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Urinary Catheter: Uses, Types, Effects on Sex life and Preventing Contamination

Most urinary catheters are vital until you recover the capacity to pee or urinate alone, which is usually a brief timeframe. Older individuals and those with a changeless injury or serious ailment may need to utilise urinary catheters for longer or for all time.[1]

What is a Urinary Catheter?

What is a Urinary Catheter?

A urinary catheter is an adaptable cylinder for emptying the pee or urine of the bladder. Urinary catheters become essential when a person faces difficulty in passing urine. Catheters are commonly necessary when somebody can’t void their bladder. If the bladder isn’t exhausted, pee or urine can develop and prompt weight in the kidneys. The pressure can prompt kidney disappointment, which can be risky and cause changeless harm to the organs.

Uses of Urinary Catheter

An individual may require a urinary catheter if they have a physical issue to the urethra, an extended prostate, or kidney stones. A specialist may suggest a urinary catheter for an individual who experiences problems while peeing. The primary conditions in which a urinary catheter must be used:

  • A blockage in the urethra (the cylinder that does pee or passes urine from the bladder)
  • Injury to the urethra
  • A developed prostate in males
  • Birth defects causing damaging effects on the urinary tract
  • Kidney, ureter, or bladder stones
  • BLADDER shortcoming or nerve damage
  • tumors inside the urinary tract or conceptive organs

A medicinal practitioner may likewise embed a urinary catheter:

  • To precisely measure pee or urine yield in sick individuals
  • To channel the bladder previously, during, or after an individual has a medical procedure
  • During labour, to deplete the ladies’ bladder after an epidural sedative
  • To convey prescription legitimately into an individual’s bladder
  • For rewarding an individual with urinary incontinence if different medicines have not been effective[2]

Types of Urinary Catheter

Intermittent Catheter

The intermittent catheter, or a standard catheter, is a fragile, adaptable cylinder that an individual embeds into their bladder through the urethra. The cylinder’s outer finish might be left open, permitting the pee or urine to deplete into a repository. Another choice is to join the cylinder to an outer waste pack, which gathers the pee or urine.

When an individual has exhausted their bladder, they have to expel the catheter. It is essential to evacuate the old catheter after using a few times each day to purge the bladder. The registered medical practitioner will show the individual how to do this accurately.[3]

Side Effects: Intermittent catheters usually are pre-greased up to decrease inconvenience during inclusion. Urinary tract diseases (UTIs) are a typical likely reaction of utilising an intermittent catheter. The danger of building up UTI increases with longer-term utilisation of the catheter.

However, according to Dr Tomas L. Griebling, a urology teacher at the University of Kansas, intermittent catheters are less inclined to cause contamination than inhabiting catheters.

Other possible symptoms of utilizing intermittent catheters include:

Hematuria – It is the presence of red platelets in the pee or urine, which can make the pee or urine seem red or earthy coloured. Hematuria is one of the common conditions in individuals who use an intermittent catheter. However, persistent hematuria may demonstrate a UTI.

Bladder Stones – These are normal in individuals who utilise an intermittent catheter on a drawn-out premise.

Urethral Injuries – It is narrowing of the urethra that can result from rehashed injury. Individuals who embed their catheters more than once over numerous months have a greater danger of urethral injuries.[4]

Inhabiting Catheters

An inhabiting catheter will stay set up for quite a long time or weeks. An inhabiting catheter is like an intermittent catheter yet remains set up for days or weeks. The doctor will embed one end of the inhabiting catheter into the bladder and afterwards swell the inflatable with clean water to hold the catheter set up.

There are two fundamental sorts of the inhabiting catheter, which have distinctive additional features:

Urethral Catheter – Also called a Foley catheter, the doctor will embed this sort through an individual’s urethra.

Suprapubic Catheter – A specialist will carefully embed the suprapubic catheter through a cut in the stomach, just a few inches below the navel. The surgery or operation is carried out in an emergency clinic while the patient is kept under a light broad sedative.

Inhabiting catheters regularly channel the urine into an assortment pack. An individual can tie the sack to the inward thigh or connect it to a substitute, a position lower than the bladder. It is essential to exhaust a waste pack before it turns out to be full. For the vast majority, this will mean draining the sack every 2–4 hours. Likewise, an individual ought to attach a spotless, unused seepage sack two times every day and connect a bigger pack around evening time.[5]

Some inhabiting catheters utilize a valve rather than a sack. Keeping the valve shut permits the bladder to top off. An individual would then be able to open the lid to exhaust their bladder and channel the pee or urine out into a container. A few people locate this more advantageous than utilizing a seepage sack.

