The Advantages of Coloplast Self-Cath Catheters

Coloplast manufacturers the Self-Cath family of catheters for male, female, and pediatric patients. Self-Cath catheters are designed to make either self-catheterization or catheterization by a caregiver comfortable, safe, and easy. These intermittent catheters are latex-free and made of a flexible medical grade PVC material and silicone surface for smooth insertion.

Let’s talk about the Coloplast Self-Cath family of catheters now and point out each of their unique features and benefits.

Coloplast Self-Cath Straight Male Length CatheterThe Self-Cath Male Straight Tip Intermittent Catheter is constructed of a soft silicone material that is uncoated. These catheters are 16-inches long, feature fire-polished eyelets, and are individually packaged for sterile, single-use. This Self-Cath Straight Tip Catheter for men is latex-free, so it is safe for those with latex allergies.

The Self-Cath Male Straight Tip Catheter is also offered in a more compact curved packaging for more discreetness.

Coloplast Female Length Straight CatheterThe Self-Cath Female Straight Tip Catheter has excellent benefits like the male version, but it is only 6-inches long to accommodate the female anatomy. Six inches is the standard length for an intermittent female catheter and is designed for maximum comfort. With its smooth silicone surface and fire-polished eyelets, the Self-Cath Female Straight Tip Catheter makes catheterization for women easy and comfortable.

The Self-Cath Female Straight Catheter is also offered with a Luer End. This catheter style does not have a connector or color-coded funnel at the end of the tube but rather just an open end.

Coloplast Self-Cath Pediatric Intermittent Straight Tip CatheterJust like the male and female options of the Self-Cath Straight Tip Catheters, the Self-Cath Pediatric Straight Tip Catheter shares all the same great features at 10-inches in length. The clear, latex-free, smooth silicone surface with fire-polished eyelets helps make self-catheterization as comfortable as possible.

Coloplast Self-Cath Olive Tip Coudé CatheterThe Self-Cath Male Olive Tip Coude Catheter has a rounded, curved end to help navigate through narrow urethras upon insertion. This slightly curved and olive tip feature allows for a smoother passage into the bladder and may help bypass urethral obstructions. This 16-inch long male intermittent catheter is constructed of medical-grade PVC with a siliconized surface and fire-polished eyelets. The guide stripe on the Self-Cath Male Olive Tip Coude Catheter helps determine the placement of the angled tip. This intermittent male catheter is also latex-free.

Coloplast Self-Cath Tapered Tip Coudé Catheter

The Self-Cath Male Tapered Tip Coude Catheter has all the same features as the Olive Tip Coude Catheter; however, the tip is slightly bent and smaller at the entrance point. This tapered tip is the most common type of coude tip and can be helpful when navigating small blockages or obstructions.

Coloplast Self-Cath Soft Catheter

The Self-Cath Soft Male Catheter is 16-inches long, features a straight tip, and is made of a softer, more flexible material. The medical-grade PVC is firmer than a red rubber catheter yet softer than plastic. This male intermittent catheter has fire-polished eyelets, a siliconized surface for smooth insertion, and is latex-free for those with sensitivities.

Coloplast Self-Cath Plus Male Length CatheterThe Self-Cath Plus Male Catheter features a hydrophilic coating that activates immediately after exposure to water. This slippery surface then allows the user to experience easy and comfortable self-catheterization. The Self-Cath Plus Male Catheter is made of medical-grade PVC and has an uncoated GripZone area for handling control. This male intermittent catheter is 16-inches long, has fire-polished eyelets, and is latex-free.

Coloplast Self-Cath Plus Female Length CatheterThe Self-Cath Plus Female Catheter has all the same great features as the male option, but it is only 6-inches long. At this length, along with the water-activated hydrophilic coating, self-catheterization for women is as comfortable and easy as it can get.

Coloplast Self-Cath Closed System KitThe Self-Cath Closed System Catheter Kit is a 100% silicone, latex-free, unisex catheter system. This self-contained intermittent catheter system for men and women allows for a touch-free catheterization experience. The pre-lubricated tip makes gliding the catheter into the urethra easy and helps reduce the risk of infection. The Self-Cath Unisex Closed System Catheter Kit also features an extension sleeve for convenience that reduces the frequency of transfers due to catheter changes. The EasyOff tear makes it easy to use, even for patients with limited dexterity.

The Self-Cath Unisex Closed System Catheter Kit includes:

  • 16-inch intermittent catheter in a 1,100 cc vinyl collection bag
  • One pair of ambidextrous gloves
  • One underpad
  • Povidone-iodine swabsticks
  • Instructions for use

The Self-Cath Unisex Closed System Catheter Kit is also offered as an Olive Tip Coude Closed System.

As you can see, the Coloplast Self-Cath family of catheters are designed with patient comfort, safety, and ease of use in mind. With the variety of Self-Cath catheters available for men, women, and children, there is sure to be an option for you.

If you need assistance choosing the intermittent catheter that your doctor has prescribed you, we have a team of experienced Catheter Product Experts that can help guide you in the right direction. Remember, self-catheterization should never be uncomfortable; and with any of these selections, you are sure to be in good hands.

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Bard: High-Quality Urological Supplies and Catheters

For over 100 years, Bard has developed and manufactured high-quality catheters and urological products. Bard products range from Foley catheters, hydrophilic catheters, irrigation trays, leg bags and straps, feeding tubes, and so much more. In 2017, Becton, Dickenson & Co. (BD) acquired Bard; however, Bard catheters and urological supplies are still sold and considered some of the highest quality products offered today.

What did Bard first become known for?

Bardia Silicone Two-Way Foley Catheter 5ccBard was the first company to sell the Foley catheter invented in the 1930s by Frederic Foley of St. Cloud, MN. This catheter style remains in the bladder for some time to ensure adequate drainage, usually post-operative or short-term. The Foley catheter can stay securely in the bladder with a balloon at the end that keeps the catheter from sliding out when inflated using sterile water. Urine then can drain from the bladder and into a leg bag or other type of collection bag that can be emptied and changed while the catheter remains in place.

What are other types of Bard catheters?

Bard Hydrophilic Catheters

Bard hydrophilic catheters have a smooth and slippery surface, making them low-friction and easier to use than uncoated intermittent catheters. One of Bard’s top-performing hydrophilic catheters is the Magic3. The three layers of silicone make this catheter just the right firmness while remaining flexible and smooth. The Bard Magic3 is available in male, female, and pediatric lengths and other convenient styles.

Bard Closed-System Catheters

Bard Touchless Female Red Rubber Catheter KitBard closed-system catheters are designed to be completely touch-free and remain a popular choice. These closed-system catheters are available with a variety of options. You can choose from straight or coude tips, vinyl or red rubber material, or hydrophilic closed-systems. Bard closed-system catheters come in male, female, and pediatric lengths. Using a Bard closed-system catheter can help reduce the risk of bacterial infection that could lead to urinary tract or bladder infections since they offer a touchless catheterization experience.

Bard Straight and Coude Tip Catheters

Bard straight and coude tip catheter offerings are uncoated and require the use of manual lubrication. If a straight tip catheter causes you discomfort, a Bard coude tip catheter might be an option. Coude tip catheters can help bypass urethral obstructions and reduce any trauma to the site.

One of the most popular Bard straight catheters is the Bard Red Rubber All-Purpose Straight Catheter. It features two opposing drainage outlets and is soft, flexible, and comfortable for those that do not have an allergy to natural rubber latex.

