About all

What does a foley catheter do: Urinary catheters: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia


Urinary catheters: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Urinary catheters are used to drain the bladder. Your health care provider may recommend that you use a catheter if you have:

  • Urinary incontinence (leaking urine or being unable to control when you urinate)
  • Urinary retention (being unable to empty your bladder when you need to)
  • Surgery on the prostate or genitals
  • Other medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or dementia

Catheters come in many sizes, materials (latex, silicone, Teflon), and types (straight or coude tip). A Foley catheter is a common type of indwelling catheter. It has, soft, plastic or rubber tube that is inserted into the bladder to drain the urine.

In most cases, your provider will use the smallest catheter that is appropriate.

There are 3 main types of catheters:

  • Indwelling catheter
  • Condom catheter
  • Intermittent self-catheter


An indwelling urinary catheter is one that is left in the bladder. You may use an indwelling catheter for a short time or a long time.

An indwelling catheter collects urine by attaching to a drainage bag. The bag has a valve that can be opened to allow urine to flow out. Some of these bags can be secured to your leg. This allows you to wear the bag under your clothes. An indwelling catheter may be inserted into the bladder in 2 ways:

  • Most often, the catheter is inserted through the urethra. This is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
  • Sometimes, the provider will insert a catheter into your bladder through a small hole in your belly. This is done at a hospital or provider’s office.

An indwelling catheter has a small balloon inflated on the end of it. This prevents the catheter from sliding out of your body. When the catheter needs to be removed, the balloon is deflated.


Condom catheters can be used by men with incontinence. There is no tube placed inside the penis. Instead, a condom-like device is placed over the penis. A tube leads from this device to a drainage bag. The condom catheter must be changed every day.


You would use an intermittent catheter when you only need to use a catheter sometimes or you do not want to wear a bag. You or your caregiver will insert the catheter to drain the bladder and then remove it. This can be done only once or several times a day. The frequency will depend on the reason you need to use this method or how much urine needs to be drained from the bladder.


A catheter is most often attached to a drainage bag.

Keep the drainage bag lower than your bladder so that urine does not flow back up into your bladder. Empty the drainage device when it is about one half full and at bedtime. Always wash your hands with soap and water before emptying the bag.


To care for an indwelling catheter, clean the area where the catheter exits your body and the catheter itself with soap and water every day. Also clean the area after every bowel movement to prevent infection.

If you have a suprapubic catheter, clean the opening in your belly and the tube with soap and water every day. Then cover it with dry gauze.

Drink plenty of fluids to help prevent infections. Ask your provider how much you should drink.

Wash your hands before and after handling the drainage device. DO NOT allow the outlet valve to touch anything. If the outlet gets dirty, clean it with soap and water.

Sometimes urine can leak around the catheter. This may be caused by:


Complications of catheter use include:

Call your provider if you have:

  • Bladder spasms that do not go away
  • Bleeding into or around the catheter
  • Fever or chills
  • Large amounts of urine leaking around the catheter
  • Skin sores around a suprapubic catheter
  • Stones or sediment in the urinary catheter or drainage bag
  • Swelling of the urethra around the catheter
  • Urine with a strong smell, or that is thick or cloudy
  • Very little or no urine draining from the catheter and you are drinking enough fluids

If the catheter becomes clogged, painful, or infected, it will need to be replaced right away.

How Does A Catheter Work?

A catheter drains urine from the bladder into a drainage bag which may be supported at thigh or calf level. The leg drainage bag requires changing every 5 to 7 days depending on manufacturers instructions.

A Belly Bag or a catheter valve may be recommended. Your District Nurse or Continence Advisor will advise you on which type may be appropriate for your needs.

If you do use a leg drainage bag then it requires emptying when it is half to three-quarters full. Always ensure it does not pull on the catheter.

The bags are usually of 350ml, 500ml, 750ml or 1litre capacity for daytime use (depending on manufacturer). At night an extra 2-litre bag can be fitted easily to the day leg bag to increase the available capacity. These larger night bags mean you don’t have to get up in the night to empty the bag. They should be supported on a catheter drainage bag stand.


Access the Universally Recognised Digital Just Can’t Wait Toilet Card Online for FREE
Order the original toilet access card from the Bladder and Bowel Community today. We use the universally acknowledged W.C. signage, giving you the…

The Catheter in Situ

An indwelling urethral catheter is passed through the urethra (the tube through which urine passes). This is the usual method of draining urine from the bladder when short-term drainage is required (usually less than 30 days).