Side Effects: Numerous individuals find suprapubic catheters more agreeable than urethral catheters. They are likewise less inclined to cause disease than a urethral catheter. However, the two kinds of an inhabiting catheter can cause the accompanying symptoms:

  • Bladder Fits – It is fundamental for individuals with inhabiting catheters to encounter bladder fits. It happens when the bladder tries to pass out the inflatable area of the catheter. A specialist may prescribe medicines to lessen the recurrence and force of these fits.
  • Blockages – People using an inhabiting catheter may see trash in the catheter tube. Even though ordinary, these mineral stores can once in a while, hinder the catheter and forestall waste. It is fundamental for an individual to promptly consult a urologist if their catheter gets blocked or if they are passing blood clumps or enormous bits of garbage.
  • Sufferings and Inconvenience – Long-term utilisation of the inhabiting catheter can cause pain and uneasiness. It is essential to talk about this with a specialist.[6]

External Catheters

A few guys have the alternative of utilizing an external catheter. It is a condom-like gadget that fits over the penis. A cylinder joined to the catheter gathers pee or urine into a seepage pack. For the most part, specialists suggest outside catheters for males with incontinence who don’t encounter urinary blockages and can utilize the catheter themselves.

Since external catheters don’t enter the urethra, they do not cause any distress. In contrast to inhabiting catheters, they are likewise more averse to cause a UTI. Although outer catheters for females exist, they are uncommon in clinical settings because of worries over their wellbeing and viability. These catheters are commonly weak at gathering pee or urine and can harm the encompassing skin and vaginal mucosa.[7]

Side Effects: Outer catheters are for short-term uses. Longer-term use builds the danger of:

  • UTIs
  • Damage to the penis because of abrasion from the condom-like gadget
  • A blockage in the urethra

Living with a Catheter

A few people may discover living with catheter testing and awkwardness from the outset. Notwithstanding, as individuals become increasingly familiar with the catheter, they find that it has less effect on their day by day lives.

Preventing Contaminations

Side effects of a catheter-related UTI (CAUTI) can incorporate a high temperature. The fundamental burden of utilizing a urinary catheter is that it can permit certain microorganisms to enter the body and cause disease. As indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), urinary catheters are answerable for around 75 per cent of UTIs that individuals get in the medical clinic. The danger of disease is most noteworthy when utilizing an inhabiting catheter.[8]

Specialists indirectly refer to a UTI that outcomes from catheter use as a catheter-related UTI (CAUTI). Side effects of a CAUTI can include:

  • Pain in the lower mid-region or crotch zone
  • A high temperature
  • A consuming sensation during pee or urine
  • More frequent pee or urine

An individual can diminish their danger of building up a CAUTI by:

  • Washing their hands entirely with cleanser and warm water when contacting catheter hardware
  • Keeping the skin around the catheter entrance clean by washing it with mellow cleanser and water two times every day
  • Ensuring that pee or urine assortment packs are kept underneath the bladder’s degree, as this will help forestall blockages
  • Not lying on the catheter, as this can forestall the progression of pee or urine through the cylinder
  • Ensuring that there are no turns or crimps in the tubing, as blockages can raise the danger of contamination
  • Keeping hydrated by drinking a couple of glasses of fluid-like clockwork[9]

Effects On Sexual Life On Use Of The Urinary Catheter

It is feasible for an individual utilizing a urinary catheter to complete the vast majority of their customary exercises. A specialist will prompt when it is okay for an individual to continue working, working out, or engaging in sexual relations. Numerous individuals who utilize a catheter are worried about the impact that it might have on their sexual coexistence. In any case, individuals with an intermittent or suprapubic catheter can have intercourse. Those with a urethral catheter may discover sex progressively troublesome; however, it is as yet conceivable.

Males who use an outer catheter can usually evacuate the sheath during sex or spot a standard condom over its head. Also, it is possible to remove the cylinder and seepage sack briefly. Individuals who use a waste sack with their catheter may wish to converse with their consultant about the chance of changing to a valve framework. It can make sex simpler and increasingly agreeable.[10]


A urinary catheter is a significant guide for individuals who experience issues passing pee or urine. There are a few distinct sorts accessible, and an individual should converse with their primary care physician about the variety that is most appropriate to their requirements. A typical intricacy of utilising any kind of catheter is an expanded danger of UTIs. Notwithstanding, an individual can lessen this hazard by rehearsing great individual cleanliness and catheter care, just as figuring out how to utilise the hardware adequately.[11]

Individuals ought to consider conversing with a clinical expert on the off chance that they experience any determined pain or inconvenience related to the catheter. They can offer guidance on the best way to make a living with a catheter increasingly agreeable.

On the off chance that you need a drawn-out urinary catheter, you will be offered a point by point guidance regarding taking care of it before you leave the hospital. It will incorporate exhortation about getting new catheter supplies, lessening the danger of entanglements, such as contaminations, spotting indications of expected issues, and looking for additional clinical counsel.[12]


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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 18, 2020

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