Urethral catheterization is a common medical procedure and requires draining excess urine from the bladder with external aid. One might be required to undergo urethral catheterization for a number of reasons: for medical tests, to normalize the pressure inside the bladder due to certain medical conditions or to instill medication in the renal organs. There are a number of ways to achieve this and female catheters top the list.
There are no “external” female catheters and female catheters can either be indwelling or intermittent. Intermittent female catheters are inserted and taken out from time to time, depending upon the need of catheterization. Indwelling catheters remain inside the bladder for a longer period of time and are usually required for patients who are bed-ridden, have an enlarged prostate or are unable to urinate naturally for any reason, whatsoever. The basic principles underlying catheterization are not really gender-specific, but there are certain minute digressions in the way catheterization is achieved in men from the way it is achieved in women. Moreover, doctors primarily advice indwelling female catheters and indwelling catheters have their own set of possible problems.
While there is no “defined” technique for using female catheters, there are certain guidelines that one can follow to ensure safety. Before using female catheters, one should ensure that all female catheter supplies including the urine collection bag, the tubes, the sterile water (if required), gloves and underpad are at hand. Get the patient in position and open the pack. You should prepare the swabsticks and the lubricant before inserting the female catheter.
Start by applying the preparatory antiseptic solution to the urethra. This cleans the surface and also ensures that there are no urethral infections. Before using female catheters, ensure that you have created a sterile “field” around the vulva. Repeat the process of applying the antiseptic solution in case you feel that you have missed out on some areas. Some women prefer the use of anesthesia before inserting female catheters. This decision is controversial and should be taken with the consent of the patient. If, however, you decide to anesthetize the urethra, you should prevent the spillage of the anesthetic onto other areas. Wait for 2-3 minutes for the anesthesia to take effect before making the first insertion.
You should start inserting the catheter gently into the urethra. Keep inserting several centimeters from the point the urine first start pouring out. However, be careful to not insert the catheter beyond 5 inches. Urine might not always come out immediately and you might have to wait for several seconds before inserting it further. Ensure that the urine starts flowing from the larger port of female catheters. This ensures that the distal end of the catheter has been planted into the bladder. Once you have seen the urine flowing, inflate the balloon to force excess urine out of the bladder. Remove the catheter from the urethra once catheterization is through. The process of administering and using female catheters requires skills and patience. Ensure that you seek help from a professional before you start doing it on your own.
Tags: antiseptic solution, catheter, catheters, excess urine, female catheters, indwelling catheters, medical procedure, urethral catheterization.