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A Few Common Catheter Myths, Busted

By Travis Karlskind June 13, 2017

No matter the reason why a catheter is used, there seem to be a lot of misconceptions floating around about these helpful devices. As with anything that people don't fully understand, there are bound to be some myths. To ease some of your anxiety, here are a few of the most common urology supplies myths, busted.

Catheters Are Painful
Wrong! While patients with intermittent catheters may feel slight discomfort during the beginning of the process, inserting and living with a catheter is usually very comfortable. In fact, some catheters don't even require insertion at all. External male catheters are a popular pick among those people who don't want to deal with the hassle of inserting a catheter at all.

Incontinence Will Get Worse
Contrary to popular belief, the risk of leakage with a catheter is actually much lower than without one. This is due in large part to the fact that with a catheter, the bladder is able to empty completely, leaving no fluid behind for a chance to leak out during a sneeze or cough.

Inserting a Catheter is Complex
Fortunately, this is also false. Like any new medical supplies, it takes time to get used to a catheter. Learning how to insert, remove, and clean all of your urology supplies is an important process that will take time to master. For example, cleaning your leg bag every day and replacing it twice per month might seem like a time-consuming and complex task, but at the end of the day it just becomes another routine activity.

No Overseas Travel
It's difficult to say where this myth originated, but travel is just as possible for catheter users as it is for those without catheters. Of course, it's important to discuss your catheter routine with your doctor before leaving for any kind of flight, but other than that you should be perfectly at ease during your travels.

These are just a few of the many misconceptions that people seem to have about catheters. But when you take a closer look and try to understand the process, you'll find that living with a catheter is much more normal than you think.

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