Urinary catheters are some of the most common medical devices employed in hospital care settings. Estimates vary, but recent studies point out that almost 25 percent* of patients admitted to a hospital will have some kind of urinary catheter installed. What’s more, catheters are used massively around the world, with sales exceeding 100 million units per year*.
Yes, catheters are common and they are successfully used for patients who have problems urinating normally. They are used extensively in hospitals, emergency rooms, and care centers worldwide. But what are their benefits? How do they actually help patients feel better and recover? Let’s take a look at the benefits of intermittent catheterization:
- Intermittent catheterization is practical and easy, for everyone
Intermittent catheterization is extremely easy to master and everyone can do it at home, with a little prior guidance. This is also because modern catheters are flexible, safe and specifically designed for home use. Plus, intermittent means that you can pull it out and insert it back in, whenever it is needed. There’s no permanent catheterization whatsoever.
- It works
Catheters should be your first choice whenever you find it difficult to urinate by yourself. If you can’t urinate, empty your bladder or find urinating painful, having an intermittent catheterization procedure should be an excellent way out. Catheters are also great for people suffering from urinary incontinence. What’s more, intermittent catheters are ideal for active people, as they can be pulled out whenever you want (obviously only after you emptied your bladder).
- Intermittent catheterization is safe
Unlike long term catheterization, which has an increased risk of infections, leakage and bladder spasms, intermittent catheterization is extremely safe. Obviously, the most important thing is the catheterization procedure, which you will have to master in order to avoid damage to urethra and the genital area. Safety also comes together with comfort, as intermittent catheterization vastly increases your quality of life, especially when compared to indwelling catheters.
- Intermittent catheterization is versatile
Doctors recommend intermittent catheterization for multiple medical situations you may encounter, such as: urinary retention (the complete inability to urinate normally), urinary incontinence (when you cannot hold the urine properly) and in case of sever bladder issues, which can affect the kidneys. Intermittent catheterization is also effective for patients who suffer from spinal cord injury, nerve damage, spina bifida or other related neurological issues. Similarly, intermittent catheters are often used after specific surgical medical interventions, like prostate or genital surgery, when patients find urination particularly difficult. In this situation, some patients may require catheterization for several days or weeks.
- Your doctor will help you during the whole treatment procedure
Using an intermittent catheter doesn’t mean that you will have to do everything by yourself. Sure, you can insert it and pull it out after a little guidance, but a doctor will always be available to help you out. Also, keep in mind that during the whole catheterization procedure, you should talk to your doctor and decide if the treatment is still required. Similarly, your doctor will choose which type of catheter you should use, how often you must change it and how you should take care of it during the whole process. For instance, intermittent catheters can be either single-use (the most common), or reusable; also, catheters can come with multiple accessories, and you will have to know how to use them. Your doctor will also guide you on how to clean, sanitize, store and dispose of your catheter, according to your specific needs. No matter what your questions are, make sure you talk to your doctor as soon as possible.