Catheters are typically used to help those who cannot control their urination. They are made to be as comfortable as possible due to the fact that indwelling catheters must be placed in for an extended period of time. When you first use a catheter, you will notice that you feel some spasms in your lower belly. This can be described as similar to menstrual cramps. You will feel a tight and painful feeling in your lower abdominal area that will come and go. Sometimes, you may just feel it for a few minutes and then it will go away. If you have experienced this, you don’t need to panic. This is perfectly normal. This happens because the bladder has this foreign balloon inside it. What you bladder is simply negatively reacting to the foreign body of the catheter. After a few days, the discomforts should go away. However, in some cases, people have reported that they are experiencing a rather more intense pain from the catheter. In those cases, you need to understand what they may possibly be and take the appropriate action.
The first possibility for causing catheter pain is an overinflated balloon. The pain is usually more pronounced in males due to the nearby presence of the prostate. If the balloon encroaches on the prostate, the discomfort tends to be more pronounced. If this happens, contact your physician or other primary caregiver to have the balloon deflated. Once the balloon has been deflated, the pain should fade away. If it doesn’t, then it may be something much more serious.
The other possibility for catheter pain is trauma from the catheter itself. Sometimes, the catheter may have been too wide for the urinary canal. Or perhaps there was not sufficient lubricant on the catheter when it was being inserted. In either case, the catheter will cause a great amount of discomfort as it is being inserted into the body. You may see some blood in the urine because of this. In these cases, you should also contact your physician to have the catheter removed and a more fitting one placed in.
The final possibility for catheter pain is a catheter-induced UTI. In normal circumstances, the urinary bladder is a sterile environment. However, when a catheter is introduced into it, it opens up a direct passage that bacteria can easily traverse if proper hygiene is not observed. The pain from a catheter-induced UTI tends to incorporate both itching and burning as well. This type of catheter pain needs to be treated immediately to prevent the possibility of developing into something worse. When you have a catheter-induced UTI, your urine will turn cloudy in response to the bacterial presence.
In all three cases of catheter pain, the most important thing you should do is contact your primary medical caregiver to receive proper attention. All three of these conditions can worsen and wreak havoc on your health and wellbeing. As such, you need to do everything in your power to keep yourself healthy, especially when you’re living with a catheter.
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