How to Empty Your Bladder Completely

Here at Personally Delivered, we are committed to providing you with the most comprehensive information on bladder health management. This guide will provide crucial insights on how to fully empty your bladder, an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy urinary system. We will discuss the bladder’s function, techniques for emptying, beneficial bladder habits, and signs indicating it may be time to seek medical help.

Understanding Bladder Function

The urinary system is vital to our health by eliminating waste and surplus bodily fluids. When empty, the bladder is roughly the size of a small pear but can stretch to accommodate up to 16 ounces of urine. Understanding how to empty your bladder completely is crucial for maintaining bladder health and preventing urinary tract infections.

Did you know that incomplete bladder emptying can cause stagnant urine and increase the risk of infections? It can also put pressure on the bladder muscles and weaken them over time. This condition can stem from several factors, such as weak bladder muscles, urinary tract obstructions, nerve damage, and certain medical conditions. It is essential to be aware of symptoms like frequent urination, weak urine flow, and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. By recognizing these signs, you can proactively address the issue and maintain a healthier bladder.

older adult standing in protective underwear with a bladder that is not fully empty

If you are struggling with how to fully empty your bladder, seeking advice from a healthcare professional is vital. At Personally Delivered, we offer a range of bladder management products, such as catheters, drainage bags, and incontinence products like protective underwear and adult diapers. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you find the right solutions for your unique needs, ensuring comfort and improved bladder health.

Techniques for Complete Bladder Emptying

To fully empty your bladder correctly, consider these guidelines:

  • Sit comfortably on the toilet with feet flat on the floor to encourage natural urine flow.
  • Avoid straining or hovering over the toilet seat. Relax your pelvic muscles, utilizing gravity to ensure complete bladder emptying.
  • Employ relaxation techniques, such as deep, slow breathing and full-body relaxation, to facilitate the process.
  • Listen to soothing music or visualize relaxing scenes to ease stress and tension, enhancing muscle coordination for optimal emptying.
  • Engage in pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, to strengthen the muscles that support the bladder and urethra, thereby improving bladder control.

Establishing Beneficial Bladder Habits

Adopting good bladder habits is a proactive way to maintain a healthy urinary system. These habits can promote proper bladder function and aid in how to empty your bladder fully.

Stay hydrated for bladder health

  • Aim for 6-8 glasses of water daily to flush toxins and keep the urinary system hydrated.
  • This helps prevent urinary tract infections and minimizes the risk of bladder irritation.

Limit intake of bladder irritants

  • Avoid or reduce consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
  • These substances can increase urination frequency and interfere with brain-bladder signals, leading to incomplete bladder emptying.

Establish a regular voiding schedule

  • Train your bladder to empty by urinating every 2-3 hours, even if there is no urge.
  • This practice prevents bladder overfill and promotes complete emptying, making the bladder more efficient over time.

Adopting these habits can promote bladder health and help in how to empty your bladder completely.

Recognizing When to Seek Medical Help

If you are noticing signs of urinary retention or struggling with how to empty your bladder fully, it may be time to seek medical advice. Key signs to watch out for include:

  • A sensation that your bladder is not empty after urinating
  • Weak urine stream or difficulty initiating urination
  • Frequent urge to urinate, even shortly after urinating
  • Pain or discomfort during urination
  • Blood in your urine

These symptoms could indicate underlying bladder dysfunction, which may require medical intervention. Potential causes include:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Inflammation of the bladder or prostate
  • Bladder stones or tumors
  • Nerve damage or neurological conditions
  • Side effects of medications

If you are experiencing persistent issues with how to fully empty your bladder or have concerns about your urinary health, don’t hesitate to seek medical evaluation. A healthcare professional can assess your symptoms, perform necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment options.

Bladder Management Products at Personally Delivered

Disclaimer: Important Notice Regarding Medical Advice

The information provided in this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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Low-Cost Medical Supplies at Personally Delivered

If you are on the hunt for low cost medical supplies without having to compromise on quality, look no further than Personally Delivered. We understand that the cost of medical supplies is a critical factor to consider when making a purchase. Our mission is to fulfill our customers’ medical needs at a price that fits comfortably within their budget. That is why we provide a wide range of affordable medical supplies to meet your needs.

At Personally Delivered, we firmly believe that quality healthcare should be accessible to all. We strive to offer competitive prices on all our medical supplies, from urological catheters to incontinence supplies, ostomy supplies, wound care, and more. We are dedicated to delivering high-quality, reliable products right to your doorstep.

