this is typically how long it takes for the bag to get half full. If your bag fills up more quickly, then you will need to be emptying it more quickly as well. No matter what, it is essential not to let it get too far past that half full level, as this can mean your catheter gets blocked up and is no longer able to function as it should. It can also lead to blockages in your urinary system as well, which can pose something of a health crisis if not dealt with incredibly promptly.
Regularly cleaning intermittent catheters, free catheters, and other types of catheters is also essential, as this too will help to prevent infection – and will make living life with a catheter as pleasant as is possible, so that hopefully it isn’t always on your mind. Typically, it is recommended that your leg bag, the bag that holds your urine, is cleaned on a daily basis. You will also need to replace this bag regularly as well – ideally a few times a month or more, though this is something that you will need to listen to your doctor on, as instructions for such care might vary from patient to patient. For many people, having a competent doctor as a resource will be critical for first starting out life with a catheter. It is something that will benefit them immensely later down the road, of this there is no doubt.
In general, adjusting to your new life with a catheter is not always an easy thing to. For most people, in fact, it very much will not be. Fortunately, many people now live with a catheter such as that of intermittent catheters. There are many resources out there for those who are just adapting to the use of such a tool for the first time, and these resources are truly only growing in the years that pass and as catheter usage and care becomes easier and more advanced all at once. At the end of the day, it is something that most people will ultimately adapt to and learn to live with.