A male or female catheter is used to empty the bladder when an individual is unable to urinate or suffers from urinary incontinence. A doctor may recommend a male or female catheter if you have had an injury or surgery, urinary blockage, or a medical condition that makes it difficult to control urination.
It may be necessary to catheterize yourself following certain surgeries or if you experience urinary retention or incontinence. The process may sound intimidating, but most patients are able to do it with a little practice. Catheterizing yourself on an intermittent basis reduces the chances of infections and other complications associated with indwelling catheters. The process is also more discreet since you do not necessarily need to have a catheter bag. Most patients empty their bladder every four to six hours. You should always empty your bladder first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed at night. You may need to empty your bladder more often if you drink a lot of fluids.
It is normal to be nervous or frightened at the prospect of self-catheterization. While it is true that it does take some practice and time to get used to the process, it is normally not painful. Moistening the tip of the male or female catheter with a water-based lubricant and taking a deep breath to help you relax may make self-catheterization easier.
Depending on your specific type of catheter, the urine may drain into a catheter bag. The following are the basic steps for emptying and cleaning the bag:
In general, you want to make sure that a wound dressing stays clean, dry, and intact. When caring for a wound, you always want to make sure that your hands, supplies, and surrounding environment are as clean as possible to prevent infection. The specific steps, such as how often to change the dressing, can vary slightly based on the type of wound and the type of wound care supplies used. Your MD Now provider will provide you with detailed instructions for caring for your dressing before you leave.
Alginate wound dressings are typically used for wounds and lacerations that are wet or secreting, and wounds containing a significant amount of dead tissue. Examples of wounds that may require an alginate dressing include surgical lacerations or incisions, chronic diabetic or venous ulcers, full-thickness burns, cavity wounds, and wounds on parts of the body where it is difficult to apply ordinary dressings. Alginate dressings should not be used on wounds that are already dry.
The following is the basic process for using an alginate dressing:
Hydrogel dressings are made of 90% water in a gel base and are designed to hold moisture at the wound site to create the proper environment for healing and for pain management. There are three basic types of hydrogel wound care products:
Hydrogel dressings can be easily customized to the size of the wound and are typically used in the following situations:
Hydrogel dressings should not be used for wounds that are moist or have heavy drainage. The following are the basic steps for caring for a hydrogel dressing:
The content provided on the MD Now website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for receiving medical care and treatment from a qualified healthcare provider. Never delay seeking advice, evaluation, and treatment from a medical professional because of what you’ve read on this site, since the information provided may not apply to you or your symptoms.