Self-Catheterization is the common method used for treating urinary retention. Urinary Retention is the condition in which the patient is not able to urinate. As a result, the urine accumulates inside the bladder, which may result in infections and other serious diseases.
Urinary retention can be acute or chronic. In acute cases, the patient will not be able to pass urine, whereas in chronic cases, there will be incomplete emptying of the bladder or difficulty in starting the process.
When it is Needed
Although urinary retention is commonly seen in males, it can also occur in females. Often, the patient complains about pain and bloating in the lower abdomen. Also, there will be difficulty in passing the urine or initiating the urine flow. Patients with urinary retention may also complain about urinary incontinence. Incontinence is the condition in which urine dribbles when the bladder is full.
Proper treatment is necessary in all cases of urinary retention. The accumulation of urine inside the bladder will lead to infections. These infections can even affect your kidneys leading to infection and irreversible damage. Normally, when your bladder is full, the muscles stretch to the maximum to hold the urine. When the muscles are kept in the stretched position for a very long time, it will lose its ability to contract. This is what happens in chronic urinary retention.
The main advantage of self catheterization is that it can be done by the patient without any assistance. It can be easily done at home by following the directions given by your doctor. The equipment is available in different sizes, and you can get it from your local pharmacist. It consists of a clear plastic tube and plastic bags. The clear plastic tube is known as the catheter, and it is placed inside the urinary bladder. A plastic bag is connected to the other end of the catheter to collect the urine. Usually, it has to be done 3 to 6 times a day. In chronic cases, catheterization needs to be done every day for a set period of time, whereas in acute cases, you will only need it temporarily.
How to Take Care of your Catheter
Cleanliness is a very important factor when it comes to using a catheter. Always remember to wash hands thoroughly before and after using it. To disinfect your catheter, you can either use a solution of white vinegar and water in the ratio 1:4, or hydrogen peroxide. Once it is washed, dry it properly before using it again. Also, place it inside a plastic bag to keep it dust free.