Urinary Retention Catheter
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A urinary retention catheter can be used to treat urinary retention in both males and females. Urinary retention is a condition that makes it nearly impossible to empty the bladder. Patients who suffer from urinary retention may be able to urinate, but they will have a hard time emptying their bladder completely.
Some patients will not experience any symptoms at all. Others may experience the following:
- Weak streams of urine
- Urine dribbling
- Urine flow that starts and stops
- Feelings of a full bladder even after using the restroom
- Having to use the restroom more than usual
- Getting up in the middle of the night to urinate
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact a health care professional immediately.
There are many causes of urinary retention, but BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and paruresis are the most common. BPH, or enlarged prostate, is a condition that usually occurs in older men. It is not cancer, and is simply the medical term for an enlarged prostate gland. Paruresis is a phobia that prevents patients from urinating around other people. Patients who suffer from paruresis may not even have to physically be around other people. Like BPH, paruresis is more common in males. Other causes of urinary retention may include:
- Obstruction of the urethra
- Certain medications
- Surgery complications
- Complications associated with pregnancy
- Nerve damage
Prevention & Treatment
Most of the time, a health care professional will suggest a non-invasive treatment first before recommending any other form of treatment. Non-invasive treatments for urinary retention include:
- Bladder training
- Diet and fluid management
- Scheduled restroom visits
- Pelvic muscle exercises
If non-invasive techniques fail, a more direct route to treatment may be suggested. This can be accomplished with the following:
- Urethral stents
- Bulking material injections
- Nerve stimulators
- Urinary diversion
Urinary retention catheters come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes, and can be used to treat urinary retention. They are usually thin hollow tubes that are inserted through the urethra and into the bladder.
The preferred type of catheter for prevention of urinary retention is the intermittent catheter. This catheter is most common amongst patients who are capable of catheterizing themselves. It is a short-term catheter that is usually changed a few times a day.
Indwelling catheters, also called Foley catheters, can also be used to treat urinary retention. Patients who are incapable of catheterizing themselves usually choose indwelling catheters. Indwelling catheters are long-term catheters that are changed about once per month by a health professional.
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