This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. All opinions remain my own, and I was in no way influenced by the company.
If you use a catheter, you may have had to put up with a urinary tract infection (UTI) or two (or maybe more). The good news is, there are practical and easy ways you can prevent a UTI even if use a catheter regularly.
What Makes Catheter Users Especially Vulnerable to Urinary Tract Infections?
According to a published study, the underlying cause of catheter-associated urinary tract infection is the development of biofilm on the urinary catheter, which is a thin, slimy film of bacteria formed by uropathogens.
Why UTIs Are So Notoriously Difficult to Cure
A study published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Science revealed that E. coli are one of the most predominant pathogens that cause urinary tract infections.
Since E. coli is highly resistant to commonly-prescribed drugs, it can be difficult to get rid of the infections that develop from it.
How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infection With a Catheter
Since they can be very difficult to treat and are often recurring, here are some helpful tips on how to avoid getting them in the first place:
- Don’t touch the area around your catheter.
When changing or moving your catheter, always use sterile gloves. Touching the catheter with your bare hands (even clean ones) can significantly increase your risk of UTI.
- Keep your genitals and catheter area clean.
Keeping your genital area clean is especially important for catheter users.
Men, be sure to keep the tip of your penis clean, especially if you are not circumcised. The foreskin can trap bacteria that can get into your urinary tract and cause an infection.
Ladies, be sure to always wipe front to back after using the bathroom. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to your urinary tract.
Both, clean your genital area with mild, unscented soap and water daily. If you are especially prone to infections, it might be a good idea to use a sterile glove whenever you wash your delicate areas.
- Change hygiene products often.
Whether you wear a pantyliner, pad, or incontinence undergarment, be sure to change these products frequently. Spending more than a few hours with the same undergarment can cause a build-up of bacteria that may result in a UTI.
- Empty your bladder as completely as possible.
Always be sure to empty your bladder as completely as possible before removing your catheter. This will decrease your risk of infection from trapped urine and bacteria.
- Keep the drainage bag below bladder level.
To prevent a UTI with a catheter, it’s important to keep your drainage bag below bladder level at all times. This keeps urine from flowing back into your bladder, which can cause an infection.
- Keep the drainage bag off the floor.
Always keep your catheter supplies (including your bag) on clean, sterile surfaces. Keep your drainage bag off the floor to prevent the transfer of infectious bacteria.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water.
Drinking plenty of water helps keep urine flowing clear and can help prevent complications with your catheter, including infections.
- Avoid pulling, tugging, or disconnecting your catheter.
If you experience pain or discomfort, it can be tempting to try to reposition or even disconnect your catheter. Don’t. Instead, make an appointment with your doctor immediately, as this discomfort could be a sign of a developing UTI.
- Don’t reuse catheters.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers all urinary catheters single-use devices. Although you may have thought about reusing catheters to reduce cost, Medicare and most private insurance companies now cover up to 200 catheters per month.
- Consider a closed system catheter.
Closed system catheters, provided by Aeroflow Urology, are ideal for patients in wheelchairs, pediatric patients, and many other patient groups.
Their insertion tip safety feature helps keep every part of the process of placing a catheter completely sterile, significantly reducing your risk of infection.
If you are especially prone to UTIs, your insurance may cover closed system or sterile kit catheters.
- Consider an antibacterial catheter.
Another way to prevent UTIs is by using antibacterial catheters. These are one of the newest types of intermittent-use catheters available, and they are coated with an antibacterial agent called nitrofurazone, which helps reduce the risk of urinary tract infection.
The Aeroflow Advantage
When you purchase your catheter supplies from Aeroflow, you’ll be treated to an easy, comfortable, and discreet process. Aeroflow catheters are always shipped directly to your door, which takes the hassle and embarrassment out of picking them up at the pharmacy.
Aeroflow also offers free samples of all major brands, so you can decide which product is most comfortable and effective before making a commitment.
Furthermore, Aeroflow prides itself on its excellent customer service. When you become an Aeroflow client, you will have your own dedicated Supplies Management Specialist who will assist you in any sizing, sample requests, or billing questions you may have.
Aeroflow catheters and incontinence supplies can also be claimed through your insurance, so you won’t pay a dime out of pocket!
To see if you qualify, fill out this form here.
Whether you’re new to catheters or a seasoned expert, it’s always good to know how to prevent UTIs. These tips should keep using a catheter as comfortable and easy as possible.
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