Urinary catheters are used by people who cannot control their bladder for a variety of reasons. They may have a disease such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis. Those are the cases in which a urinary catheter is permanent. However, urinary catheters can be used in more temporary instances as well. It could be used to help drain the bladder of a woman giving birth, or it could be used to drain the bladder immediately after someone has surgery. There are many types of catheters, one of which is an intermittent catheter. 

Since urinary catheters are a foreign product that is inserted into the body, you need to make sure it's kept clean and sterile to prevent infection. You also need to remember to empty your bag at least twice a day. There are very specific things you need to do to clean the catheter and prevent infection. Let's take a look:
  1. Draining the Bag: In order for you to start the cleaning process off right, make sure you thoroughly wash your hands. After washing your hands, empty the draining tube into a disposable container. Don't touch the tip of the valve or let it touch any external object. Then, finish up by washing your hands.
  3. Cleaning the Drain: After emptying the bag, clean the valve with an alcohol wipe. Then, close the valve and insert it into a pocket, if there is one.
  5. Cleaning Your Skin: If your catheter goes through the urethra, clean the area. It is important to make sure that the area is always cleaned and sanitary so you can prevent any infection from happening.
  7. Checking the Catheter Tubing: If there are any kinks or clouds in the tubing, you will need to replace it. If the tubing is usable, wash it with soap and water. After washing, dry the tube with a clean washcloth or paper towel.
  9. Cleaning the Draining Bag: As always, wash your hands. Disconnect the bag from the tubing and drain any remaining fluid. Pour warm and soapy water into the bag and swish the liquid around, remembering to get into the corners. Open the drainage valve so that the soap can drain. Then, close the valve. Pour 2 parts of vinegar and 3 parts of water into the bag and swish it around. Drain the bag and rinse it out with cold water. Finally, hang the bag to dry.

Like all urology supplies, it's important to keep the urinary catheter clean to prevent infection. If you are having a problem with your catheter or other urology supplies, reach out to your doctor. Don't try and fix any urology supplies that you find to be having an issue if you don't know how to fix it properly. It's important to keep these medical devices sterile and do what your doctors tell you to do.