Urinary catheters are used by many doctors as method to manage urinary incontinence, and have been showing a growth in popularity over other forms of bladder control options. Urinary incontinence can attack any person at any age for a number of different reasons. Doctors believe it’s preferable to use other methods when addressing incontinence, rather than resorting to a long term urinary catheter. For men urinary incontinence involves problems with the bladder. The kidney empties urine into the bladder, which is held in by certain muscles. When the muscles relax, urine flows down a tube within the male organ called the urethra that extends to the tip of the penis. In urinary incontinence, the urethra or bladder may be damaged, resulting in leakage of urine. The muscles may be relaxed or too tense, growing into a buildup, or tensing at a random moment so urine is released regardless of how much is in the bladder.
There are alternative devices for helping to regulate uncontrolled bladder leakage. Patients—especially for the elderly in nursing homes—use adult diapers, when they suffer from bladder spasms. But these cause leakages and can require a constant changing and washing of clothes, along with the possibility of a rash. A urinal is a small container that can be carried around; these are used by many who are away from the bathroom for an extended period of time. However, it can difficult to be used effectively by men with urinary incontinence who have little time to get it into position before leakage occurs. Constant renovations have shown the usage of urinary catheters in America soar in the last decade, as they grow more comfortable and improvements in material have been made for greater comfort.
Urinary catheters today come in variations, the most difference between external and internal catheters. Internal catheters for males are tiny tubes that are inserted through the urethra. They’re pushed past the muscles into the bladder, allowing the patient’s bladder to empty through the tube. External catheters are used on the outside of the penis, in a similar way to a condom. This decade has shown an increased rate of men using condom catheters in place of urethra catheters, especially in men who had to use the catheters by themselves without aid. The largest appeal is the comfort they provide since, for many men, penetrating the urethra was an uncomfortable process that was difficult to adjust to.
A recent improvement has also been shown in the effectiveness of transportable urinary bags. A long tube extends from the catheter to the urinary bag, which is strapped securely around the leg. On men, the bag is small enough to go unnoticed under men’s jeans or slacks. There are “bedside” urinary bags that can be affixed to a bed frame, but also bags that can attached and concealed on a person so they can use an external catheter among company. The urinary bag has also been fitted to a smaller, portable urinary bag for moving around, emerging with lines of increasingly intensive “athletic” urinary bags for intensive sports purposes.