If you are sexually active it may be possible to be taught to remove your indwelling urethral catheter prior to intercourse and insert a new one afterwards. You may wish to discuss this with your partner. The District Nurse or Continence Advisor will advise you so don’t be embarrassed to discuss this.

Male catheter in situFemale catheter in situ

Suprapubic Catheters

In some cases when long term catheterisation is needed (longer than 30 days), the preferred method of drainage is via a suprapubic catheter. This method involves a small operation to form an artificial track directly into the bladder and the catheter is inserted through the lower abdominal wall directly below the belly button. Both men and women can have this type of catheter.

This type of catheter is generally administered when the urethral route cannot be used or if a person is still sexually active. It also reduces the risks of complications from catheter-associated urinary tract infections which are more commonly associated with urethral indwelling catheters.

Male suprapubic catheterFemale subrapubic catheter

A Suprapubic catheter is normally inserted whilst in hospital and may require an overnight stay, however, the routine changes to the catheter can be done at home. Many District Nurses and Continence Advisors are well practised in this procedure.

Some people prefer to cover the site with a dry dressing but this is only necessary for the initial few weeks after insertion or if there is leakage or exudate. The area needs to be kept clean by daily bathing or whilst showering, or by cleansing with soap and water and drying well afterwards.

Leg bags and catheter valves can be used by those assessed for suitability but some users of suprapubic catheters may find the Belly Bag more useful. These are available on prescription, see your Healthcare Professional for information.

Please see our additional resources for more information:

You can download our complete Catheter Care Guide here, or read our FAQ’s session with our very own Catheter Nurse.

Do you need a Home Delivery Service?

For all your Catheter Care needs, join our First Class Home Delivery Service

Urinary catheters – NHS

A urinary catheter is a flexible tube used to empty the bladder and collect urine in a drainage bag.

Urinary catheters are usually inserted by a doctor or nurse.

They can either be inserted through the tube that carries urine out of the bladder (urethral catheter) or through a small opening made in your lower tummy (suprapubic catheter).

The catheter usually remains in the bladder, allowing urine to flow through it and into a drainage bag.

When urinary catheters are used

A urinary catheter is usually used when people have difficulty peeing (urinating) naturally.  It can also be used to empty the bladder before or after surgery and to help perform certain tests.

Specific reasons a urinary catheter may be used include:

  • to allow urine to drain if you have an obstruction in the tube that carries urine out of your bladder (urethra). For example, because of scarring or prostate enlargement
  • to allow you to urinate if you have bladder weakness or nerve damage that affects your ability to pee
  • to drain your bladder during childbirth if you have an epidural anaesthetic
  • to drain your bladder before, during or after some types of surgery
  • to deliver medicine directly into the bladder, such as during chemotherapy for bladder cancer
  • as a last resort treatment for urinary incontinence when other types of treatment have been unsuccessful

Depending on the type of catheter you have and why it’s being used, the catheter may be removed after a few minutes, hours or days, or it may be needed for the long term.

Types of urinary catheter

There are 2 main types of urinary catheter:

  • intermittent catheters – these are temporarily inserted into the bladder and removed once the bladder is empty
  • indwelling catheters – these remain in place for many days or weeks, and are held in position by an inflated balloon in the bladder

Many people prefer to use an indwelling catheter because it’s more convenient and avoids the repeated insertions needed with intermittent catheters. However, indwelling catheters are more likely to cause problems such as infections.

Inserting either type of catheter can be uncomfortable, so anaesthetic gel may be used on the area to reduce any pain. You may also experience some discomfort while the catheter is in place, but most people with a long-term catheter get used to this over time.

Read more about the types of urinary catheter.

Looking after your catheter

If you need a long-term urinary catheter, you’ll be given detailed advice about looking after it before you leave hospital.

This will include advice about getting new catheter supplies, reducing the risk of complications such as infections, spotting signs of potential problems, and when you should get medical advice.

You should be able to live a relatively normal life with a urinary catheter. The catheter and bag can be concealed under clothes, and you should be able to do most everyday activities, including working, exercising, swimming and having sex.

Read more about living with a urinary catheter.

Risks and potential problems

The main problems caused by urinary catheters are infections in the urethra, bladder or, less commonly, the kidneys. These types of infection are known as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and usually need to be treated with antibiotics.