Choosing Personally Delivered for Your Affordable Medical Supplies

Choosing Personally Delivered for your low cost medical supplies means choosing quality, affordability, and convenience. We take pride in offering an extensive range of affordable medical supplies that cater to diverse customer needs.

With Personally Delivered, you can order your affordable medical supplies online from the comfort of your own home. Our user-friendly website allows you to easily browse and select the products you need. Once your order is placed, our dedicated team ensures fast and reliable delivery to your doorstep. Say goodbye to the inconvenience of physical store visits and long waiting times.

With our Automatic Delivery program, saving money on home delivery medical supplies has never been easier. By opting in, you will enjoy a 5% discount on every shipment, allowing you to keep more money in your pocket without compromising on quality. You will never have to worry about running out of essential supplies again. Our automated system ensures timely deliveries based on your needs, providing peace of mind and convenience. And you can pause or cancel at any time.

Healthcare should be accessible for those of all ages, races, and genders.

Benefits of Choosing Affordable Medical Supplies

High-quality medical supplies are crucial to your health and well-being. At Personally Delivered, we understand the importance of affordability, so we offer low cost medical supplies without compromising on quality. You can save on essential medical supplies, enabling you to manage your healthcare budget more efficiently.

Choosing affordability does not mean settling for less. At Personally Delivered, we prioritize product reliability and durability. Our low cost medical supplies are sourced from trusted manufacturers, ensuring you receive products that meet the highest quality standards. From catheters and ostomy supplies to incontinence products, we offer a diverse selection of reliable supplies you can trust.

Our Dedication to Customer Satisfaction

At Personally Delivered, customer satisfaction is at the heart of our operations. We understand the importance of low-cost medical supplies to our customers and strive to deliver the best products and services to meet their needs.

We demonstrate our commitment to customer satisfaction through our dedicated customer support team. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff is always ready to assist you with questions or concerns. Whether it is help with product selection or post-purchase assistance, we are here for you.

Don’t just take our word for it – our customers consistently provide positive reviews and testimonials about their experience with Personally Delivered. We take pride in this feedback, which affirms our commitment to delivering high-quality products, exceptional service, and affordable prices.

Customer feedback speaking of reasonable prices, excellent customer service, and reliable delivery

Trust Personally Delivered for your low-cost medical supplies. We are committed to exceeding your expectations with our products and customer support.

Popular Low Cost Medical Supplies at Personally Delivered

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What is a Balloon Catheter?

Getting Acquainted with Balloon Catheters

A balloon catheter, often called a Foley catheter or indwelling catheter, is a medical device used to drain urine from the bladder. A balloon catheter is necessary for people who cannot naturally pass urine on their own or have impaired bladder function.

So, you might be wondering, how do balloon catheters work? These catheters have three key components: a flexible tube, an inflatable balloon, and an attached urinary drainage bag. The flexible tube is inserted into the urethra with an inflatable balloon at one end and a drainage bag at the other.

Once inside the body, the balloon is filled with sterile water or saline solution to secure the catheter and prevent slipping out. This type of catheter facilitates continuous urine drainage from the bladder into a urine collection bag. They are meant for long-term use and are left in place for an extended period.

Why is a Balloon Catheter Necessary?

Balloon catheterization is typically suggested for people with specific medical conditions, such as:

Urinary retention: When a person cannot empty their bladder, Foley catheters help drain urine from the bladder.

Urinary incontinence: In some instances, these catheters can be used to manage urinary incontinence by collecting and draining urine.

Post-surgical care: After certain surgeries, like prostate surgery, this catheter may be temporarily used to assist in bladder drainage and promote healing.

It is crucial to remember that these catheters should be used under the guidance and supervision of healthcare professionals. If you or a loved one requires a balloon catheter, consult your healthcare provider for proper instructions and care.

Pros and Cons of a Balloon Catheter

Medline 2-Way Silicone Foley CatheterWhile there are several benefits to using a balloon catheter, there are also potential risks and complications to consider.

Pros of a Balloon Catheter

Continuous and controlled urinary drainage

This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with urinary retention or those who cannot empty their bladder properly. This type of catheter can help prevent urinary tract infections and other complications associated with urinary retention by maintaining proper urinary flow.

Designed to be comfortable

Foley catheters are made from soft, flexible materials that minimize discomfort during insertion and while wearing the catheter. This is essential for individuals who require long-term catheterization.

