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Catheter Questions

Catheters are long hollow plastic or rubber tubes that are used to deliver or extract fluids from the body. There are many reasons for catheterization but the most common is urinary, intravenous and cardiac catheterization. Urinary, intermittent, and indwelling are the most common choices among physicians. People with small bladders and those having trouble naturally voiding are often suggested to use the intermittent catheter. The intermittent catheter can be reused or disposable and is generally is removed after each voiding of the bladder. Patients with bladder functioning problems are often offered a urinary catheter. This is where the device is inserted into the urethra which allows the urine to drain into and exterior bag. The chance of complications may vary depending on the choice of catheter. Allergic reaction, bleeding and urinary tract infection are the most commonly reported complications. Read below where Experts have answered questions regarding catheters.

What causes a Foley catheter to leak?

In many cases when a Foley catheter leaks it may be an indication that the wrong size has been chosen. Often leaking occurs when a larger sized catheter is needed. While inflatable balloons can help with some forms of catheterization however this is not the case when it comes to the Foley. Weakening of the sphincter muscles have also been known to cause leakage of Foley catheters. This is most common in elderly females. Consult a urologist who can help figure out the causes for the leakage.

How should a catheter be positioned?

The most common way to stabilize a catheter is to secure the tubing to the inside of the leg. This can be done with Velcro or another type of banding. However this is different when securing the tube before bed. The tube should be secured to the outside of the leg to will be closest to the edge of the bed. Again it should be firmly banded to the leg so to not cause the tube to become bound up or pinched.

Why does catheter insertion cause irritation?

In some cases a mild grade infection can occur due to trauma of the urethra caused by insertion of a catheter. There are a few over the counter solutions that can help. The most commonly use is a solution called Batadine, it can be applied directly to the urethra. The first step to catheter insertion should be to apply plenty of lubrication to the catheter tube. This should cut down on the amount of trauma caused to the urethra. The most commonly used lubrication is called Lidocaine jelly which can be purchased without a prescription at most drug stores. Consult an urologist for a proper examination to rule out any other causes that might be present.

Is it possible to have intercourse while wearing a catheter?

Rather or not a catheter will impair sexually activity may depend on the type of catheter being used. For those that are able to self catheterize, sexual activity is generally no problem. However for those that must wear a catheter continuously, the device does often hinder this type of activity. In most cases these patients will need to speak to their doctor about other forms of catheterization before resuming sexual function. Straight catheterization is a possible alternative that may be offered in such cases.

Can a catheter cause bladder spasms or become blocked?

In many cases the bladder can start to spasm soon after the catheter is put in place. This is generally due to the body’s natural reaction to foreign objects. Sometimes salt in the urine can cause the opening of the catheter to become blocked. Even a partial blockage can induce a bladder spasm as well. Another scenario that can lead to bladder spasms is when the interior lining becomes infected or irritated. This can lead to inflammation that causes the wall to flake off. When the flakes start to build up they can block the opening which may lead to bladder spasms.

There are many types of catheters that are devised for several different uses. One of the most common uses for a catheter is to aid patients who may have problems voiding their bladders naturally. These are called urinary catheters. For many patients these devices are very beneficial, but in some cases they can be somewhat difficult to insert and even cause pain and irritation. When questions arise regarding catheters, individuals should ask an Experts that can help can answer these questions and more.
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