You can get a UTI from using either a short-term or a long-term catheter. However, the longer a catheter is used, the greater the risk of infection. This is why it’s important that catheters are inserted correctly, maintained properly, and only used for as long as necessary.

Catheters can also sometimes lead to other problems, such as bladder spasms (similar to stomach cramps), leakages, blockages, and damage to the urethra.

Read more about the risks of urinary catheterisation.

Page last reviewed: 26 February 2020
Next review due: 26 February 2023

Caring for Your Urinary (Foley) Catheter

This information will help you care for your urinary (Foley) catheter while you’re at home.

You have had a urinary catheter (a thin, flexible tube) placed in your bladder to drain your urine (pee). It’s held inside your bladder by a balloon filled with water. The parts of the catheter outside your body are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The parts of your Foley catheter

Back to top

Catheter Care

  • You need to clean your catheter, change your drainage bags, and wash your drainage bags every day.
  • You may see some blood or urine around where the catheter enters your body, especially when walking or having a bowel movement (pooping). This is normal, as long as there’s urine draining into the drainage bag. If there’s not, call your healthcare provider.
  • While you have your catheter, drink 1 to 2 glasses of liquids every 2 hours while you’re awake.

Back to top


  • You can shower while you have your catheter in place. Don’t take a bath until after your catheter is removed. This is because taking a bath while you have your Foley catheter puts you at risk for infections.
  • Make sure you always shower with your night bag. Don’t shower with your leg bag. You may find it easier to shower in the morning.

Back to top

Cleaning Your Catheter

You can clean your catheter while you’re in the shower.

You will need the following supplies:

  1. Gather your supplies. You will need:
    • Mild soap, such as Dove®
    • Water
    • 1 Cath-Secure®
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Using mild soap and water, clean your genital area.
    • Men should pull back their foreskin, if needed, and clean the area, including the penis.
    • Women should separate the labia, and clean the area from front to back.
  4. Clean your urethra (urinary opening), which is where the catheter enters your body.
  5. Clean the catheter from where it enters your body and then down, away from your body. Hold the catheter at the point it enters your body so that you don’t put tension on it.
  6. Rinse the area well and dry it gently.
  7. If you removed your old Cath-Secure, use the new Cath-Secure to attach the catheter to your leg to keep it from moving.

Back to top

Changing Your Drainage Bag

You will change your drainage bag 2 times a day.

  • In the morning after you shower, change the night bag to the leg bag.
  • At night before you go to bed, change the leg bag to the night bag.

You will need the following supplies:

  • A clean washcloth (not one already used for bathing) or a 4”x 4” piece of gauze
  • Night or leg drainage bag (whichever one you are switching to)
  • 2 alcohol pads
  1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Empty the urine from the drainage bag into the toilet. Make sure that spout of the drainage bag never touches the side of the toilet or any emptying container.
  3. Place the clean cloth or gauze under the connector to catch any leakage.
  4. Pinch off the catheter with your fingers and disconnect the used bag.
  5. Wipe the end of the catheter with an alcohol pad.
  6. Wipe the connector on the new bag with the second alcohol pad.
  7. Connect the clean bag to the catheter and release your finger pinch.
  8. Check all connections. Straighten any kinks or twists in the tubing.

You may also find it helpful to watch the video below that shows you how to change your drainage bags.

Back to top

Caring for Your Drainage Bags

Caring for your leg bag

  • The tubing from the leg bag should fit down to your calf with your leg slightly bent. If you have extra tubing, you may need to cut it. Your nurse will show you how to do this.
  • Always wear the leg bag below your knee. This will help it drain.
  • Make sure to place the leg bag on your calf with the Velcro® straps your nurse gave you. Use a leg strap to secure the tubing to your thigh.
  • If the straps leave a mark on your leg, they are too tight and should be loosened. Leaving the straps too tight can decrease your circulation and lead to blood clots.
  • Empty the leg bag into the toilet through the spout at the bottom every 2 to 4 hours, as needed. Don’t let the bag become completely full.
  • Don’t lie down for longer than 2 hours while you’re wearing the leg bag.

Caring for your night bag

  • Always keep the night bag below the level of your bladder.
  • To hang your night bag while you sleep, place a clean plastic bag inside of a wastebasket. Hang the night bag on the inside of the wastebasket.

Cleaning the drainage bags

You will need the following supplies:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Rinse the bag with cool water. Don’t use hot water because it can damage the plastic equipment.
  3. To decrease odor, fill the bag halfway with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water. Shake the bag and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the bag with cool water and hang it up to dry.