Cons of a Balloon Catheter

Risk of infection

When a balloon catheter is in place, bacteria can enter the urinary tract and cause infection. To minimize this risk, following proper hygiene practices and regularly cleaning the catheter and the surrounding area is essential. Choosing a balloon catheter that is hydrophilic or pre-lubricated can help prevent bacterial adhesion, reducing the risk of infection.

Risk of catheter blockage or leakage

This can occur if the balloon is not correctly inflated or deflated, leading to urine leakage or difficulty draining urine. Ensuring proper balloon inflation and deflation is crucial to avoid these issues.

Doctor speaking to her patient about the risks of a balloon catheter

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can a balloon catheter be left in place?

These types of catheters are designed to be left in place for an extended period. The duration can vary depending on the patient’s needs and the healthcare professional’s recommendation. Generally, a balloon catheter can be left in place for up to 30 days. However, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for specific guidance regarding the duration of use.

What to do if the balloon catheter gets blocked?

If the catheter becomes blocked, it is essential to address the issue promptly. First, try flushing the catheter with a sterile saline solution to clear any obstructions. If the blockage persists, contact a healthcare professional for further assistance. Please do not attempt to force anything into the catheter or manipulate it without proper guidance.

Can a balloon catheter be reused?

No, these catheters are only designed for single use and should not be reused. Reusing a catheter can lead to potential infections and complications. Following proper medical waste disposal guidelines is crucial to ensure safe and hygienic disposal of used catheters.

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Disclaimer: Important Notice Regarding Medical Advice

The information provided in this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Surgery

Prostate surgery, or radical prostatectomy, is a common treatment option for men with localized prostate cancer and other prostate-related conditions. This surgery involves removing the entire prostate gland and some of the surrounding tissue. While the primary goal of these surgeries is to remove cancerous tissue or alleviate urinary symptoms, they can have unintended consequences, such as erectile dysfunction (ED). This blog post will discuss the connection between erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery the different surgical approaches, and treatments available to address this challenge.

The Connection Between Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Surgery

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. After prostate surgery, men often experience ED due to nerves and blood vessels that play a crucial role in erections being injured. Another reason for erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery is that the surgery can damage the arteries that supply blood to the penis, reducing blood flow. According to the National Library of Medicine, it is estimated that 85% of men will experience erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery. The extent of ED after prostate surgery depends on the surgery performed.

Two Primary Types of Radical Prostatectomies

The severity of erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery can vary from man to man. Some men can experience mild ED, while others experience complete ED. Although precautions are taken to help reduce the likelihood of complications, all surgeries come with risks. Two primary types of prostate surgeries can affect the severity of ED.

Open Prostatectomy

This traditional approach involves a large incision in the lower abdomen to access the prostate, which is detached from the bladder and urethra. The surgeon’s goal is to remove just enough tissue and not disturb any muscles that control urinary continence and the nerves that control erections. A temporary Foley catheter will be put in place to allow urine to drain as the patient heals. This surgery offers good cancer control but may have a higher risk of postoperative ED due to potential nerve damage.

Laparoscopic Prostatectomy

Laparoscopic surgery or robot-assisted surgery are minimally invasive and have become more common. This type of surgery eliminates the need for a large incision. A small needle is inserted just below the belly button, and the surgery is performed. Most men who undergo this type of prostate surgery experience less blood loss, less need for pain medication, early removal of a Foley catheter, and quicker recovery. Laparoscopic prostatectomy may provide better preservation of erectile function compared to open surgery but can still carry some risks.

Radiation therapy can also be used as an alternative to surgery, which can also lead to ED, although the onset may be gradual over time.

85 percent of men will experience erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery but treatment options are available

Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Surgery

Fortunately, there are several treatments available to help manage ED after prostate surgery:

Medications

Oral medications like Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and Levitra (vardenafil) can help improve blood flow to the penis by relaxing the blood vessels and enhancing erectile function. These drugs require a prescription if they are used for penile rehabilitation.

Penile Injections

Some men may benefit from injections containing medication that helps relax the blood vessels in the penis. These injections can help induce erections but can be time-consuming, costly, and inconvenient.

Vacuum Therapy Devices

Vacuum therapy devices, or vacuum pumps, penis pumps, or vacuum erection devices, use a vacuum to draw blood into the penis, creating an artificial erection. While they may not be as spontaneous as natural erections, penis pumps can help maintain penile health.

Penile Implants

In cases where other treatments are ineffective, a penile implant may be considered. This surgical procedure involves the insertion of inflatable tubes inside the penis. A fluid reservoir and pump are placed in the scrotum, allowing a man to control an erection when desired.

With various treatment options available, your doctor can help you develop a plan and help you decide which one or combination of options is right for you.