External Catheters

Natural Non-Adhesive Silicone Male External Catheter with Reusable StrapBard also offers external catheters for both men and women. External catheters essentially eliminate all urethral trauma and can significantly reduce or eliminate urinary infections associated with frequent catheterization. Since these types of catheters are less invasive, they can be a more comfortable option.

What urological supplies does Bard offer?

Bard also offers drainage supplies, catheter holders, and insertion supply trays. Having the right urological supplies can make a big difference in the entire catheterization experience. The Bardia Foley Catheter Insertion Tray is an example of a complete system that offers everything needed for safe and comfortable self-catheterization, except for the catheter. These insertion trays can help save time and money.

A catheter holder or securing device can help reduce any trauma to the urethra and bladder. Bard catheter holders can help reduce the possibility of the catheter dislodging and injuring the penis or labia.

Where to buy Bard urological supplies and catheters?

We at Personally Delivered offer a wide variety of Bard catheters and urological products for men, women, and children. It is critical to note that all catheters require a doctor’s prescription and are only sold and shipped upon receiving prescription verification. If you need assistance finding the Bard catheter suitable for your needs, our Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to help. We are here to make it easy for you!

Popular Bard Urological Products and Catheters

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Cure Medical: Making a Difference in the World of Catheters

Cure Medical was created in 2007 by Bob Yant and John Anderson. Bob was in a diving incident in the ocean and broke his neck, resulting in a C-5 spinal cord injury (SCI) that left him a quadriplegic. The name Cure Medical was derived from Bob’s passion for spinal cord research. Each year, Cure Medical gives ten percent of its net income to research for a cure for the causes of spinal cord injuries and central nervous system disorders. They are the only company in their industry that currently does this. Cure Medical takes great pride in designing innovative products and packaging with features that focus on improving quality of life. They offer exceptional products with many benefits for individuals within the SCI community. Cure Medical is now a partner of ours, and we are thrilled to have them join the ConvaTec family.

What products does Cure Medical manufacturer?

Cure Medical manufactures high-quality intermittent catheters in various styles, sizes, and coating options for those with various medical conditions. Some of those conditions include SCI, Spina Bifida, Multiple Sclerosis, neurogenic bladder, and Transverse Myelitis, to name a few. Cure Medical works hard to design intermittent catheters that are safe and ready to use right out of the packaging for those with a variety of needs.

What materials are used to make Cure Medical catheters?

Cure Medical catheters are free from DEHP DINP BPA and natural rubber latexThe materials used and manufacturing processes set Cure Medical apart from other intermittent catheters manufacturers. Some other catheter manufacturers use harmful allergens and carcinogens as an economical way to make catheters flexible. Cure Medical catheters are always free from DEHP/DINP, a known carcinogen. Their intermittent catheters are also BPA and latex-free, making them a safer choice for those with an allergy to natural rubber latex. Manufacturing catheters made using high-quality materials free of cancer-causing plasticizers and latex sets Cure Medical apart. Catheter users can experience increased safety, comfort, and peace of mind.

Another benefit Cure Medical intermittent catheter users value is the ultrasonic process used when making the drainage eyelets. Some other catheter manufacturers use a low-cost method that cold-punches the eyelets, leaving them with rough edges. Cure Medical’s ultrasonic process ensures that all catheters have smooth, fire-polished eyelets for increased comfort and a more positive catheterization experience.

What female catheters does Cure Medical offer?

Cure Twist for Women

The Cure Twist intermittent catheter is a sterile, single-use intermittent catheter designed for women who value discretion and convenience. This female catheter is ready to use right out of the packaging that resembles ordinary makeup products like a tube of lipstick or mascara. For maximum comfort, the Cure Twist features a twist-off cap and smooth polished eyelets on a pre-lubricated straight tip catheter.  This intermittent female catheter offers a catheterization experience that allows for less mess and no dripping.

The Cure Twist is available as the catheter itself or part of a kit, including a BZK wipe, a pair of ambidextrous gloves, an underpad, and a universal connector. As always, the Cure Twist is not made with DEHP/DINP, BPA, or natural rubber latex, giving you peace of mind.

The Cure Twist for Women is six inches in length and available in sizes 8Fr – 16Fr.

Cure Ultra for Women

The Cure Ultra is a sterile, single-use female catheter that is six inches long and ready to use. The easy-to-open packaging tears at the top to expose the pre-lubricated straight tip catheter with smooth polished eyelets. The CoverAll application evenly distributes the lubrication as the Cure Ultra for Women is removed from the packaging. A unique “no roll” connector/funnel end allows for easy draining. The Cure Ultra for Women is not made with DEHP/DINP, BPA, or natural rubber latex. It is available in sizes 8Fr – 16Fr.

What male catheters does Cure Medical offer?

Cure Medical Pocket Catheter

The sterile, single-use U-shaped Cure Medical Pocket Catheter gives men a convenient and discreet option to carry with them in the pocket of their pants or a small bag. This intermittent male catheter features smooth polished eyelets on a straight tip with a funnel end. The extra-large flaps at the end of the packaging enable a better grip for easy opening. The Cure Medical Pocket Catheter for Men is not made with DEHP/DINP, BPA, or natural rubber latex, making it a safe option.

The Cure Medical Pocket Catheter is available as:

  • A single 16-inch catheter – SHOP NOW
  • A single 16-inch catheter with a packet of lubricant – SHOP NOW
  • A single 16-inch catheter with coude tip and a packet of lubricant – SHOP NOW
  • An extra-long 25-inch catheter with a gripper sleeve and a packet of lubricant – SHOW NOW
  • As a catheter kit that includes a single 16-inch catheter, a packet of lubricant, one BZK wipe, an underpad, a pair of ambidextrous gloves, and a collection bag – SHOP NOW

Cure Ultra for Men

The Cure Ultra catheter is a 16-inch, sterile, single-use, pre-lubricated, discreet catheter for men. This male catheter features CoverAll Technology that evenly distributes the lubricant along the catheter as it is removed from the packaging, eliminating any mess and drips. The blue gripper sleeve on the Cure Ultra Catheter for Men allows for a truly touch-free catheterization experience, reducing the risk of contamination or infection. You can even roll up the Cure Ultra and put it in your pocket because it is formulated with soft, high-quality materials that won’t kink when bent.

The Cure Medical Ultra Catheter for Men is not made with DEHP/DINP, BPA, or natural rubber latex and is available as straight or coude tip in sizes 8Fr – 18Fr.

Hydrophilic Cure Catheter for Men

The Hydrophilic Cure Catheter for Men is a sterile, single-use intermittent catheter available with a straight or coude tip. This hydrophilic catheter for men features smooth, polished eyelets, a purified water packet for no-mess/no-stain hydration, and a textured advancer/gripper for easy insertion. The hydrophilic coating allows for quick lubrication, and as always, this catheter is not made with DEHP/DINP, BPA, or natural rubber latex.

The Hydrophilic Cure Catheter for Men is 16-inches in length and available in sizes 12Fr – 16 Fr. The straight tip option is also available as a kit configuration that includes one hydrophilic catheter, a pair of ambidextrous gloves, one BZK wipe, an underpad, and a collection bag with a universal connector.

This catheter is also offered in a straight tip, 10-inch long pediatric size. It is available in 8Fr – 14Fr.

Unisex Catheters by Cure Medical

Cure Closed-System Catheter

The Cure Medical Closed-System Catheter for men and women is a sterile, single-use unisex catheter that features smooth polished eyelets for comfort and is manufactured without DEHP/DINP, BPA, or natural rubber latex. This pre-lubricated catheter comes as either a straight or coude tip with an integrated 1500mL collection bag.