Back to top

Preventing Infections

Follow these guidelines to prevent getting infections while you have your catheter in place:

  • Keep the drainage bag below the level of your bladder and off the floor at all times.
  • Keep the catheter secured to your thigh to prevent it from moving.
  • Don’t lie on your catheter or block the flow of urine in the tubing.
  • Shower daily to keep the catheter clean.
  • Clean your hands before and after touching the catheter or bag.

Back to top

When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Your catheter comes out. Don’t try to replace it yourself.
  • You have a fever of 101°F (38.3 °C) or higher.
  • You’re making less urine than usual.
  • You have foul-smelling urine.
  • You have bright red blood or large blood clots in your urine.
  • You have abdominal (belly) pain and no urine in your catheter bag.

Back to top

When and Why a Urinary Catheter is Used

When you’re unable to urinate, the problem can quickly become serious. As urine builds up in the bladder, it becomes uncomfortable, then painful. If the problem continues, the bladder can become overly full and urine can back up into your kidneys, causing damage that can be permanent.

When this happens, a sterile, flexible tube called a urinary catheter is inserted into the urethra (where urine leaves the body) and is gently pushed up until the end rests in your bladder. The catheter then drains the urine into an attached bag.

surasak petchang / Getty Images

Urinary Catheters

Urinary catheters are often used during surgery, as you can’t control your bladder while under anesthesia.  

For this purpose, a foley catheter is typically placed prior to surgery and keeps the bladder empty throughout. It often remains in place until the surgery is completed and you’re awake and alert enough to begin urinating normally.

Foley Catheter

A foley catheter is a sterile urinary catheter that’s intended to stay in place for an extended period of time.

The tip of the catheter has a balloon on it that can be inflated in the bladder and hold the foley in place. Urine then drains from the bladder through the tube and into a collection bag. It’s also referred to as an indwelling catheter.  

This type of catheter is used when a patient is unable to urinate on their own, either because they are too sick, sedated, or unable to urinate without assistance because of a medical issue.

Straight Catheters

If your bladder just needs to be drained once, and the catheter doesn’t need to remain in place, a straight catheter, or straight cath, is inserted and then removed once your bladder is emptied. 

Risks of Urinary Catheters

A urinary catheter, regardless of type, increases the risk of a urinary tract infection. Despite the fact that sterile technique is used to insert them, the introduction of any foreign body into the urinary tract increases the risk of infection.

The longer a foley catheter stays in the bladder, or the greater the number of times a temporary catheter is inserted, the greater the chance of infection.

Why Catheters Are Used

Catheters are used for several reasons. The most common is urinary retention, or being unable to empty your bladder.

Additionally, many ICU patients are too sick to use a bedpan, so they’ll have a foley catheter to manage their urine. 

Conditions that make using a bedpan painful, such as a broken hip, require the use of a urinary catheter, as well.

Catheters also are used in people who are urine incontinent and have a wound or surgical incision that could come into contact with urine.  

Catheters are sometimes used to manage incontinence, but this is becoming less common due to the increased infection risk.

Also Known As: Foley, Foley cath, straight cath, straight catheter,

Common Misspellings: Folee, Foaley, cathater, cathetar,

Examples: The foley catheter was inserted before surgery, as the patient would be under anesthesia for at least three hours.

Overview of the Foley Catheter and Surgery

A Foley catheter is an indwelling urinary catheter. Named for Frederic Foley, the surgeon who first designed the catheter, the Foley is a hollow, flexible tube that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra.

For patients who are unable to empty their bladder for a wide variety of reasons that including having anesthesia during surgery or a problem with the bladder itself, the Foley allows urine to drain continuously. While urine would normally collect in the bladder, then be released during urination, the Foley allows it to be constantly drained from the bladder.  The urine is collected in a bag and emptied as needed.

FS Productions / Getty Images


The Foley catheter is inserted into the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. It is gently pushed up the urethra until it reaches the bladder. A hole in the bladder end of the tube allows urine to flow out of the bladder, through the urethra and out of the body into the collection bag.

Once the top of the Foley tubing reaches the bladder, a balloon is inflated with sterile water to keep the tube in place. The catheter is intended to remain in place for several hours or longer. For example, patients who have joint replacements have catheters placed before surgery and will typically have it remain in place for up to a few days after surgery if they are unable to get on the bedpan without having pain and are unable to walk to the bathroom.