Tips for Coping with Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Surgery

Exercise

Staying active can help to improve your overall health and well-being, and it may also help to improve your erectile function.

Talk to Your Partner

Communication about your concerns is essential, and your partner can be a valuable source of support.

Ask for Help

Do not be afraid to ask for help. Many resources are available to help men with ED, including support groups and counseling services. Talk to your doctor or find a therapist in your state at Zencare.

Do Not Give Up

Many effective treatments are available. You may need to try a few of them before finding what works for you.

Summing it Up

Erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery can be a distressing side effect, but it is essential to remember that effective treatments and support are available. Effective communication with doctors, staying resilient and active, and having a supportive partner can all help increase the chances of returning to a satisfying sexual life. If you or a loved one is facing ED after prostate surgery, do not hesitate to seek help and explore options to regain sexual function and overall quality of life.

Vacuum Therapy Devices for Men with ED

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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Incontinence After Prostate Surgery

When a man requires partial or complete removal of his prostate gland due to cancer or other medical conditions, it can be a very technical and precise procedure. The prostate is located in an area of the body that is surrounded by a bundle of nerves and can be tricky to remove without avoiding injury to the bladder or rectum. During surgery, the urethra is cut to separate it from the prostate. Making the incision too close can damage the urethral sphincter and surrounding nerves, potentially causing prostate surgery incontinence. Nerve-sparing robotic surgery is a safe and minimally invasive technique for the removal of the prostate gland.

What is Nerve-Sparing Prostate Surgery

Nerve-sparing surgery is the process of a precise and careful attempt to spare any damage to the nerves that are extremely close to the tissues that are going to be removed. When the surrounding nerves are not preserved, a man may suffer from prostate surgery incontinence, erectile dysfunction (ED), or other complications.

Using the nerve-sparing robotic technique, surgeons can improve the outcomes and minimize trauma to the neurovascular bundle around the prostate gland. The urinary system consists of many nerves, and they all work in conjunction to make sure the urinary tract and bladder properly function. When the nerves are damaged, communication to the brain is interrupted, and a person then suffers from prostate surgery incontinence. Temporary or permanent ED may also be another result of prostate surgery. As you can see, using the robotic technique can significantly reduce harm to this sensitive area of the male anatomy and help prevent ED and  incontinence after prostate surgery.

Prostate Surgery Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction

Encore Medical Revive Custom Manual Vacuum Therapy System to help with erectile dysfunction after nerve-sparing surgeryOnce the surgery is complete, the surgeon reconnects the bladder to the urethra. A Foley catheter remains in place for approximately a week, and once that is removed, many times, men will experience prostate surgery incontinence. This can be one of the most bothersome issues and can be temporary or sometimes permanent. When the nerve-sparing robotic technique is used, permanent prostate surgery incontinence is rare.

Another potential complication of prostate surgery is erectile dysfunction. Nerves, muscles, and blood vessels are all involved when a man gets an erection. Any damage to these can cause him to have erectile dysfunction following this surgery. In some cases, this may be temporary. However, it can also be permanent, and achieving an erection will only be possible with the assistance of medical devices like the Encore Medical Revive Custom Manual Vacuum Therapy System or the Timm Medical Technologies Osbon OTC ErecAid Vacuum Therapy System. You can view more of these devices here.

Prostate Cancer Results

When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, he has a big decision to make on the type of treatment that is best for his needs. Nerve-sparing robotic prostate surgery is often the preferred choice by surgeons to avoid long-term prostate surgery incontinence and the potential for impotence. During robotic surgery, the incisions are extremely precise, and the margin of error in harming the nerves, muscles, and valves is greatly reduced. This process is also minimally invasive, which helps to lessen any post-operative pain and also shorten recovery time.

Because the prostate lies between the bladder and the rectum and is wrapped around the urethra, many vulnerable nerves are at risk. The standard operation is a delicate task and can leave room for disrupting the bundle of important nerves used to control the bladder and penis.

Opting for the nerve-sparing operation can help an experienced surgeon spare some or all of the nerves that run along the sides of the prostate gland. This provides a greater chance that the patient preserves his potency and will not need the assistance of any medical devices or incontinence products for the potential of incontinence after prostate surgery. Nerve-sparing surgeries can reduce the risk of prostate surgery incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and possible other complications. The robotic-assisted surgery uses precision that might not be able to be achieved by the surgeon alone.

