Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria have a chance to grow in the urethra and bladder. Like any other kind of infection, the longer it goes untreated, the more serious the complications can be. A symptomatic* UTI that goes untreated can eventually lead to kidney damage.
(*Symptomatic: with demonstrative symptoms such as fever, blood in urine, cloudy urine etc.)

Not all symptoms from the urinary tract need to be a UTI, even if it may feel like one. But if you suspect that you have a UTI, contact your doctor immediately – home cures or other remedies cannot, in most cases, eliminate the infection completely.

How to avoid infections

Although intermittent catheterization should help you avoid UTIs, they might sometimes be an unfortunate consequence of the procedure. However, if you are careful and using the right equipment, the risk can be minimized. Steps you can take to avoid urinary tract infections:

Wash your hands before each catheterization. The genital area can be washed with a mild soap once a day, but remember that washing more often can remove the natural good bacteria and mucosa that helps fight infection. Avoid touching the catheter tube, as this may contaminate its surface. Some catheters, like LoFric Primo, have a handling aid that helps you insert the catheter tube without touching it.

Empty your bladder completely and often

Excess urine is often a cause of infection. Take your time when you catheterize. Withdraw the catheter slowly to ensure the bladder is empty. It is important that your catheter is the right length – catheter tubes that are too short can leave residual urine, increasing the risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI). To ensure your catheter has the correct tube length, ask your doctor or nurse for advice. Your health care professional will advise you on how often to catheterize each day. The general rule of thumb is to urinate 4–6 times a day at regular intervals. If you void more than 400 ml of urine at any interval, you are waiting too long. Medical trials have shown that a high volume of urine in the bladder increases the risk of UTIs.

Avoid friction

Your urethra and bladder have a natural mucosa that prevents bacteria from causing harm. Protecting this mucous will also help minimize the risk of infection. LoFric hydrophilic catheter tubes have a surface that binds water. This makes the tube very slippery, preventing friction – and damage to the urethra mucosa – both when it goes in and when it comes out. Not all hydrophilic catheters are the same, so ask your doctor or nurse for help in choosing the hydrophilic catheter that’s right for you.

Drink fluid

Drinking 1½–2 liters of fluid every day may flush harmful bacteria out and help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

UTI fact

UTI fact

Women have shorter urethras. This is one of the reasons women experience UTIs more often than men.