The Cure Closed System Catheter is also offered as a kit, including one Cure Closed System Catheter (straight or coude tip), a BZK wipe, a sterile wipe, three povidone-iodine swabs, an underpad, and a pair of ambidextrous gloves.

Cure Dextra Closed-System Catheter

The Cure Dextra Closed System Catheter is a unisex, pre-lubricated, straight-tipped catheter with polished eyelets. It features a unique support band on the back of the bag to help control catheter insertion, so many users with full or limited dexterity will find this feature beneficial. The tip of the intermittent catheter moves out of the bag and into the body with zero contact, making this Cure catheter a safe choice. The Cure Dextra Closed System Catheter has an integrated 1000mL collection bag with a gripper arrow to make advancing the catheter easy with each forward stroke. The catheter refrains from retracing on each backstroke. As always, Cure Medical Products are DEHP/DINP-free, BPA-free, and latex-free.

The Cure Dextra Closed-System Catheter is available in sizes 12Fr – 16Fr.

Cure Uncoated Catheters for Men, Women, & Children

These sterile, single-use uncoated catheters feature polished eyelets on a straight or coude tip and are offered in 16- inch male, 6-inch female, and 10-inch pediatric lengths with sizes ranging from 8Fr – 18Fr. The unique dual opening package style allows it to be opened from either end to help improve the ease of use.

The Cure Medical Uncoated Catheters are always free from DEHP/DINP, BPA, and natural rubber latex.

Cure Medical takes great pride in its manufacturing process and listens carefully to feedback from users. As a catheter manufacturer that also donates 10 percent of its net revenue to research for a cure, Cure Medical stands tall. We are proud to carry a complete line of Cure Medical Catheters and are happy they are now a part of the ConvaTec family.

For questions about any of the Cure Medical catheters we carry or help with finding the Cure Medical catheters you have been prescribed, give us a call. One of our Catheter Experts will gladly assist you in the purchasing process.

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Pelvic Radiation Therapy and Incontinence

Radiation therapy aims to kill or damage cancer cells in the area being treated. Cancer cells begin to die days or weeks after treatment starts and continue to die for weeks or months after it finishes. Although the radiation can also damage healthy cells, most of them tend to receive a lower dose and can usually repair themselves.  Pelvic radiation therapy can often irritate the bladder and bowels.

When Pelvic Radiation Therapy Might Be Used

Radiation therapy to the pelvis is one of the treatment options used when bladder cancer has been diagnosed. Bladder cancer starts when cells that make up the urinary bladder start to grow out of control. As more cancer cells develop, they can form a tumor and, with time, spread to other parts of the body. Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be used as part of or the primary treatment for early-stage or advanced bladder cancers.

Possible Side Effects of Pelvic Radiation Therapy

Side effects of pelvic radiation therapy depend on the dose given and the area being treated. They tend to be worse when chemotherapy is given along with radiation. Side effects from pelvic radiation therapy can include:

  • Redness, blistering, and peeling of the skin in areas treated with radiation therapy
  • Feeling a burning sensation when urinating
  • Feeling the need to urinate often
  • Blood in stool or urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue from low blood counts
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bruising easily

After pelvic radiation therapy treatment, these side effects usually go away over time. However, some people can have longer-term problems such as:

  • Urinary incontinence and bowel incontinence
  • Damage to the lining of the bladder, called radiation cystitis, causing long-term problems such as blood in the urine or painful urination
  • Erection problems in men due to damage of nearby nerves and blood vessels

Urinary Incontinence After Pelvic Radiation Therapy

Sometimes pelvic radiation therapy can cause long-term changes to the way the bladder works. Urinary incontinence can happen when radiation therapy weakens the pelvic floor muscles and the valve that keeps the bladder closed. Involuntary urinary leakage can then occur and may not resolve over time. Urinary incontinence may develop during, immediately after, or many months later after radiation therapy treatment is over.

Bowel Incontinence After Pelvic Radiation Therapy

Sometimes pelvic radiation therapy can cause long-term changes to the way the bowel works as well. Controlling when and how often the bowels are emptied might be more difficult after pelvic radiation therapy. Talking to your doctor about your symptoms of bowel incontinence is essential for them to provide a treatment plan that may help. You might keep track of the foods you eat and the time and duration of any symptoms you may feel afterward. This information can help your doctor come up with a plan that may alleviate or lessen your symptoms.

Ways to Manage Incontinence After Pelvic Radiation Therapy

There are various steps you can take to help manage bladder and bowel incontinence after pelvic radiation therapy.

Diet

Your doctor or nurse may suggest changing your diet and making sure to drink plenty of water. Making these changes can be an important way of improving bowel and bladder control.

Anti-diarrheal drugs

sunmark anti-diarrhealIf you have urgency, loose stools, diarrhea, or bowel incontinence, anti-diarrhea drugs may help. Anti-diarrheal medicines containing loperamide as the active ingredient help slow down the bowel, making stools less frequent and more solid. Your doctor may prescribe other types of anti-diarrheal treatment or advise you about the medicines that may be best for you. It is crucial to speak to a doctor before taking any medication.

Stop smoking or vaping

If you are experiencing problems with urgency, loose stools, or bowel incontinence, smoking or vaping could worsen the situation. Nicotine stimulates the bowels, so find a way to cut back or quit may be in your best interest. Make sure to speak to your doctor before going ‘cold turkey.’

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles

woman in exercise outfit on all fours doing kegel exercisesPelvic floor exercises can help strengthen the muscles used to control the bladder and bowels. These exercises may help with difficulty emptying the bladder or bowels, gas, and urgency.

Bowel and bladder retraining

Bowel and bladder retraining can help you get your bowel and bladder habits back into a regular pattern. Setting a routine time to empty your bowels and bladder can build up a resistance pattern. You will learn to hold on when the urge to go to the bathroom strikes. Eventually, there will be an increased amount of time between the urge and emptying your bladder or bowels, building your confidence and self-control.

Medicines that can make bowel symptoms worse

man pouring a prescription capsule from a bottle into his handSome medicines can make bowel symptoms worse or increase bloating, wind, urgency, or loose stools. If you are taking any of the drugs listed below and feel that they may worsen your symptoms, speak to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe alternate medications that may lessen your symptoms.

Some of the medicines that may be contributing to bowel symptoms include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and diclofenac
  • Beta-blocker tablets to treat high blood pressure and some heart problems
  • Antibiotics
  • Diabetic treatment medicines containing metformin
  • Anti-depressants such as venlafaxine and citalopram
  • Magnesium in heartburn antacids
  • Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole

At Personally Delivered, we carry various products that can help with bladder and bowel incontinence. For help finding any medicines or products your doctor recommends, our Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist. If you do not see the products you are looking for, chances are we can get them or something comparable for you. We are here to help make life a little easier so you can enjoy life to its fullest.

Top Selling Bladder and Bowel Incontinence Products

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Ostomy Resources: Ostomy Podcasts & Apps

Ostomy surgery is lifesaving, and many people who have an ileostomy or colostomy surgery due to ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease experience improved quality of life. There is a wide range of resources available in a variety of media formats. Information may be specific to the care and management of your ostomy, or it may be about the underlying disease or condition that resulted in your ostomy.

We have compiled a couple of lists of some popular ostomy podcasts and apps to help those with an ostomy and their families stay informed, help resolve needs, and listen to real stories and experiences from other ostomates.

Ostomy Podcasts

two women talking on a podcast

The Beautiful Bag

The Beautiful Bag is an ostomy podcast for anyone that might be having an ostomy in the future, those that have one, or anyone looking to learn more about what life with an ostomy is like. Each week, new guests on this podcast educate the listeners and share their stories about living life with an ostomy.