Managing Prostate Surgery Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction

Prevail Daily Male Guards can help with incontinence after prostate surgery after this nerve-sparing surgeryShould any of the nerves, muscles, or valves of the urethral system be damaged, the use of certain incontinence products and/or other devices may be required for those who experience incontinence after prostate surgery. Once the prostate gland is removed, it is extremely important that the bladder is well constructed to prevent urine leakage. Typically, the leakage that happens after the procedure is light to moderate, and a male guard or an incontinence pad for men can be worn. These products are specifically designed with the male anatomy in mind to be discreet, provide maximum comfort, and deliver the protection needed.

Should ED follow after prostate surgery, a man may need to use a medical device to achieve and maintain an erection due to the disruption of the blood and nerve supply. There are many devices available that can help, such as Vacuum Therapy Systems and clamps.

Learning that you or a loved one may have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or another condition that has affected this gland may be very difficult. Know that there are treatment options available to you if you experience incontinence after prostate surgery, no matter your age. Always consult with your medical practitioner for expert advice and options available to you. Should you have any questions about the products that we offer, our Product Experts are just a phone call away.

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How to Change a Catheter Bag with Ease: A Comprehensive Guide

Learning how to change a urinary drainage bag can be a valuable skill to have. It can be intimidating, especially for those who have never done it. But it can be relatively simple with the right supplies and preparation. This blog post will discuss the basics of changing a urinary drainage bag, including the supplies you’ll need, the steps to follow, and tips to make the process easier.

Overview of the Process

Cardinal Health Curity Alcohol Prep PadsChanging a urine bag involves three main steps:

  1. Emptying the urine drainage bag
  2. Cleaning and disinfecting the area
  3. Attaching a new urinary drainage bag

Supplies you will need:

  • Mild soap or antiseptic cleaner
  • Alcohol prep pads or wipes
  • A fresh urinary drainage bag
  • New leg bag straps

Bard IC Infection Control Urine Drainage Bag with Anti-Reflux ChamberTo change a urine bag, start by emptying the old bag into a toilet or sink. It is essential to do this thoroughly, as any residual fluid can lead to a potential infection.

Once the urine drainage bag is empty, the area should be cleaned with a mild soap or antiseptic cleaner, followed by disinfecting it with an alcohol swab or other disinfectant product.

After cleaning the site, it is time to attach a new bag. A new leg bag strap should be used to secure the new bag, ensuring that it will not fall off the leg during regular use.

Finally, the drain tube should be connected correctly to ensure safe drainage of urine. With these three steps in mind, changing a urine bag is a relatively straightforward process that can help keep users healthy and safe.

Tips for Changing a Urinary Drainage Bag

Changing a urinary drainage bag is an essential part of managing urinary incontinence. To make the process easier, always ensure you have all the necessary supplies before starting, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.

• Be sure to change your bag regularly to prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from building up and causing a urinary tract infection.

Simplicity Disposable Fluff UnderpadHere are some tips that may be helpful when you change a urinary drainage bag:

  • Before removing the old bag, consider wearing disposable gloves to protect yourself from unwanted exposure to bodily fluids.
  • You might place a towel or underpad beneath the bag to catch any spilled urine while removing it from the tubing.
  • After disposing of the old bag properly, ensure that all connections are closed tight but not overly tight.
  • Be sure to change your bag regularly to prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from building up and causing a urinary tract infection.

To Sum it Up

Learning how to change a urinary drainage bag can be a valuable skill to have. Changing a urinary drainage bag can be a safe and straightforward process with the right supplies, steps, and tips. With these tips, you can ensure that you or your loved one will have the most comfortable experience possible when changing a urinary drainage bag.

Best-Selling Urinary Drainage Bags & Leg Bag Supplies

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Properly Caring for a Foley Catheter and Drainage Bag

A Foley catheter is an indwelling catheter inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain urine and properly caring for a Foley catheter is critical. Several reasons someone might need a Foley catheter include urinary incontinence, prostate surgery, neurological conditions, or other medical conditions.

It’s important to note that a Foley catheter is usually used temporarily and removed when the person no longer needs it or when the condition that caused the need for the catheter is resolved.

Why properly caring for a Foley catheter and drainage bag is essential

Properly caring for a Foley catheter and drainage bag is essential for several reasons:

Medline 2-Way Silicone Foley Catheter, 10 cc BalloonInfection prevention

Not correctly caring for a Foley catheter can increase the risk of infection. Keeping the catheter and tubing clean and dry and avoiding tugging or pulling on the catheter can help reduce the risk of infection.

