Catheters are used when a person is not able to pass urine on their own. It can be due to many reasons.

. Retention in the bladder.

. After a surgery.

When the bladder/urethra is damaged.

In such cases generally a urologist will attach a catheter to the urethra so that the person can urinate normally.

I have interstitial cystitis also known as painful Bladder syndrome. So recently I went through a bladder procedure after which my bladder went into complete retention . I was sent home with a Foley catheter attached to me for 7 days. I didn’t have much idea how to wear it, how to care for it etc. I asked a lot of friends in my chronic illness community and read over internet.

So these are some tips if you have an indwelling Foley catheter:-

1. First and foremost any medical device that helps you to survive and carry a normal day, isn’t disgusting or a thing to be ashamed of. When it comes to urinary bags, I have seen a lots of stigma attached to it. So be comfortable, wear your bag normally and carry out your day warrior.

2. Always keep your urinary bag lower than the bladder so that the urine doesn’t flow back to Bladder.

3. Wear loose fitting clothes, so you can comfortably strap up the bag to your leg.

4. Maintain a good hygiene. Wash your hands before and after handling the catheter. And wash your genital area twice a day to avoid the risk of infections.

5. Check there aren’t kinks , folds etc in the tube to avoid obstruction.

6. Drink enough fluids. You are more prone to Infections. So try to drink lots of water to flush out the bacteria etc.

7. If you have any burning or pain, use ice pack or lidocaine to numb the area. If it still persists call your doctor.

8. Don’t clench your pelvic floor. It will lead to spasms and pain. You need to keep your pelvic muscles relaxed.

9. Ideally flush out the urine if the bag is half filled, or three quarters. Generally you should clear out the bag every 2-3 hours.

10. If you need to change it often. Remember use sterile supplies only.