5 Ways to Prevent UTIs When You Self-Cath
For people living with a spinal cord injury or other disabilities, getting urinary tract infections (UTIs) may seem like an all-too-common — and frustrating — inconvenience. Even learning how to prevent them when you self-catheterize can take years to master. Truth be told, for some people, it becomes another annoyance that comes with living with a disability. Fortunately, there are several tactics that can help you avoid contracting UTIs. Here are 5 ways to prevent UTIs, especially if you self-cath.
Frequent Symptoms of UTIs
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the more frequent symptoms of a UTI include:
- The persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation while urinating
- Strong-smelling urine
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Peeing only small amounts of urine
According to research published by the International Spinal Cord Society, UTIs are among the most common infections leading to hospitalization in people with spinal cord injuries. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and scary, but there are several ways you can manage and prevent UTIs.
Here are some 5 ways to prevent UTIs when you self-cath:
- Hydrate. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, is a great way to prevent infections. The Mayo Clinic says drinking water dilutes your urine so that you urinate more frequently, causing bacteria to be flushed from your system before an infection occurs.
- Consume those cranberries. While the research is still inconclusive, some studies have found that consuming cranberry extract can help prevent urinary tract infections. The good news: it is likely not harmful. It is definitely worth a try!
- Wipe from front to back. We know no one likes to talk about this, but how you wipe yourself when using the bathroom makes a huge difference in your health! SELF magazine shares that wiping from back to front can bring “backside bacteria” to your urethra, which you use to pee.
- Avoid holding it in. Even when life gets busy, your health should come first. Don’t get in the habit of “holding it in” when you feel the urge to urinate, as that can encourage the growth of bacteria. Be sure to use the bathroom whenever you need to. And don’t rush! Completely empty your bladder when you cath.
- Make sure you use high-quality supplies, including catheters. Products matter! When it comes to something as crucial as your self-cath supplies, don’t take chances! You need to be certain you’re using the highest quality products, like the brands we offer at Affordable Medical. Take charge of your healthcare by using superior supplies.
In reality, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to avoiding urinary tract infections. But in taking precautions and finding what works best for you, you can prevent UTIs so that you can continue living your best life.