Comfort

A catheter that is not properly cared for can cause discomfort. Keeping the Foley catheter and tubing clean and dry and avoiding kinks or twists in the tubing can help reduce any pain.

Functionality

Not properly caring for a Foley catheter may not allow it to function as intended. Keeping the tubing free from kinks and twists and the drainage bag appropriately positioned can help ensure that the catheter can drain urine from the bladder effectively.

Urine flow

Properly caring for a Foley catheter and drainage bag can help ensure the urine is flowing correctly. If the bag is not emptied regularly, or if the tubing is kinked or twisted, the urine flow may be impeded, leading to other problems such as urinary tract infections.

Overall health

Properly caring for a Foley catheter and drainage bag can help prevent complications and maintain overall health.

How to care for a Foley catheter and drainage bag

Here are some step-by-step instructions for caring for a Foley catheter and drainage bag:

1. Keep the area around the catheter clean and dry. Gently clean the skin around the catheter with soap and water, then pat it dry with a clean towel.

2. Empty and clean the drainage bag regularly. The frequency will depend on the amount of urine produced, but emptying the bag is generally recommended at least every 8 hours.

3. Check the tubing for any kinks or twists that may impede urine flow. If you notice any, gently straighten the tubing.

4. Keep the tubing and catheter securely in place. Avoid pulling or tugging on the catheter or tubing, as this can cause discomfort and increase the risk of infection. You might consider using a catheter holder for security.

5. Keep the drainage bag below bladder level at all times, so that gravity can help with the urine flow.

6. Report any problems or concerns to your healthcare provider. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or a foul odor from the catheter.

7. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after caring for the catheter and drainage bag.

8. Keep the catheter and tubing as dry as possible. If the tubing and catheter get wet, dry these items with a clean cloth.

It is essential to follow the specific instructions given by your healthcare provider and any additional instructions provided with the Foley catheter and drainage bag. If you have any questions, problems, or concerns, it is essential to contact your healthcare provider.

Best-Selling Foley Catheters & Drainage Bags

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Spina Bifida Awareness Month is October

Spina bifida is a congenital defect that affects the proper formation of the spine and the spinal cord. The spinal cord of a developing baby in the womb does not close or fully develop. This condition can cause disabilities that range from moderate to severe such as incontinence, neuropathy, or immobility.

October has been dedicated as Spina Bifida Awareness Month and is a time for everyone to learn and understand more about this condition. We at Personally Delivered would like to share information about this birth defect and promote awareness.

The Four Types of Spina Bifida

The term spina bifida translates to “split spine.” Every individual with this condition experiences different things; no case is identical. Four types include:

Occulta

Occulta is the mildest and most common form of this condition, where one or more bones are malformed in the spinal column. This form is often found by an x-ray and unlikely causes symptoms or leads to disabilities.

Meningocele

When a sac of fluid pokes through the spine, a meningocele occurs. The defect of the spine’s bony covering allows this fluid to poke out. No nerves are present, and minor symptoms are usual.

Myelomeningocele

Myelomeningocele is the most severe form. There is no complete skin over the spinal cord where the spinal column did not properly form. The opening can be surgically closed either in utero or immediately after birth. Most individuals with myelomeningocele will require close follow-up with their doctors throughout their life to prevent further complications.

Closed neural tube defects

When the neural tube does not entirely close, spina bifida can occur. The spine may have malformations of fat, bone, or the spinal cord’s membranes. Closed neural tube defects often require childhood surgery and lead to weakness in the leg muscles and bladder or bowel incontinence.

Spina Bifida Symptoms

Just as no two individuals experience this condition exactly the same, the symptoms also vary from person to person. However, a few symptoms seem to be commonly experienced among patients.

Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is when there is fluid in the brain that can cause brain issues and even swelling of the head.

Skin conditions

Calmoseptine Moisture Barrier OintmentWeak muscles, limited movement, and poor sensation can cause people with spina bifida to develop skin issues. Nerve pathways to the brain are interrupted, and a person with this condition may not be able to feel hot and cold. They may bruise easily or have wounds that heal slower.  

Bladder and bowel Incontinence

Assortment of incontinence productsMany people with spina bifida experience bladder and bowel incontinence. The nerves that control the bladder and bowels are affected when the spinal cord fails to develop correctly. The most common incontinence issues for those with this condition include:

  • Diarrhea – frequent loose, watery stools
  • Overflow incontinence – only small amounts of urine are released despite a strong urge to “go”
  • Overactive bladder – having no control of urination
  • Bowel incontinence – less mobility can lead to constipation followed by episodes of diarrhea

Physical activity

Drive Quad Small Base CaneSpina bifida can cause physical limitations in mobility, making it difficult to walk and do daily tasks. Wheelchairs, canes, and other adaptive equipment are used to move around from place to place. Many people with more severe forms work with a physical therapist to help increase mobility.

