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Preventing catheter associated UTI

How to Prevent Catheter Associated UTI

If you use a catheter on a regular basis then you’re probably familiar with the frustration of what seems to be the occasional and inevitable UTI. But these painful and annoying urinary tract infections don’t have to be a normal part of your bathroom routine. In fact, there are a number of ways you can prevent catheter-associated UTI.

What’s the Cause of Catheter-Associated UTI?

In a nutshell, a UTI is a bacterial infection. Usually, your urethra is a pretty sterile environment, but sometimes bacteria can wage an invasion if they get the opportunity. And this opportunity comes through the bacteria that are transferred from your hands onto the catheter, which is then inserted into your urethra where the bacteria can start to multiply and cause all of the symptoms you associate with a UTI.

How to Prevent Catheter-Associated UTI

Luckily, you don’t have to put up with UTI as a normal part of using a catheter. Here are a few tips you can implement to ensure your urethra doesn’t become a breeding ground for malevolent bacteria.

Reduce the Pressure

It’s important not to put too much pressure on your bladder since an overdistended bladder can contribute to the development of a UTI. That being said, avoiding overfilling your bladder can be a problem if you’re drinking gallons of water every day without emptying your bladder on a regular basis. Remember that although you want to stay well-hydrated, you also want to ensure you’re going to the washroom regularly.  If you don’t experience spontaneous voiding, which is the ability to urinate on your own, then you’ll need to empty your bladder on a regular basis to ensure it doesn’t become too full.

Stay Regular

If you want to avoid putting excessive pressure on your bladder then you’ll also want to ensure you’re not constipated. Constipation (aka. a full bowel) can interfere with your bladder’s ability to empty fully by applying pressure from the rectum. If you do feel like you could benefit from being more regular then increase your intake of fiber, fluids, and probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.

Keep Clean

Although your hands may look clean, they’re usually the means through which bacteria is being transferred to your catheter and into your urethra. Hence, why it’s important that you wash your hands with soap and water before you use your catheter. It’s also a good idea to shower at minimum once daily to ensure your skin stays clean throughout the day.

If you’ve tried the tips mentioned above you’re still experiencing UTI, then you may want to consider opting for a specially designed antibacterial catheter that is pre-lubricated and designed to prevent UTI from occurring. Antibacterial catheters are made with Nitrofurazone, an antibacterial agent proven to fight against the pathogens known to cause urinary tract infections. Although these catheters are easy to insert, you should still wash your hands before handling the device.

The bottom line is if you use a catheter and keep experiencing pesky UTI’s you don’t have to simply accept your fate. Try out the aforementioned tips to banish that UTI-inducing bacteria to the curb!

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