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Intermittent Catheters and UTI: How to Cath Safely

Cure Medical Catheter Kits

How to Say Goodbye to UTI, Even When You Use Catheters:

1. Use Only New Catheters
Every time you cath yourself, you should use a brand new catheter each time.  Reusing catheters can lead to infections because catheters are difficult to sterilize.  The eyelets at the top of the catheter can harbor bacteria and other matter that the eye can't see.  When you use a brand new catheter every time you cath you are cutting down on the amount of bacteria that is introduced into the urinary tract.

2. Sterile Cath, Each Time
Now that you are using a clean sterile catheter each time you cath, you can also Sterile Cath each time.  There are important differences between Clean Cath and Sterile Cath.  With a clean cath, it is not required for you to wear gloves.  You would wash your hands with hot soapy water.  With Sterile Cath, you would wear a new and clean pair of gloves ensuring that the catheter does not come into contact with your bare hands or other surfaces.  In a Clean Cath, it is acceptable to clean the urethral area with soapy water.  In a Sterile Cath, you would clean the urethral area with a povidone-iodine swabstick or a BZK wipe, making sure to never go back and forth over the urethral opening.  Front to back only.  Cure Medical is a trusted brand of affordable medical grade catheters and they have some amazing resources on their website.  They offer resources that specifically target male, female, and child.  They also thoroughly explain how to do a sterile cath.  As always, your medical professional is the best source of information for you.  They can help you understand the difference between Sterile and Clean cath.

3. Hydration!
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering into the urinary tract.  This can also lead to problems for the bladder and the kidneys.  It is very important that you drink plenty of water.  This helps to flush out your system and cuts down the concentration of bacteria.  Talk to your medical team about how much water you should drink in a day.  Sipping water throughout the day can make drinking larger quantities of water less daunting.  The best plan is to be finished with your water for the day at dinner.  This can help you sleep through the night without having to wake up to cath.  Avoid beverages with sugar and caffeine, they are counter productive when it comes to UTI and hydration.  There are cranberry supplements that can be a benefit to those who suffer with UTI and because the capsule doesn't have sugar like the juice version, it is a great choice to get the benefits of cranberry without the negative side effects.

Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection

In a previous article we wrote about UTIs and how to recognize them and what do when you think you have an UTI, the most important advice when you suspect you have an UTI is to never ignore your symptoms!  Don't assume the problem will fix itself.  Contact your doctor and follow through with his/her medical advice.

Urinary tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Urine that appears cloudy
  • Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain, in women
  • Rectal pain, in men
Contact your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection

The Mayo Clinic

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