Choosing the right urinary catheter is as personal as the reason why you are opting for one. You simply cannot leave anything to chance. If you select the wrong catheter, you will not only end up losing your money but also be exposed to many Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) as the catheter plastic will come in contact with your urinary organ.
When shopping for catheters online, most of the physicians recommend a standard French 14-guage or 0.184 inches (approximately 4.7mm) for adult males and the French 12-guage or 0.21 (approximately 5.3mm) for adult females. It should be noted that there is no one-size-for-all in catheters. So when you plan on getting the right catheter for yourself, here are a few things you need to consider:
Nature of Condition
Certain individuals excrete excessive levels of urine. For such individuals, the catheter needs to be large enough to facilitate the flow of fluid. It should not hinder or restrict the outflow of urine. So make sure to measure the average volume of your urine and the size of your urinary organ (especially if using a condom catheter) before making the final choice.
Other Important Factors
If you are wondering how to get the right catheter, it is important to understand the purpose of catheters, how to apply them and when to clean them. It is best to consult a physician before making the final decision. However, you can prepare your checklist with all important functions that you need your catheter to have. Here are a few things to look for:
The online catheter supplies network should guarantee safety and security with all their catheters sold. Depending on the frequency of usage, you should ask yourself if the catheter will serve your needs and keep you safe from harm. As a rule of thumb, look for catheters with a hydrophilic coating for maximum comfort and minimum damage. Also, check for the softness of the catheter and whether or not it will harm your urethra?
Most of the catheters come with a handling aid that offers a better and safer grip when applying or removing them. The handling grip also ensures that the catheter stays in place and does not fall off when in use. It also helps in ensuring that the catheter remains free from contaminants and harmful bacteria.
As mentioned earlier, the size and tube length of the catheter is critical. The functioning of a catheter is directly linked to its length and diameter. Make sure that the length of your catheter is such that it offers stable handling and a minimum time to empty your bladder. It should also keep your urinary tract closed and safe from all external contaminants from entering.
One of the many reasons why most of the individuals suffering from urinary incontinences are hesitant to use a urinary catheter is because it is not discreet. They are easily noticeable from a distance, and one would not want anyone to see it. However, many catheters maintain the element of privacy and cannot be noticed by another observer.
Where to buy online?
If you want to buy catheter supplies online, there are a few considerations that you need to make. Most online stores will require a prescription for certain types of catheters and associated products like lubricants.
Getting a Prescription
Urinary catheters are widely available with or without prescription, depending on the condition and application. It is advised to seek consultation and prescription for catheters in case you decide to perform urinary catheterization at your home. Doing so can enable you to make efficient use of the catheter without causing more complications.
Once you have the prescription, make it a point only to buy the type of catheter that is specified. Since catheters come in varying sizes and lengths, getting one different from what you are prescribed may cause complications in your pelvic region. The types you can choose from, for urinary complications, include intermittent catheters, external catheters, closed system catheters, hydrophilic catheters, foley catheters, condom catheters, and antibacterial catheters.
NOTE: While reusable catheters are widely available, it is recommended that you only purchase, sterile and single-use catheters. The reason is that cleaning the catheters after use is not that easy, as chances of contamination are quite high.
Where to Shop for Catheter Supplies Online
If you want low-cost urinary catheters supplies, then shopping online can be a good solution. You should be able to find catheter supply stores that provide doorstep shipment in your locality by searching on Google. However, different stores will have different prices for the same medical supplies. As such, finding a good online deal is entirely up to you, but make sure that it does not come at the cost of convenience.
Credibility is one thing that you should focus on when shopping for catheter supplies online. For instance, some online medical supply stores may not be accredited, which means that they may sell products that are not approved or fail to match the standards. As a minimal requirement, the only shop at catheter supply stores that are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).