“After-retirement, I have mostly been alone. My children live abroad. I’ve been fine, but over a few months I was having trouble with urination. It was also very painful to pass urine. I went to the doctor and they said I needed surgery for my prostate. All of that was ok. The problem started post-surgery with the catheter. That made my life hell.”
Does this sound like your story? It doesn’t need to.
What is a Urinary Catheter?
A urinary catheter is a hollowed out, somewhat flexible tube that helps collect urine from the bladder. This tube is connected to a drainage bag, which holds the urine and is later emptied out. You can opt for catheters made out of plastic, rubber or silicone as per the advice received by your doctor.
Urinary catheters are used by people who are unable to empty their bladder on their own and need some assistance. This could be because you:
have recently had pelvic surgery,
met an accident which has damaged your organs,
suffer from urine leakage,
suffer from urinary retention.
What are the different types of catheters?
You have a lot of urinary catheter options today; these include the following:
The tubes of these catheters are put inside your body. There are two indwelling catheter types that you could choose from:
An indwelling urethral catheter is put inside the bladder through the pipes called urethra. They are also commonly known as Foley catheters. Patients who need catheters for short-term as well as long-term opt for this catheter.
For a suprapubic catheter, a tiny cut is made into the abdomen and the tube is inserted through that hole into the bladder. The drainage bag outside collects the urine.
External Urinary Catheter
A condom catheter or an external urinary catheter gets its infamous name because of the way it is worn. It is one of the male catheter types because it can only be worn by those who have a penis. It should not be worn by those who suffer from urinary retention.
Like a condom, the catheter sits on top of the head of the penis and drains into a bag attached to it. These types of catheters are more comfortable and carry lesser chances of infections.
Short-term catheters (intermittent catheters)
An in-and-out catheter or a short-term urinary catheter is worn by those who need it only for a short amount of time, say after pelvic surgery. After the bladder empties itself, the catheter is removed and disposed of in the waste.
These types of catheters are used in home settings too. You can put the catheter through the urethra or through the hole in the abdomen. If you haven’t done this before, you might need help from a caregiver.
Urinary Catheter Symptoms & Complications
Use of a urinary catheter is not without risks. You might face infections despite maintaining proper hygiene and taking precautions.
Since the catheter is directly inserted into the urinary system or touches parts of it, it can sometimes allow bacteria to enter the system. The bacteria can cause infections in your urethra, bladder or in rarer cases, your kidneys. These infections are called urinary tract infections or UTIs. See a doctor immediately if you are experiencing the following symptoms:.
Pain while urinating
Experiencing blood in your urine or cloudy urine
Fever and chills
Urine that smells fouler than usual
Feeling a frequent urge to urinate
Not being able to fully empty the bladder despite feeling pressure
Something that you might find really challenging is cleaning out your catheter. The waste matter has to be dumped out and the equipment needs to be properly washed and disinfected. It takes a lot of energy and is often a painful process, and sometimes patients are unable to do it on their own and need additional assistance.
This is why we would recommend using adult diapers instead and avoiding catheters as far as possible. Friends is the pioneer of adult diapers in India. we have been making adult diapers for the Indian body type for 20+ years.
Wearing Friends Adult Diapers is a completely pain-free experience.
With an anti-bacterial layer, you are protected from infections, bacteria, rashes and irritation.
They are made for your body-type, to fit you snugly and prevent leaks, spills and other horrors of an ill-fitting diaper.
With Friends Adult Diapers, Azadi Mubarak from urine leakage!