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Fact or Fiction?: Living With Catheters

By JP Monteverde January 26, 2017

When you have a urinary catheter, you may think that your life will be much more complicated. Although it will take some getting used to, your quality of life will certainly improve due to your catheter, and you won't be nearly as limited as you think. There are a lot of myths surrounding catheters and how they'll impact your daily routine. We've compiled a little true/false quiz to set the record straight on some of these misconceptions and widely held beliefs. How many of these answers did you know?

True or False?

  • Urinary catheters leave you in a constant state of pain
    FALSE. While living with a catheter may be a bit uncomfortable at first, this is only temporary. Above all, catheters improve your quality of life and should not physically hurt. If you're experiencing pain from your catheter, call your doctor right away.
  • You'll have a higher risk of urinary tract infections
    TRUE... but you can significantly reduce your risk of catheter-related UTIs by practicing proper hygiene and sterilization of all medical supplies. Many CAUTIs occur simply because catheter use goes on for too long, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you feel it should be removed. Above all, always practice good hand hygiene and clean out your urological supplies according to your physician's instructions.
  • You need to empty your drain bags only when they are full
    FALSE. Actually, you need to empty your urinary drain bags when they are half-full. At the very least, you'll need to empty them twice a day. You'll also need to clean your bags on a daily basis and replace them according to your doctor's instructions (either weekly or bi-weekly).
  • You can't travel when you have a catheter
    FALSE. Although many catheter patients worry about having to empty their bladders during long flights, they can often still travel. They just need to plan adequately beforehand. Talk to your doctor before you travel to discuss ways you can handle your medical supplies on a plane. You should also bring as many catheters as you can on your trip since it can be difficult to find them on-demand, especially if you're going abroad. Be sure to put enough catheters for a week or so in your carry-on luggage in case your checked baggage gets lost.
If you require a urinary catheter or other medical supplies, you can still lead a totally fulfilling life. In fact, you'll likely be able to do much more just because of your catheter! We can help you obtain all of the urological and medical supplies you need. For more information, contact us today!

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