The Real Life Ostomy Podcast

This ostomy podcast is all about living life with an ostomy or those with bowel disease that may be having an ostomy in the future. A wealth of information is shared in each episode that includes tips and personal stories from real ostomates and their lives with an ostomy.

About IBD

The About IBD podcast includes input, opinions, and advice from patients, caregivers, and physicians on various topics related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). People living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease) can listen to topics discussed, including nutrition, treatments, mental health, family dynamics, and sexuality, related to living with IBD.

Bowel and Bladder Matters Podcast

This ostomy podcast is by Coloplast delivers education about bowel and bladder issues related to ostomies and continence. This podcast includes conversations with thought leaders to gain insights about ostomies, continence, and clinicians’ professional growth and development.

Butts & Guts

This Cleveland Clinic ostomy podcast explores digestive and surgical health issues. It is hosted by Colorectal Surgery Chairman Scott Steele, MD. He discusses how to have to best digestive health possible from your gall bladder to your liver and beyond. Listen to hundreds of podcasts from medical doctors on topics that range from bariatric surgery, pelvic floor disorders, pediatric colorectal surgery, celiac disease, and more.

me+ Talk

ConvaTec launched an ostomy podcast called me+™ for people living with an ostomy. This podcast features “real talk” from nurses, product specialists, and community members covering all-things ostomy. There’s advice on post-surgery changes, tips for day-to-day living, mental wellness, intimacy, and more.

The Bottom End

The Bottom End podcast series discusses all things related to living with inflammatory bowel disease. This ostomy podcast features Crohn’s and Colitis ambassadors from Australia who share deeply personal stories about their journeys with IBD and living with an ostomy.

The Ostomy Guy Podcast

This inspiring ostomy podcast is hosted by Austin Powers, an ostomate that addresses issues people face living with a chronic illness. He has dozens of interviews with guests about living with a chronic illness and how they wake up each day and live useful lives within their communities. The goal of Austin’s podcast is to bring people together and learn from one another.

Ostomy Apps

person holding mobile phone with apps

Me+ Ostomy Care

The Me+ Ostomy Care App is a convenient way to be a part of a community of other ostomates while staying informed about new and inventive ways of living with an ostomy. This digital platform helps those with an ostomy find solutions to unmet needs and improve the experience of living with an ostomy. Through Me+™app, ConvaTec provides support to clinicians and caregivers, as well as comprehensive solutions for ostomates.

OstoBuddy

The OstoBuddy ostomy app allows ostomates to keep track of their ostomy supply inventory, set reminders for ostomy system changes, and keep track of output and consistency. This app for ostomates saves time and is a great advantage when keeping track of ostomy supplies so you won’t run into emergencies.

Ostomy 101

The Ostomy 101 app is free on Apple IOS & Android devices and provides all the tools and resources necessary for living a successful life with an ostomy. This non-profit app includes:

  • Ostomy surgeries explained
  • Clinician led ostomy education videos offered in both English & Spanish
  • Telemedicine appointments with a Certified Ostomy Nurse (WOCN)
  • Ostomy lifestyle videos, blogs, & podcasts
  • Free manufacturer samples & coupons
  • Ostomy pouches & accessories
  • Free recovery programs
  • Free virtual support groups, classes, & events
  • And more!

Ozzi Ostomy

The Ozzi Ostomy app helps ostomates take control of their lives while living with an ostomy. This app makes it easy to track ostomy and urine output and set up personalized notifications to manage hydration. The app will send notifications based on the previous day’s entries by entering the amount of stool and urine you void throughout the day. The personalized messages may include increasing your fluids, taking stool thickening medications, or suggest medical attention if your entries are concerning. The Oxxi Ostomy app can replace a bladder or bowel diary and help you simplify your life with an ostomy.

Stoma Steps

The Stoma Steps app is designed to help support and guide you through your ostomy journey. This app provides encouragement and advice as it helps assist you in preparing for and adjusting to life with a stoma. Stoma steps takes the process one step at a time to make it easy and less stressful for those going through or recovering from recent stoma surgery. The Stoma Steps app will guide you through the weeks to come at a comfortable pace for you.

Stoma Steps provides articles relevant to your journey stage, tips on managing your stoma, and tools to enable you to video a pouch change with your nurse.  You can make notes such as fluid intake, sleep patterns, and how you are feeling. There is also access to a community chat where ostomates can share experiences and information. This safe space helps provide the support you may need when adjusting to life with an ostomy.

While this does not represent a complete list of resources available to those with ostomies and their families, the ones listed may provide a starting point for your exploration for help and information.

Adjusting to life with a stoma can be a scary and overwhelming time, and you may feel like you need more support and guidance than ever. Being well informed on what to expect at each stage of your journey will help you to make any necessary adjustments and progress confidently with your recovery. Hopefully, some of these resources will help you find your ‘new normal’ and live well after ostomy surgery.

Popular Ostomy Products

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Vitamin D and Bladder Health

Did you know that being deficient in vitamin D may impact our bladder health? Having a sufficient level of vitamin D in the body has been shown to alleviate bladder leaks. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that has powerful effects throughout the body. This vitamin helps us in so many ways since every cell in the body has a receptor for it.

Many people don’t know much about vitamin D, why we need it, how a low level can affect us, or how it is related to our bladder health. Here, we will break it all down for you and explain what vitamin D is and why it is essential in our overall health.

Why We Need Vitamin D

father and mother assisting their daughter umping outside in the sunVitamin D is essential for everyone; however, it is especially critical for women. As women age, estrogen levels begin to drop off. Estrogen is the hormone that protects a woman’s bones. This decrease in estrogen contributes to loss of bone density and muscle strength.

Without this essential vitamin, bone health suffers, leading to osteoporosis, increasing the chances of breaking a bone. Vitamin D also optimizes our muscle strength for stability, balance, and flexibility. When we don’t have even one of those, the risk of falls, injury, and other problems increases.

Vitamin D plays many essential roles within our bodies. Some of the ways it helps us are:

  • Facilitates calcium absorption
  • Impacts our heart health
  • Keeps our bones strong
  • Contributes to a healthy immune system
  • Stabilizes our mood
  • Controls healthy blood sugar levels
  • Keeps our bladder healthy

When we take in vitamin D from food, supplements, or the sun, it gets stored in our fat cells. From there, vitamin D remains inactive until it is needed. When the body needs vitamin D, it is released into the liver and then the kidneys, where it goes through a process to activate the vitamin D in our bodies.

Vitamin D, Pelvic Floor Health, & Bladder Control

Not only does Vitamin D benefit our bones, but it may also help with muscle strength, including the muscles in the pelvic floor and bladder control. With age, childbirth, or trauma, the pelvic floor muscles can become weak. Pressure from the organs above the bladder can then cause occasional urinary leaks. Since vitamin D optimizes our muscle strength, a lack of it will impair our muscle strength, mass, and bladder health.

The pelvic floor is a sling of muscles, like a hammock that supports our uterus, colon, and bladder. A vitamin D deficiency can contribute to a weak pelvic floor, potentially causing any of the following:

  • Stress incontinence– Experiencing leaks and drips after physical movement such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, or lifting.
  • Overactive bladder– The bladder muscles sporadically contract, giving a sense of urgency to urinate and leading to involuntary leakage.
  • Bladder Prolapse – Also known as a cystocele, a herniated, or fallen bladder, bladder prolapse is when the muscles between the bladder and the vagina weaken, causing the bladder to droop into the vagina.