It is important that a catheter only remains in place as long as it is necessary, as the risk of infection increases the longer the catheter is in place.

A catheter is not a substitute for good nursing care, nor is it a substitute for frequent trips to the restroom. Foley catheters are not appropriate as a treatment for incontinence. 

Foley Insertion

Foley catheters are commonly placed prior to surgery, to keep the bladder empty during and after the procedure. During the procedure, the patient is unconscious and unaware of the need to urinate. After the procedure, however, it may not be safe for the patient to walk. They may be too sick to take care of their own bathroom needs or their surgeon may feel that a catheter is best for their particular recovery.

At most hospitals, the placement of an indwelling catheter is considered standard for surgical procedures that:

  • Are expected to last one hour or longer
  • Involve the urinary tract
  • Will require the patient to go to the ICU after surgery
  • Will require the patient to stay in bed (be unable to walk) during recovery

The insertion of the Foley is typically done by a nurse, and may be done before or after anesthesia is given, but typically prior to the first incision if the patient is having surgery. The urine collection bag attached to the Foley helps track urine output during surgery and during a stay in the hospital.

The catheter is inserted using sterile technique, which means the catheter itself is sterile. The skin is prepared with a solution to remove germs and sterile gloves are worn by the nurse. The catheter is coated with a sterile lubricant to make insertion easier and to avoid irritating the inside of the urethra. Sterile technique is used to help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), the most common complication associated with urinary catheter use.

Insertion of a Foley should not be painful; nor is it painful to have one in place. Some patients describe having a Foley in place as a mild irritation. The catheter may interfere with your normal sensation of needing to urinate. You may feel as though you need to use the restroom even though the catheter keeps your bladder empty.

Foley Catheter Care

Once the catheter is in place, a patient may walk, but great care should be taken not to pull the tube out of place. Something as simple as tripping or stumbling can result in the tube being pulled out.

Removing the catheter without deflating the balloon is not only very painful, but it can also cause permanent damage to the urethra. Frequently, the Foley tubing is taped to the patient’s thigh to prevent accidental removal and trauma.

When a Foley is in place, excellent hygiene is essential for preventing a UTI. The portion of the tube that touches the body should be thoroughly cleaned during bath time and any time it is soiled. In addition, special soaps or cleansers may be used on the genitals to minimize the risk of infection after surgery.

Urinary Catheter Risks

An indwelling urinary catheter is intended to stay in place for an extended period of time, ranging from hours to weeks. In some patients, the catheter stays in even longer, but this is rare. Most hospitals have programs and policies that require catheters to be removed as soon as possible to reduce the risk of infection occurring. 

Some patients experience urinary retention after surgery, which may make a catheter necessary even if the patient did not need one during the procedure. Patients may also experience urinary retention after the removal of a Foley catheter.

In the past, patients who are allergic to latex would have issues with catheters of all types, as they often contained latex. Currently, most major brands of catheters have no latex component at all, eliminating this risk in almost all cases. Patients with latex sensitivity or allergies should notify their healthcare team prior to treatment, as there are many other potential sources of latex that should be avoided.

Straight Catheters

A Foley is a urinary catheter that is meant to be in place for a period of time. The Foley catheter should not be confused with a straight catheter, which is inserted once and discarded after the bladder has been emptied.

Uses, types, and what to expect

A urinary catheter is a flexible tube for draining urine from the bladder. It may be necessary for a person to use a urinary catheter if they have difficulty passing urine naturally.

This article outlines the different types of urinary catheter and provides advice on how to avoid side effects.

Share on PinterestA person may need a urinary catheter if they have an injury to the urethra, an enlarged prostate, or kidney stones.

A doctor may recommend a urinary catheter for a person who has difficulties when urinating. Reasons for needing a catheter can include:

  • a blockage in the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the bladder
  • injury to the urethra
  • an enlarged prostate in males
  • birth defects affecting the urinary tract
  • kidney, ureter, or bladder stones
  • bladder weakness or nerve damage
  • tumors within the urinary tract or reproductive organs

A healthcare provider may also insert a urinary catheter:

  • to accurately measure urine output in critically ill people
  • to drain the bladder before, during, or after a person has surgery
  • during childbirth, to drain the women’s bladder after an epidural anesthetic
  • to deliver medication directly into a person’s bladder
  • for treating a person with urinary incontinence if other treatments have not been successful

The intermittent catheter, or a standard catheter, is a thin, flexible tube that a person temporarily inserts into their bladder through the urethra.

