- a ready to use catheter designed for discretion
- Pre-hydrated ready to use right out of the pack
- The easy-grip handle allows for hygienic non-touch insertion and better control
- No PVC or phthalates
Catheters – some background information
A catheter is simply a tube that can be inserted into the body to help medical procedures. The word “catheter” comes from ancient Greece, where doctors used a hollow metal tube pushed up the urethra – the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body – to empty the bladder.
Modern catheters were invented in America in the 18th century but the disposable catheter we recognise today was first patented in the 1940s.
Most catheters are thin and flexible but sometimes it is necessary to use larger, stiffer tubes. The process of actually inserting a catheter is called catheterization.
Some common uses for catheters
- Drainage of urine and other fluids
- Administering medication
- Measuring blood pressure
- Artificial insemination
Catheters for urinary incontinence
The intermittent catheter is considered to be the best device for emptying the bladder regularly. This process – called intermittent catheterization – protects the bladder and kidneys from being damaged through problems with urine.
Using an intermittent catheter lessens the risk of problems like urinary tract infection (UTI) and male infertility. The intermittent catheter itself is safe to use – also in the long term.
An intermittent catheter is ideal for people who are incontinent for reasons like:
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Spina bifida
- Multiple sclerosos
- Prostate enlargement
- Post-operative side effects
- Narrowing of the urethra
Catheters and spinal cord injury (SCI)
After a SCI the bladder and the brain can no longer “talk” to each other. Depending on the type of SCI, the bladder becomes either "floppy" (flaccid) or "hyperactive" (spastic or reflex).
A floppy bladder loses its muscle strength and can be easily overstretched with too much urine. This can damage the bladder wall and increase the risk of infection. An intermittent catheter is an effective way of emptying a floppy bladder. A hyperactive bladder may contract automatically, causing incontinence.
Both types of bladder condition need external catheterization.
Catheters and urinary tract infection
Every year, tens of millions of men and women get a urinary tract infection. Although more common for women to get, a urinary tract infection can be particularly serious for men.
The presence of a catheter for a longer period of time, for example in connection with unconsciousness or a critical illness, is a common source of infection.
What causes a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection comes from a build-up of bacteria at the opening of the urethra. A urinary tract infection can occur when there is anything in the urethra that obstructs the flow of urine. This could be something like a kidney stone, for example, or an enlarged prostate gland.
Also, any medical condition that affects the immune system (for example diabetes) raises the risk of a urinary tract infection.
Different kinds of urinary tract infection are:
- Urethritis – when the infection is only in the urethra
- Cystitis – when the infection spreads to the bladder
- Pyelonephritis – a relatively rare condition when the infection settles on the kidneys
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:
- A frequent urge to urinate
- Only passing a small amount of urine despite the frequent urge to “go”
- A painful, burning sensation around the bladder or in the urethra while urinating
- Feeling tired, shaky and washed out
If the infection has spread to the kidneys, symptoms also include a fever, pain in the back or side below the ribs, nausea and/or vomiting.
Women in menopause can be more vulnerable to infection because the drop in their estrogen can affect the urinary system.