One clinical study found was that women with lower levels of Vitamin D were much more likely to experience pelvic floor dysfunctions and disorders than those with healthier levels. Speaking to your doctor to get your vitamin D levels checked might be a good idea if you are experiencing any signs and symptoms we will discuss now.

Signs of Low Vitamin D Levels

woman sitting in a chair holding her stomach in painLack of vitamin D is not quite as apparent in adults as it is in children. Some of the signs and symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency might include:

  • Getting sick often – Vitamin D keeps the immune system strong to fight viruses and bacteria.
  • Fatigue – Talk to your doctor. Fatigue is often an overlooked symptom and can usually be controlled by taking a vitamin D supplement.
  • Bone and back pain – Again, talk to your doctor. A vitamin D supplement may be able to alleviate some of this pain.
  • Hair loss – If you are nutrient deficient, hair loss could be related to low vitamin D levels in the body. Most commonly, this is caused by an autoimmune disease called rickets. This disease causes soft bones due to a vitamin D deficiency.
  • Muscle weakness, aches, or cramps – Muscle pain can be pretty difficult to pinpoint. Chronic muscle pain has been linked to low levels of vitamin D.
  • Mood changes or depression – Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression, especially in older adults. A supplement of vitamin D may improve this symptom.
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence – Studies have shown that low vitamin D levels are linked to pelvic floor disorders such as urinary and fecal incontinence. Since vitamin D is related to bone and muscle strength, a deficiency could lead to bladder leakage.

Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, and most people are unaware of it. Symptoms often come on slowly, so it can be difficult to pinpoint whether they are caused by a lack of vitamin D or something else. Always speak to your doctor about any symptoms you are having so they can measure your blood levels. Usually, a vitamin D deficiency is easily fixed by taking a supplement, increasing your sun exposure, or eating more vitamin D-rich foods such as dairy products or fatty fish.

How Can You Increase Your Vitamin D Levels?

There are a variety of ways that you can boost your Vitamin D levels. Here are a few suggestions:

Get outside and soak up some sun… safely!

Referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is made in the body by using the sun’s UV-B rays. When the cholesterol in the skin is exposed to these rays, it becomes vitamin D. Many other factors contribute to the amount of vitamin D the body makes, such as skin tone, age, geographic location, and sunscreen. The older you are, the darker your skin, the further away from the equator you live in, and the higher USP-rated sunscreen you wear all contribute to how much sun exposure you need to produce vitamin D.

Vitamin D supplements

There are two types of vitamin D supplements; vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is found in plant-based foods, and vitamin D3 is found in animal products and fatty fish. One of the best supplements for increasing your vitamin D3 is cod liver oil or fish oil. Vitamin D2 supplements help the body keep the right amount of calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Both vitamin D2 and D3 supplements are available over-the-counter. However, getting your blood levels checked can help your doctor determine the correct dose of vitamin D supplements to take.

Add vitamin D to your diet

You can try to incorporate many foods into your daily diet to help increase your vitamin D levels. Some of those foods are:

  • Mushrooms – Like humans, mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s UV light.
  • Egg yolks – Chickens raised in a free-range pasture are exposed to the sun and produce more vitamin D-rich eggs.
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D – Many goods like cereals, orange juice, almond milk, yogurt, and tofu have vitamin D added to them to increase the intake of this vitamin.

The Bottom Line About Vitamin D and Bladder Health

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that keeps the body and bladder healthy. It builds strong bones and muscles, including the bladder muscles that support your pelvic floor and help it work efficiently. It may be helpful to keep a bladder diary if you are starting to notice bladder leaks. You can share that information with your doctor so they can better understand your symptoms. You might be surprised how getting a little more sun or slightly changing your diet could help your vitamin D levels and bladder health.

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How Ostomy Supplies Have Improved Over the Years

Experiencing challenges with ostomy supplies is quite common among those with an ostomy. Some of those challenges can include skin irritations, leakage, and odors. Over the years, ostomy supplies have been invented in an attempt to address these complications. Today, ostomy supplies are better quality, safer, and most importantly, help improve quality of life.

What is an Ostomy Pouching System?

The ostomy pouching system is offered as either a one-piece or a two-piece flexible system consisting of an ostomy pouch and a skin barrier, sometimes referred to as a flange, wafer, device, or appliance. The skin barrier sits against the skin that surrounds the stoma and may be flat or convex (curved). A one-piece system combines both the barrier and pouch into one convenient unit. The entire one-piece system requires replacement when changing out since the skin barrier and pouch are attached. The two-piece system, however, is made up of a separate skin barrier and ostomy pouch. The two pieces are connected using a coupling ring, and when changing out, the existing pouch is removed, and a new one is attached while the skin barrier remains in place.

The Beginnings of Ostomy Systems

Hollister Karaya PowderIt is recorded as the year 1706 that the first stoma was created on a patient that resulted in a prolapsed colostomy from a battlefield wound. Later in 1776, a French physician formed a stoma on a patient that suffered from an intestinal blockage. An elastic band held a sponge over the stoma site on the abdomen to collect output. Then, for many years, stoma output was managed by ostomy supplies made of leather pouches with drawstrings or rubber pouches and plastic skin barriers held in place using adhesives and belts.

Over the next 60 years, ostomy supplies, surgical techniques, and patient care evolved.  There were approximately 25 manufacturers of ostomy supplies by 1960 in the United States. Ostomy pouch materials were being tested to take away the bulk and heaviness of the rubber pouches being used. The result was a thinner plastic film that was more simple and functional. There are many ostomy pouches today that are constructed of quieter, water-repellent materials and help control odors.

When it came to ostomy, skin barriers, glass, and porcelain were used first. Then in the 1950s, zinc-based skin barriers were used to help protect the stoma and promote peristomal skin health. Later in the 1960s, a laboratory accident led to the discovery of Karaya powder, a natural hydrocolloid that absorbs moisture and protects peristomal skin under the barrier. Nowadays, skin barriers made of hydrocolloid material have become popular and used in most ostomy systems. Hydrocolloid skin barriers can help reduce skin irritation, offer a better seal for fewer leaks, and allow for a longer wear time.

Manufacturer's Focus Today

Today, many manufacturers focus more on the patient’s needs and create ostomy supplies with features that can help improve the fit and performance as well as the user’s quality of life.

Ostomy supplies today address various stoma types, such as retracted or recessed, protruding, or flush. Ostomy supplies such as deodorants, belts and wraps, filters, and seals have come a long way to help prevent leaks, odors, and security. And, the wide range of ostomy pouches that are now available address nearly every type of body type and lifestyle.

Ostomy Pouches Today

Fast-forward to the present, and you will find ostomy supplies that cover almost every concern those with an ostomy might encounter. There are ostomy pouches made of water-repellent, noise-reducing materials, films that help control odors, and many that feature filters to reduce ballooning from gas.

One-Piece Ostomy Systems

A one-piece ostomy system is a pouch and skin barrier combined into one single system. The skin barrier and the ostomy pouch cannot be separated. Manufacturers like Hollister, Coloplast, and ConvaTec, to name a few, carry a wide range of one-piece ostomy systems that cover a variety of user needs.

Two-Piece Ostomy Systems

Unlike the one-piece ostomy system, the two-piece ostomy system offers more flexibility when choosing a pouch and separate barrier since they are not permanently connected. When emptying or changing out the pouch, the skin barrier can remain in place, offering a quick and easy replacement. The two-piece ostomy system also puts less stress on the peristomal skin since the barrier is not being removed as frequently, causing skin friction and irritations.