Spina Bifida Awareness

Every year, thousands of children are affected by this condition, and October is an excellent time to raise awareness and support those around us affected by this congenital defect. Here are some ways to get involved in advocacy activities and awareness.

Stay up-to-date on social media with the community

Follow Spina Bifida Association on their social media platforms and join the fun! You can share their posts, patient stories, and more. Their social media links include:

Wear teal to raise awareness

woman dressed in a teal outfit to raise spina bifida awarenessOne of the easiest ways to spark conversation is to wear the color teal from head to toe during October. When asked, tell people that teal is the official color of spina bifida awareness. You can share the social media channels above and direct them to Spina Bifida Association’s website to get more information and how to get involved.  

Advocate with the spina bifida community

Right now, the Spina Bifida Association is advocating for legislation asking Congress to invest in home and community-based services that would help millions of Americans with disabilities have access to quality home health care.

Participate in a Walk-N-Roll

people participating in a spina bifida awareness race including a man in a wheelchairThis in-person or virtual event is the perfect way to get engaged and support the community and the mission of the Spina Bifida Association. Anyone and everyone can participate. If you are not located near any of the listed cities, you can Walk-N-Roll Your Way at any time and any place.

Make a donation

Donations are life-changing and allow continued support.

Helpful Medical Supplies for Those with Spina Bifida

Carex bath transfer benchVarious medical supplies can help make life more manageable for those living with this condition. At Personally Delivered, we carry various home delivery medical supplies from top manufacturers and offer Automatic Delivery, so you never run out of the products you need the most. You’ll find a variety of catheters, catheter supplies, incontinence products, ostomy supplies, wound care supplies, adaptive equipment, and much more. Start browsing our website, and if you need any assistance, we have knowledgeable, compassionate, and caring Product Experts here to help.

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Why Some Men Prefer a Condom Catheter

A condom catheter is recommended for men that cannot control the release of urine. Many men prefer a condom catheter over an intermittent catheter for various reasons. A condom catheter, otherwise known as an external or Texas catheter, is a non-invasive option for men. Any man experiencing urinary incontinence can use a condom catheter. There is no prescription needed for this external catheter. Designed specifically for the male anatomy, the condom catheter is secured with straps or adhesives and connected to a tube attached to a urine drainage bag.

Hollister InView Extra Male External CatheterFeatures and Benefits of a Condom Catheter

A male external catheter provides an alternative to incontinence pads for men and can offer an improved quality of life. For various reasons, many men find that condom catheters offer several benefits over traditional intermittent catheters.

Comfort

External catheters are much more comfortable than indwelling catheters because they are non-invasive.

Reduced UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be reduced by using an external Texas catheter.

Ease of application

The easiness of applying and removing the external catheter can be the primary motivation for many people. Once you’ve had an assessment and indicated the correct sizing, most people can apply and remove the sheath independently.

How to Choose a Condom Catheter

UltraFlex Silicone Self-Adhering Male External CatheterCondom catheters, much like all incontinence products, are not one-size-fits-all. Whether you are a man exploring more affordable catheter options or looking for a catheter better suited for your lifestyle, choosing the correct size external catheter is essential when purchasing. Proper sizing is crucial for safety reasons and can also give you peace of mind.

A male external catheter doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. One that is too small will feel too tight, and one that is too large will not fit securely enough to protect against leaks. Ensuring the right size male external catheter makes all the difference when managing incontinence.

A properly fitting male external catheter should be comfortable, odor-free, protect against leaks, and should fit snugly.  It is also essential to note that if you are allergic to latex, make sure you choose a silicone-based male external catheter.

The best way to get the proper sizing for a Texas catheter is to schedule an appointment with a nurse specialist that has experience in sizing and teaching men to use this type of catheter. Most primary care physicians have access to these types of nurses.

Adhesive and Non-Adhesive Condom Catheter Options

Urofoam External Catheter StrapsAnother option to consider when choosing a Texas catheter is the feature of adhesive and non-adhesive choices. Self-adhesive condom catheters like the UltraFlex Silicone Self-Adhering External Catheter are 100% latex-free and have adhesive material inside, providing a reliable bond for maximum wear time.

Non-adhesive condom catheters feature a strap made of foam material and a Velcro closure to hold the external catheter in place. The Dover External Catheter by Cardinal Health is a soft latex Texas catheter with a foam strap to help keep it securely in place.

