catheter is a flexible plastic tube used to drain
urine from your bladder when you cannot urinate by yourself. A doctor will
place the catheter into the bladder by inserting it through the urethra, the
opening that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When
the catheter is in the bladder, a small balloon is inflated to keep the
catheter in place. The catheter allows urine to drain from the bladder into a
bag that is usually attached to the thigh.
A catheter may be
needed because of certain medical conditions, such as an enlarged prostate, the
inability to control the release of urine, or after surgery on the pelvis or
urinary tract. Urinary catheters are also used when the lower part of the body
A lecture hall, the theater, a ballgame: if the setting is crowded,
incontinence is a hassle. Many people avoid those events. Others get crafty in
devising their exit plans.
"People can be very strategic," says Roger Dmochowski, MD, a
urologist and director of the Vanderbilt Continence Center in Nashville, Tenn.
"It's amazing how good some people are at estimating their bladder problem.
They have a fairly good idea of the time frame they're working with. They try
to make it through the challenging...
You may have trouble urinating. If this
happens, try sitting in a few inches of warm water (sitz bath).
This may help you relax. If you feel the urge, it may be easier to urinate
while you are still in the bath.
You may have some burning the
first few times you urinate. If the burning lasts longer, it may be a sign of
Drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is
light yellow or clear like water. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease
and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount
of fluids you drink.
Wear loose cotton underwear if you have
irritation or a rash from your catheter.
Also, it is important to know when you are having a
problem and when to call your doctor. After catheter removal, call your doctor
You do not urinate within 8 hours after the
catheter is taken out.
You have a feeling of fullness or pain in
your bladder or belly.
You have signs of a urinary infection. For