ConvaTec Esteem one-piece ostomy pouch with barrierDrainable Ostomy Pouches

A drainable ostomy pouch allows the user to drain or clean and reattach to the skin barrier. Drainable pouches typically feature an EasiClose or InvisiClose style closure that uses Velcro to re-close the end. They can also feature other types of seals, such as a clamp or press and seal style. The drainable and reusable ostomy pouches can help cut down on costs since they can be reused.

ConvaTec Esteem one-piece moldable pouchClosed-End Ostomy Pouches

A closed-end ostomy pouch requires it to be discarded after it is full from output. The closed-end pouch might be a good choice for someone that doesn’t want to clean out their pouch. Offered in various shapes and sizes, a closed-end pouch can minimize the time and effort required for change-outs.

activelife stoma capStoma Caps

A stoma cap is the smallest ostomy pouch offered and is another type of closed-end system. The stoma cap is usually the choice for those with very active lifestyles, when being intimate, or for someone that has mastered irrigating their ostomy and has predictable output. Stoma caps are not meant to be worn for long periods since they do not have the capacity of a standard ostomy pouch.

Skin Barriers Today

Today, skin barriers are thinner and much more flexible than those of the past. Many skin barriers are designed to stick to the skin, have integrated closures, are more comfortable, and prevent leaks. Skin barriers are also designed for specific stoma types.

Flat Skin Barriers

If your stoma protrudes, you have deep abdominal creases, or a hernia, a flat skin barrier may be a good fit for you. A flat skin barrier is flexible and accommodates the body’s natural contours. An ostomy paste can fill any creases and create a smooth surface for the flat barrier to adhere nicely.

ConvaTec Natura Durahesive Accordion Trim-to-Fit Skin Barrier with ConvexityConvex Skin Barriers

If your stoma does not protrude, is flush with the abdomen, or is retracted slightly below the skin’s surface, a convex skin barrier may be the right choice for you. Flush and recessed or retracted stomas achieve a more significant protrusion using a convex skin barrier that applies gentle pressure around the stoma to increase protrusion.

Extended Wear Skin Barriers

Generally speaking, standard skin barriers have a shorter wear-time due to less resistance to liquid stool and urine. Standard wear skin barriers do not hold up to lengthy exposure to stool and urine and cause skin irritations because of frequent changes. An extended wear skin barrier, on the other hand, is formulated with substances that have a greater resistance to feces and urine. These substances absorb moisture causing the barrier to swell up around the stoma. Peristomal skin is protected with an extended wear skin barrier and helps reduce skin irritations.

Pre-cut Skin Barriers

If your stoma is round and the size is not changing, a pre-cut skin barrier may suit you. Pre-cut skin barriers offer a consistent stoma opening that doesn’t require cutting with ostomy scissors for an exact fit.

Cut-to-Fit Skin Barriers

If the size of your stoma is oval or changing dimensions, using a cut-to-fit style skin barrier might be a good choice. Since your stoma is an irregular shape and size, a pre-but skin barrier will not provide the tight seal needed to prevent leaks and potential skin irritations.

Moldable Skin Barriers

Moldable skin barriers offer the same benefit as a cut-to-fit skin barrier, but with some added features. Moldable skin barriers don’t require any scissors, resulting in an elastic seal that fits any stoma shape and size for a secure and snug fit. This technology helps prevent leakage issues, but it has also been an excellent skin barrier option to promote skin health.

Ostomy Accessories Today

Many ostomy accessories are available today that help make ostomy systems more comfortable depending on various needs.

Coloplast Brava Lubricating DeodorantOstomy Deodorants

To keep an ostomy pouch smelling fresh and help kill odor-producing bacteria, ostomy deodorants can be used. The deodorants come in liquid drops, gels, sachets, or sprays and can be unscented or scented. When adding ostomy deodorants to a closed-end ostomy pouch, odors can be reduced when changing out the system. Some gel ostomy deodorants can also help make cleaning a drainable pouch easier by lubricating the pouch and eliminating odors left behind.

Adhesives & Adhesive Removers

One type of popular adhesive used for ostomy skin barriers is ostomy paste. This type of adhesive is used to fill in cracks and even out the skin’s contour so the skin barrier can have a better seal. The skin barrier will not stay in place when the skin’s surface is not smooth and flat. By using stoma paste, a reliable and strong seal is created that helps prevent leakage. Other adhesives are offered in the form of sprays, liquids, and roller ball applicators.

Once using an ostomy adhesive, an adhesive remover can gently break down the adhesive on the skin and the barrier. Many ostomy removers are sting-free and help to preserve the health of the delicate peristomal skin. Adhesive removers are available in the form of wipes and sprays to help remove rubber-based, acrylic-based, and hydrocolloid-based residues.

Hollister Adapt Stoma PowderOstomy Powders

Ostomy powders work by absorbing moisture around the stoma to better seal a skin barrier. The powder will turn into a gel when wet but does not contain any adhesive. Ostomy powders are meant to be used only on raw or weepy peristomal skin to help protect the skin from further irritations and extend the wear time of an ostomy skin barrier.

Barrier Wipes & Sprays

Barrier wipes and sprays help reduce skin irritation from adhesives and friction by creating a protective chemical film on the peristomal skin. Barrier wipes and sprays are easy to use and can be combined with stoma powder to better seal the skin barrier. Simply apply the stoma powder and then top with a barrier spray and allow to dry.

a couple of ostomy belts offered at Personally DeliveredOstomy Belts & Wraps

An ostomy belt is useful for securing an ostomy system to the body, protecting the seal, and preventing leaks. Ostomy belts and wraps are available in various styles and sizes to match any situation and can be an alternative to adhesives for sensitive skin. Those who lead active lifestyles can benefit from an ostomy belt since it can provide a sense of security when moving, twisting, and turning.

Ostomy Strips

The use of ostomy strips prevents the skin barrier from lifting and rolling, causing an insecure seal and leakage. Ostomy strips follow the body’s contours and move with the skin, creating a better sense of security and peace of mind that your barrier will stay in place during various activities. ConvaTec easeStrips are a popular ostomy strip that are flexible, thin, and made of hydrocolloid material to be skin-friendly and water-resistant.

Ostomy supplies offered today have made the ostomy system lighter weight, lower profile for comfort, and more discreet for confidence. At the end of the day, the goal is for those with an ostomy to get back to doing the things they enjoy most in life.

If you have any questions about the many ostomy supplies we offer at Personally Delivered, give us a call. Our Ostomy Product Experts are available to help you narrow down and choose what ostomy supplies are suitable for your specific needs or the person you are caring for. We are helping change people’s lives, one person at a time.

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Neurogenic Bladder: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment Options

The central nervous system consists of the brain, the spinal cord, and many nerves in between. It is responsible for many of the functions within our bodies. When the brain and the nervous system are not properly communicating, or there is damage to these nerves, messages that are supposed to be sent to and from the brain are disrupted. In neurogenic bladder, the nerves do not work the way that they should.

What is Neurogenic Bladder?

Neurogenic Bladder (NGB) happens when conditions related to the brain, spinal cord, or central nervous system affect the bladder. Under normal conditions, the bladder communicates with the brain to hold or release urine. When the nerves that control this communication are disrupted, the bladder becomes either overactive or underactive, depending on the nature of the damage. Neurogenic bladder occurs when neurological issues interrupt these critical messages, causing the bladder to malfunction.

