Different Urinary Catheter Types

Getting the right urinary catheter

Male External urinary CatheterAnyone who uses catheters on a regular basis will know that it is not as simple as just buying ‘a catheter’ for whatever problem you may have. There are many different types of catheter that are available to buy, and depending on your problem you will need different ones.

Mostly, catheters are used for those who unfortunately suffer from urinary incontinence. This is where you cannot control when you urinate, and it can be very embarrassing, as well as unhygienic. This means that you need a device to help collect any urine, hence the catheter.

These types of catheter are general external urinary catheters, ones specifically designed with the idea of catching urine for those suffering from urinary incontinence. As said this is only one of many urinary catheter types, but is certainly one of the most widely used. This is simply because those who do have urinary incontinence need a way to help manage their condition when they are out in public – without the external catheter it could potentially be very embarrassing.

Urinary catheter types like these tend to be used when they are needed – when people are out and about mostly. They may have an adhesive tape wrapped around the outside, and these obviously can easily be reused, so they are disposable. Others may be designed to be longer term, but most external catheters are not.

Almost all catheters should never be reused.  Long-term catheters are kept on constantly, for those who are bedridden for example. This again will help control urinary continence easily – not a cure per se, but certainly a good way of going about managing the condition.

However it is not just urinary incontinence which requires catheters – there are many urinary catheter types more to do with helping those who cannot urinate. This condition is a problem where there is urinary buildup in the bladder, but the pressure cannot be relieved for some reason.

As such, a straight catheter may be used to physically create a hole to allow drainage of the urine. Obviously this is not a long-term form of catheter, and will generally have to be very carefully applied when used. This kind of catheter is generally far more specialist simply because a lot more care is needed when using it – external catheters can be tricky to administer at first, but the worst that could happen from a poorly applied external catheter is leakage. When it comes to physically invasive catheters, however, the results can be much worse if not done correctly.

Because of this it is more than necessary to be extremely careful when dealing with different types of catheter – you need to ensure that you fully understand the difference between all catheters that are available, so that you do not accidentally harm someone, or yourself, when you are attempting to use it. Overall it should not be too hard with practice, but remember to get help if you feel you need it, to fully understand how to use them.

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