Clean, drain, and change
You need to clean and change your drainage bags according to your doctor's instructions. This will ensure your drain bags are sterile and safe for reuse. Your leg bag, worn during waking hours, should be drained every two to four hours. Before going to bed, you should change out your leg bag and replace it with your night drainage bag. You should then rinse out your leg bag with one part vinegar and three parts water, soak for 20 minutes, rinse with warm water, and hang to dry. When you wake up, replace your night bag with your leg bag and rinse the night bag out in the same way. You should completely change out your urinary drain bags when your doctor instructs you to do so (usually after two weeks or a month).
Eat healthy and practice good hygiene
You should always wash your hands with soap and warm water prior before and after you touch your catheter or your drainage bag. In order to further improve your quality of life while using a catheter, you should also follow a healthy diet and drink plenty of water in order to avoid a urinary blockage. Getting enough fiber is important to ensure healthy bowel movement, as constipation can prevent urine flow. In addition, make sure your drain tube does not touch the container into which the urine is being poured. If you find you're having trouble, there are many types of leg bag extension tubing or catheter plugs and caps that allow for easy one-handed drainage.
Check for signs of infection
You should be diligent about checking for signs of inflammation and infection in and around your catheter plugs, tubing, and bags. These signs include red, swollen, or irritated skin, as well as pus or pain. If you witness these symptoms -- or notice blood in your urinary bag -- contact your doctor right away.
Use hot water, powder, or lotion
You should not use hot water to clean your drainage bags. In addition, refrain from using powders or lotions around your catheter site. These can interfere with the effectiveness of medical supplies and can lead to infection.
Have sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse can be very painful or uncomfortable for people who have a urinary catheter and their partners. Doctors advise that those with catheters should refrain from sexual intercourse in order to prevent pain or infection.
Wait to contact a doctor
Catheter-related urinary tract infections are incredibly common and can turn serious if they are not treated. Although keeping your catheter and other medical supplies clean will go a long way in preventing infections and will improve your quality of life, it's important you contact your physician right away if you notice signs of infection or simply don't feel right. It's important to take extra precautions when you have a catheter.