Symptoms of Neurogenic Bladder

woman holding her hands on her stomach in painThe symptoms of neurogenic bladder depend on what is causing the condition. The most common symptom of NGB is the inability to control urination. You can either lose control over your ability to urinate (overactive bladder or OAB) or are unable to fully empty the bladder, or have slow bladder emptying (underactive bladder or UAB).

Other symptoms of neurogenic bladder may include:

  • A weak or dribbling urinary stream
  • Frequent urination (urinating eight or more times daily)
  • A feeling or need to urinate immediately (urge incontinence)
  • An inability to fully empty your bladder (urinary retention)
  • Painful urination, which may mean there is a urinary tract infection
  • Repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Difficulty determining when your bladder is full
  • Leaking urine

It is critical to contact your doctor if you have these symptoms or others that are related to urinating. More harm to the urinary system may happen by leaving signs and symptoms to progress without proper medical treatment.

What Causes Neurogenic Bladder?

Neurogenic bladder can be congenital or caused by a brain disorder or bladder nerve damage. Either way, the nerves that communicated between the brain and the bladder are not working correctly.

Congenital disabilities that can cause neurogenic bladder include:

Spina bifida

When a fetus’ spine does not fully develop during the first month of pregnancy, Spina bifida occurs. After birth, babies often have weakness or paralysis that affects the bladder and how it works.

Sacral agenesis

Sacral agenesis is a congenital condition in which parts or all of the sacrum and lower spine are missing.

Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of chronic disorders that affect a person’s ability to control body movement and posture. These disorders result from injury to the motor areas of the brain. Cerebral refers to the brain, and palsy refers to the weakened muscles. Cerebral palsy may occur in the womb or after birth and is not always diagnosed in the first year of life.

Various other medical conditions and brain disorders that can cause neurogenic bladder include the following:

  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Trauma/accidents
  • Central nervous system tumors
  • Heavy metal poisoning

If your doctor thinks you might have a neurogenic bladder, they will perform or order nervous system and bladder muscles tests. By treating the underlying condition, symptoms can often be reduced.

How is Neurogenic Bladder Diagnosed?

Various tests can help determine the health of the central nervous system and the bladder for a doctor to determine if neurogenic bladder is the diagnosis.

Some of the typical testing a doctor may perform or order includes:

Medical history

Your health care provider may ask you several questions to understand your medical history. These questions may include:

  • Symptoms you are having, how long you have had them, and how they are changing your life
  • Information about your past and current health problems
  • A list of the over-the-counter and prescription drugs you are taking
  • How your diet is and about how many liquids you drink during an average day

Physical exam

A physical exam may help your doctor better understand what might be causing your symptoms. The physical exam will likely include your abdomen, pelvis or prostate, and rectum.

Urine culture

A sample of your urine is tested for blood or infection when asked for a urine culture.

Bladder scan

A bladder scan is an ultrasound that shows the amount of urine remaining in the bladder after using the restroom.

Bladder Diary Page 1Bladder diary

You may be asked to keep a bladder diary to track how often you are using the restroom or leaking each day. By keeping a bladder diary for a couple of weeks, your doctor and you can sit down to discuss and learn more about your daily symptoms.

You can download and print your bladder diary here: Bladder Diary

Cystoscopy

A catheter with a tiny camera is inserted into the urethra during a cystoscopy to look into the bladder. This procedure can help the doctor diagnose urinary problems and determine what treatment is necessary. The test can tell how much the bladder can hold, how elastic it is, and when you feel the need to release urine. Bladder cancer, an enlarged prostate, and UTIs can all be found during a cystoscopy.

Other imaging

Your doctor may need to do additional imaging tests such as x-rays and CT scans to help diagnose your condition. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist for imaging of the spine and brain.

How is Neurogenic Bladder Treated?

Treatment for neurogenic bladder is dependent on what is causing your symptoms and how serious they are. Manufacturers in the medical industry continue to release new inventions to help improve bladder control. The most popular surgery for both men and women is bladder sling surgery. Your doctor may consider these procedures when helping you determine what may work best for you.

Currently, there is no cure for neurogenic bladder, but these are some options your doctor may recommend as treatments to help manage your symptoms:

Portrait of happy young Caucasian woman wearing sportswear doing pelvic muscle exercise lying on mat and smiling in gymBladder training

Kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Since these muscles support your bowel and bladder, practicing these exercises can help prevent urinary leakage. To learn more about Kegel exercises for pelvic floor health, visit our blog post, Take Control of Your Pelvic Floor Disorder.

Delay urination

By waiting a few minutes after you feel the urge to urinate, you are practicing delayed voiding. The goal of delaying urination is to extend this time to a few hours in another attempt to train your bladder.

Urinate on a schedule

By urinating at certain times throughout the day, you might avoid, which can help prevent your bladder from becoming too full. Your doctor may also ask you to keep a bladder diary or journal to record any leakage incidents. A bladder diary can help you determine the best intervals for urinating.

Incontinence products

Incontinence products such as protective underwear, pads, panty shields, panty liners, and adult diapers can help prevent wetness and odors while protecting skin and clothing. The use of underpads, bed pads, chux, and mattress protectors can protect mattresses.

Intermittent catheterization

Your doctor may recommend intermittent catheterization to ensure complete bladder emptying. You may need to self-catheterize a few times a day; however, the catheter may need to stay in long-term in some instances. A variety of intermittent catheters are available to ensure the experience is as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Medication

Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescribe certain medications to help to relax the bladder muscles and help improve bladder function.

collage of coffee mug, brownies, tomatoes, and alcoholic beveragesChange of lifestyle and diet

Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce pressure on the bladder and help relieve symptoms of overactive bladder. Avoiding foods and beverages such as the following can also help reduce or prevent irritating your system:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Dairy
  • Chocolate
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fruit juices

Electrical stimulation

Another treatment option is electrical stimulation therapy. This therapy involves placing small electrodes on the bladder. When stimulated, the electrodes can send impulses to the brain, telling it you need to urinate.

Botox for OAB

Botox works by stopping the nerve signals to the bladder muscles that trigger OAB. The entire procedure is outpatient and typically done in a doctor’s office. Your doctor will fill your bladder with a numbing agent. Once the bladder is numb, a cystoscope is inserted through the urethra, and Botox is injected into multiple strategic points of the bladder muscle. Your doctor will discuss Botox as a treatment for neurogenic bladder if you are intolerant to all other medications and treatment options.

Surgery

If other treatments fail, you could require a procedure or device to help you urinate. Your doctor can insert an artificial sphincter into your body that compresses the urethra to prevent urinary leakage, which can be manually released to allow emptying of the bladder. Other surgical options include bladder reconstruction surgery which may help with bladder control, or undergoing urostomy surgery. With a urostomy, the ureters are attached to a small portion of the ilium that is then used to create a stoma. A urostomy pouch is then be used to collect and discard urine from the body.

At Personally Delivered, we carry a wide range of incontinence products, catheters, ostomy supplies, and more to manage various symptoms from medical conditions. For help choosing the products, you need for your unique situation, give us a call. One of our compassionate, knowledgeable, and friendly Product Experts is ready to assist.

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A Stoma Cap and its Many Uses

A stoma cap can be a beneficial and discreet option when learning to care for your stoma in various situations. Having the right medical supplies can enhance your life with an ostomy, and a stoma cap might be the ostomy accessory you are looking for.

What is a Stoma Cap?

A stoma cap is the smallest closed-end ostomy bag available and is used just like a traditional ostomy pouch. The only difference is that a stoma cap is incapable of holding stool for long-term usage due to its size. Generally, a stoma cap is about the size of the palm of the hand, approximately 3-4 inches across.

