I’ve written about using a valve instead of a bag if you have a urinary catheter. See the post Using A Catheter Valve Instead Of A Leg Bag for more on that. I’ve really REALLY enjoyed using a valve at the end of my catheter rather than a bag.
But the ever-present worry about infection makes it necessary to change the valve periodically, just as you would a bag. The advice for leg bags is to change them every two weeks or so. For the valves, I have seen a recommendation for changing every 5-7 days. I’m not sure of the reason for tghat difference, nor have I seen any actual studies with real evidence for the difference. I can only say that my experience so far (after almost 2 months) using a valve, and changing it every 2 weeks like with a leg bag, has not resulted in any UTIs. Obviously this is anecdotal evidence and everyone is different. If anyone has a link to some real studies on this, please leave a comment below.
In either case though, having to change the valve every week or two requires you to purchase valves regularly. So far I’ve simply pulled the valve off of a Hollister leg bag (see picture on the right – the valve is on the right/bottom). But my latest valve was called a Tru-Flo valve. I put that one on this morning because it had been 2 weeks since the last change.
what was the verdict? Well, there is always some getting used to something new. The Tru-Flo works by sliding the tip away to open it, and pulling it back to close it. See the video of the Tru-Flo here: https://www.truflovalve.com/video_Demo.html The video shows an easy push and pull of the valve. But I found it a bit stiff and more difficult to push it open than in the video. However, I was able to use it successfully the first time I had to pee. However, the second time I had to go, the entire end of the valve popped off when I opened it! I didn’t even push it that hard. Of course this meant getting some pee on my hands and on the tip as I held it in my left hand while the catheter was emptying into the toilet. When I was done, it was easy enough to pop the tip back on. But be warned if you use one of these valves! If you push too hard, it will come off.
Another thing about the Tru-Flo valve I didn’t like was the price. It costs $16. I paid that, plus $6 for shipping, meaning I paid $22 for a valve I can only use for 2 weeks.
I think I’m going to stick to the valves on the Hollister leg bags. Why? Well, for one thing, you can buy a Hollister leg bag for $7.64. Then all you have to do is pop the valve out (you have to pull hard to get it off). CLICK HERE to buy a Hollister leg bag if you want to do that.
The other reason I’m sticking with the leg-bag valve is that it has never come apart on me while using it.
Your mileage may vary, and there are other valves on the market. But as with everything on this site, I hope my experience helps you.