Why is emptying your bladder important?

Why ensure an empty bladder?

Learn what happens if you don’t

It is important that you empty your bladder 4−6 times a day, or as recommended by your doctor or nurse, and ensure that your bladder is completely empty each time. 

Why? If you do not empty your bladder often enough, the urine sits stagnant in your bladder. Bacteria in the urine will multiply, which may lead to an infection of your bladder or urinary tract. 

Letting your bladder get too full can overstretch your bladder wall, making it weak or unable to hold urine. It will also increase pressure in your bladder with a risk of urine flowing back to the kidneys. Backflow of urine can lead to an infection or long-term damage of your kidneys. Increased pressure in the bladder may also lead to overflow, or urine leakages (incontinence). 

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Unsure about intermittent catheterization (IC)?

Unsure about intermittent catheterization

Take a deep breath: with practice and patience you can learn IC too

It is natural to feel slightly insecure and nervous about having to learn intermittent catheterization (IC). The thought of having to insert a tube into your body – not just once, but many times during the day - can seem overwhelming at first.

But you can take solace in the fact that 1000s of people like you do it every day, and while they may have had the same worries, now it has become a routine – just as it will for you.

You need to be patient; with training and practice you will most likely be able to empty your bladder within a few minutes and catheterization will then become a routine you barely think about in your daily life.

Here are some of the main concerns, some first-time IC users have:

Is IC difficult to learn?

Is IC difficult to learn?

Nearly anyone can learn to perform IC, even people with reduced hand dexterity. It may feel a bit awkward at first but with practice it will become an ordinary thing in your everyday routines. Your nurse will help you find the right catheter and way of doing it. Make sure you get the catheter that matches your needs.

Will IC hurt?

Intermittent catheterization may feel strange at first but it should not be painful. Please consult with your nurse if you are having problems or if you are finding it painful.

What if I can’t insert or withdraw the catheter?

First, try to relax. Most problems are related to muscles tensing up. Coughing and/or deep breathing may help with insertion and withdrawal of the catheter. Always speak to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing problems. You may need a different catheter. Our Coloplast Care team may be able to help you identify product solutions.

Is IC harmful?

The best way to minimize the risk of complications related to intermittent catheterization is to make sure that you are using the correct catheter, following your healthcare provider’s instructions for proper catheterization technique, and catheterizing at the frequency prescribed by your doctor. If you still struggle with the thought of catheterizing yourself, remember that there are people around you to support you: your health care provider can demonstrate how to do it safely and your Coloplast Care team is ready to address any product questions that you may have. We receive calls from people with bladder issues every day.

Remember that users performing self-catheterization should always follow the advice of their healthcare provider.

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Coloplast Care offers a helping hand whenever you need support. 
We provide free tips and tools to take control of issues related to continence care.

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