Many of the features you’ll find on a traditional closed-end ostomy pouch can be found on stoma caps.  Features like filters, mechanical couplings with a lock, clear and transparent options, pre-cut, cut-to-fit, and adhesive coupling systems are all options depending on the brand. It is common for the stoma cap to have an absorbent liner to help absorb moisture that is naturally produced by the stoma.

hollister stoma cap

Is a Stoma Cap Right for You?

Since the size of the stoma cap is small and they are not drainable, they are intended for those with an inactive stoma. Unfortunately, a stoma cap is not suitable for all types of ostomies. For those with ileostomies or unpredictable colostomy output, a stoma cap may not be a good choice. A stoma cap is not an ideal choice for large amounts of liquid or formed stool and may cause trouble.

If you irrigate your colostomy and have predictable and relatively infrequent bowel movements, a stoma cap may be an option for short-term or daily use.

When a Stoma Cap is Useful

As previously mentioned, a stoma cap is most helpful for those with a colostomy that have predictable output. Stoma caps can be convenient when discretion is a priority.

Some examples of when a stoma cap can be a benefit include to following scenarios:

Swimming

One of the most common places a person desires discretion is at the pool. A stoma cap can provide this and can be easily concealed by a bathing suit or swim trunks due to its small size. Traditional ostomy pouches can be bulky, become heavy, and get in the way during water activities.

man in red swim shorts floating on his back under water

Working out or playing sports

Stoma caps are less likely to get in the way or move around when participating in a sport or working out at the gym. Additionally, a stoma protector can be paired with a stoma cap to provide more protection to the stoma if you are engaging in contact sports such as wrestling, football, or basketball. This product will protect the stoma from pressure and impact and help prevent leaks from the stoma cap.

men playing wheelchair basketball

Intimacy

Discreetness is usually a preference when being intimate with your partner. A stoma cap can be a less obtrusive option during intimate moments and less prone to getting caught on fabric. When being intimate with your partner, the last thing you want is to snag the stoma cap and cause it to either come off or uncomfortably pull the stoma.

couple intimately looking at one another

Irrigation

If you have successfully mastered emptying your bowels and flushing the colon, the stoma cap could be considered a full-time solution. Irrigation is a process that takes time and practice. By flushing water into the colon through the stoma, irrigation can be beneficial when desiring to wear a stoma cap full-time.

What if a Stoma Cap is Not Right for Me?

Nu-Hope Original Flat Panel Ostomy Support Belt, 5 inches wide, beige, 3-1/4 inch center stoma opening for a 36 to 40 inch waistIf a stoma cap is not the right option for you, but you still want a discreet option for covering your ostomy, you might want to consider an ostomy belt or ostomy wrap. An ostomy belt is an accessory that can provide more security for an ostomy pouching system. The tension that an ostomy belt or wrap delivers helps pull the ostomy pouching system toward the skin and prevent leakage. Those that have a very active lifestyle may benefit from using an ostomy belt.

Ostomy belts and wraps are available in a wide range of sizes and styles to accommodate pairing with different manufacturer pouching systems and body types. If you need assistance determining which ostomy belt or wrap works with your current ostomy pouching system, our Product Experts are available to help.

Where to Buy Stoma Caps

At Personally Delivered, we carry stoma caps by trusted brands like ConvaTec and Hollister. The ActiveLife One-Piece Stoma Cap by ConvaTec features a charcoal filter that helps deodorize gas as it is released from the pouch. It is a lightweight, latex-free, and discreet option for those with less active or predictable stoma output.

Our Hollister Stoma Cap also features an integrated deodorizing carbon filter. This stoma cap has a non-adherent and absorbent pad that protects from skin complications and is lightweight for comfort. You can confidently enjoy swimming and bathing with this stoma cap.

For any questions about the stoma caps or other ostomy supplies we offer, please give us a call, and our Product Experts are happy to help.

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Traveling with Infants and Toddlers During Diaper Years

Traveling with infants and toddlers can come with its challenges. But preparing for the number of diaper changes that will happen while on the road or on a plane can feel almost impossible. By packing a sufficient amount of essentials, you can hopefully take a little stress out of the equation and enjoy your trip to its fullest. Keep reading for some tips and checklists that might help make your travels easier with babies, toddlers, or young children.

Traveling with Infants and Toddlers by Air

Flying with young children can have many challenges, especially in the summer months when more people travel for vacations and holidays. Not only do parents have to deal with airport traffic, long TSA lines, flight delays, and COVID protocols, they are doing so with small children. Flying with an infant or toddler can be more manageable by planning ahead.

Per FAA rules, airlines do not require an infant or toddler under the age of two to be seated in their separate seat. Babies or toddlers under the age of two are allowed to sit on the parent’s lap for the duration of their flight; however, the FAA strongly encourages securing your child in a child restraint system (CSR) in their own seat. If your toddler is two years or older, a separate seat must be purchased. It would be helpful to check with the airline to see if they offer a discounted child fare to save some money.

For a full list of airline fees, restrictions, and allowances for traveling with infants and toddlers, visit Skyscanner.

For a complete list of special procedures for traveling with infants and toddlers, visit TSA.gov.

Balmex Diaper Rash OintmentTips for traveling with infants or toddlers by air include:

  • Decide whether your infant needs their own seat and ask if there is a reduced fee.
  • Choose an aisle seat.
  • Double your carry-on bag as a diaper bag.
  • Pack extra supplies

Most airlines allow a stroller to be kept at the front of the plane. However, if your stroller is collapsible, it may fit into the overhead bins. Another important reminder is about the changing air pressure in the cabin as the flight ascends and descends. Feeding your child at these times may help to avoid or reduce any uncomfortable pressure in the ears.

Traveling with Infants and Toddlers by Car

Road trips remain a popular way to travel, especially for families with young children. They offer the benefit of cost savings, schedule flexibility, and convenience.

If you find yourself in a bind and need to change your baby or toddler’s diaper immediately, the following best practices for safety are recommended:

  • Pull your car off onto the shoulder of the road. Ideally, it would be best to pull off on an exit ramp or rest stop, but sometimes that is not an option.
  • Turn the car’s ignition off, and then turn on the hazard lights.
  • Prepare your diaper changing space in your vehicle.
  • Remove your baby or toddler from their car seat to change their diaper.

A baby car kit is a helpful tool to help you stay organized with the essential items needed for a baby’s car changing station. Turn your vehicle into a prepared and ready-to-change diapering area by starting with an efficient container.

Baby getting their diaper changed by their mother on a changing padInfant and Toddler Car Kit Checklist:

NOTE: It is against the law to remove a baby, toddler, or young child from a car seat while the car is in motion. Never attempt to change a diaper while traveling with infants and toddlers while in a moving vehicle. Each state in the U.S. sets car seat and booster seat laws and imposes fines accordingly. For more information, visit Safe Ride 4 Kids for car seat laws by state.

If you’re planning on traveling with infants and toddlers, save yourself time by scheduling time for diaper breaks and equipping your car or carry-on diaper bag with the essential items your child needs. A successful trip will help create an even better vacation with wonderful family memories!

For any questions about the baby diapers, toddler diapers & briefs, or any other products and supplies we carry at Personally Delivered that can help complete your preparation kits for travel, give us a call. One of our friendly, knowledgeable, and compassionate Product Advisors will gladly assist you in building the perfect car travel kit or diaper bag essentials kit for traveling with infants and toddlers. We want to help take some of the stressors away and make sure you have the most enjoyable and memorable trip.

Popular Products for Infants and Toddlers

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