If you have to wear a urinary catheter, then you probably already know that you need to change your drainage bag periodically. At least I HOPE you know that. If you don’t, stop reading this and change your bag!
Another important thing to be aware of is that everyone wearing an indwelling catheter is likely to be hosting bacteria in the bladder.
Around 1-in-5 people who have short term (2-4 days) catheterization will have bacteria in the urine. That percentage jumps to between 90 and 100% of people with long-term catheters.
HOWEVER, this does not mean you WILL get a urinary tract infection (UTI). Even though folks with long-term catheters are more at risk for a UTI, it is not a guarantee. Many long-term catheter folks never get a UTI. They have what is called “Asymptomatic bacteriuria (bacteria in the urine).” And that simply means that even though the little bugs are in there, they have not invaded your system.
How Do You Help Prevent UTI?
One way to help keep yourself safe from a UTI is to change your bag often. You should do this once a week , if at all possible. See the video below from our friend, Dr. Mario Torres-Leon.
Ask your doctor to make sure you’re getting enough bags. Hopefully they can provide you with as many as you need.
I you have any trouble getting enough bags that way, you CAN purchase them (not ideal I know). You can order them below if that is the case: