There are many different reasons why you might need a urinary catheter. Whether you've just had an operation or have urinary incontinence, catheters can help to improve your quality of life. But due to anatomy, women may experience more medical complications or may have more difficulty engaging in daily activities than some men with urinary drain bags and catheters. To help reduce these frustrations, here are a few tips for female catheter care:
Although living with a catheter and getting used to catheter leg bag can be an adjustment, you'll be able to live a healthy and relatively active lifestyle with the right care. If you're in need of top quality urological supplies like catheter plugs and caps or urinary drain bags, take a look around our website or get in touch with us today! We're here to help you with all your catheter care needs.
Many women experience urethral irritation with their catheters. You'll need to wash with water and a mild douche or unscented soap at least once per day. Securing your catheter to your leg with tape can also reduce irritation. Any movement will pull the tape, rather than the bladder and urethra. If you have catheter leg bag extension tubing, make sure that this is also secure to minimize tugging.
Empty and clean your drain bags
You need to clean your leg bags on a daily basis with warm water and either soap or a vinegar mixture (to reduce odor). You'll also need to replace your bags regularly. Ask your doctor whether this should be done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. To empty your drain bags, you should hold the bag over the toilet or container. Many bags have easy one-handed drainage to make this process easier. Make sure not to let your catheter plug or any part of the catheter leg bag extension tubing come into contact with the toilet surface.
Blockage can be a concern. If you don't experience urine flow for over an hour but still feel the need to urinate, there may be blockage in the tube. To help avoid blockage, you need to drink plenty of water. Your doctor can give you a definitive idea of how much you should be drinking, but typically, patients should drink four to eight ounces of water every hour.
Watch for bleeding
While small amounts of blood may be entirely normal, you need to watch for sufficient bleeding. You should check both in your drain bag and around the catheter site. If you see redness or drainage around the insertion area, notice bloody or cloudy urine, or have a fever, contact your physician immediately.
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