External catheter straps can also be purchased separately to provide an added sense of security. The Urocare Uro-Strap Male External Catheter Strap is a convenient and affordable option that is fully adjustable for individual size requirements.

Condom Catheter Tips

  • If you are experiencing leaks with your male external catheter, it is likely to be a sizing issue.
  • Make sure to keep the urine drainage bag lower than the level of the external catheter to avoid backflow.
  • Condom catheters vary in shape and size depending on the manufacturer. Always check the specific manufacturer’s directions and fitting instructions.
  • Hygiene is essential. Always thoroughly wash your hands before applying and removing the male external catheter, ensuring it does not touch surfaces once opened.

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What is Purple Urine Bag Syndrome (PUBS)?

Ever heard of Purple Urine Bag Syndrome? Have you ever looked down at your urine drainage collection bag only to see that it has turned purple? You know that you were using a transparent urine drainage bag, but why did it turn purple?

Although extremely rare, Purple Urine Bag Syndrome (PUBS) is not something to panic about. It can be prevented and quickly treated. PUBS is usually a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) with constipation.

What is Purple Urine Bag Syndrome?

PUBS happens when there is a mixture of indole and indoxyl that comes into contact with alkaline urine and interacts with the plastic material of the urine drainage bag. We will help break it down in terms that can be more familiar.

First, tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in many foods we consume, like chicken, turkey, eggs, and cheese. Tryptophan is digested and metabolized by gut bacteria to produce indole, which is then converted into indoxyl sulfate by the liver. Chronic constipation is commonly associated with an overgrowth of bacteria in the colon. This bacterial overgrowth increases the conversion of tryptophan to indole.

PUBS processNext, using long-term urinary catheters like Foley catheters can allow bacteria to enter the urethra and increase one’s chances of a UTI. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections increase the conversion of indoxyl sulfate into indoxyl.

Finally, the increased indoxyl sulfate levels in the urine cause it to become alkalized. The alkaline urine comes into contact with indoxyl and enters the urine drainage bag. This combination interacts with the plastic material of the urine collection bag producing a deep purple color of urine. PUBS is most often seen in elderly female patients with chronic constipation and an indwelling catheter.

What are the Symptoms of Purple Urine Bag Syndrome?

Similar to the symptoms of a UTI, aside from the purple-colored urine, Purple Urine Bag Syndrome symptoms can include:

  • Urinary leakage
  • Catheterizing more frequently
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea
  • Increased bladder spasms
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Mild lower back pain
  • Headaches

How is Purple Urine Bag Syndrome Treated?

A medical doctor can treat PUBS by prescribing an antibiotic and addressing the underlying chronic constipation. Ensuring good catheter care practice is often discussed with patients as well.

How is Purple Urine Bag Syndrome Prevented?

Drink plenty of fluids

It is essential to drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water a day to help avoid UTIs. Avoiding caffeine, sugar, and alcoholic beverages is best as they may cause bladder irritation that contributes to UTIs. Dehydration is associated with PUBS, and if your bladder and kidneys aren’t able to flush out waste products, the chances of a UTI increase.

Practice good catheter hygiene

If you are using an indwelling catheter, it is recommended to change it every month. If you notice crystals or sediment in your urine, you may need to change your Foley catheter more frequently. Make sure to speak to your doctor about what schedule is right for you.

Keep your catheter insertion site clean

BZK Antiseptic TowelettesIf you use a Foley catheter, keeping the insertion site clean will help prevent UTIs. Try maintaining a routine to clean this area and the catheter with warm, soapy water every morning and night. BZK Antiseptic Towelettes are an excellent cleansing wipe to disinfect this area using a powerful antimicrobial Benzalkonium Chloride USP solution.

Establish a bowel routine

You can do several things to get into a good bowel program. Emptying your bowels around the same time each day can help promote overall bowel health.

  • If you are taking prescribed medications to manage your constipation, take them at the same time each day.
  • If you are using a suppository, use it at the same time each day.
  • Include up to 35 grams of fiber in your daily diet.
  • Make sure to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water each day.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and any foods that may upset your stomach.
  • Exercise daily to move food through the GI tract and aid your daily bowel movements.

So there you have it! Don’t get distressed if you are a Foley catheter user and develop Purple Urine Bag Syndrome. It is temporary, is treatable, and can be prevented. Practicing good catheter hygiene and keeping a good relationship with your doctor is vital. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, make sure to consult with your doctor immediately.

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