The external end of the tube may be left open, allowing the urine to drain into a receptacle. Another option is to attach the tube to an external drainage bag, which collects the urine.

What to expect

Once a person has emptied their bladder, they need to remove the catheter. It is necessary to remove the old catheter and insert a new one several times per day to empty the bladder.

A healthcare provider will teach the person how to do this correctly.

Side effects

Intermittent catheters are usually prelubricated to reduce discomfort during insertion.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common potential side effect of using an intermittent catheter. The risk of developing a UTI increases with longer-term use of the catheter.

According to Dr. Tomas L. Griebling, a professor of urology at the University of Kansas, intermittent catheters are less likely to cause infections than indwelling catheters.

Other possible side effects of using intermittent catheters include:

  • Hematuria. This is the presence of red blood cells in the urine, which can cause the urine to appear red or brown. Hematuria is common when a person first starts using an intermittent catheter, but persistent hematuria may indicate a UTI.
  • Bladder stones. These are common in people who use an intermittent catheter on a long-term basis.
  • Urethral strictures. This is a narrowing of the urethra that can result from repeated trauma. People who insert their own intermittent catheters repeatedly over many months have a higher risk of urethral strictures.

An indwelling catheter is similar to an intermittent catheter but remains in place for a period of days or weeks.

One end of the indwelling catheter has a deflated balloon attached. A healthcare provider will insert this end into the bladder and then inflate the balloon with sterile water to hold the catheter in place.

There are two main types of indwelling catheter, which have different insertion techniques:

  • Urethral catheter. Also called a Foley catheter, the healthcare provider inserts this type through a person’s urethra.
  • Suprapubic catheter. A doctor will surgically insert the suprapubic catheter through a small hole a few inches below the belly button. This operation will take place in the hospital while the person is under a local or a light general anesthetic.

What to expect

Indwelling catheters typically drain into a collection bag. A person can strap the bag to the inner thigh or attach it to a stand in a position lower than the bladder.

It is important to empty a drainage bag before it becomes full. For most people, this will mean emptying the bag every 2–4 hours. A person should also attach a clean, unused drainage bag twice per day and attach a larger bag at night.

Some indwelling catheters use a valve instead of a bag. Keeping the valve closed allows the bladder to fill up.

A person can then open the valve to empty their bladder and drain the urine out into a receptacle. Some people find this more convenient than using a drainage bag.

Side effects

Many people find suprapubic catheters more comfortable than urethral catheters. They are also less likely to cause an infection than a urethral catheter.

However, both types of indwelling catheter can cause the following side effects:

Bladder spasms

It is quite common for people with indwelling catheters to experience bladder spasms. This occurs when the bladder attempts to pass out the balloon section of the catheter. A doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the frequency and intensity of these spasms.


People with an indwelling catheter may notice debris in the catheter tube. Though normal, these mineral deposits can sometimes block the catheter and prevent drainage.

It is essential for a person to notify a healthcare provider immediately if their catheter becomes blocked, or if they are passing blood clots or large pieces of debris.

Pain and discomfort

Long-term use of the indwelling catheter can cause pain and discomfort. It is important to discuss this with a doctor, who will be able to provide or advise on appropriate pain relief.

Some males have the option of using an external catheter. This is a condom-like device that fits over the penis. A tube attached to the catheter collects urine into a drainage bag.

Doctors usually recommend external catheters for males with incontinence who do not experience urinary blockages or retention and can use the catheter themselves.

What to expect

Because external catheters do not enter the urethra, they tend to cause very little discomfort. Compared with indwelling catheters, they are also less likely to cause a UTI.

Although external catheters for females do exist, they are rare in clinical settings due to concerns over their safety and effectiveness.

These catheters are generally poor at collecting urine and can cause damage to the surrounding skin and vaginal mucosa.

Side effects

External catheters are for short-term use only. Longer-term use increases the risk of:

  • UTIs
  • damage to the penis due to friction with the condom-like device
  • a blockage in the urethra

Some people may find living with a catheter challenging and uncomfortable at first. However, as people become more accustomed to the catheter, they generally find that it has less impact on their daily lives.

This section provides tips on how to prevent and overcome some of the possible complications of catheter use.

Preventing infections

The main disadvantage of using a catheter is that it can allow certain bacteria to enter the body and cause infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), urinary catheters are responsible for around 75 percent of UTIs that people acquire in the hospital. The risk of infection is highest when using an indwelling catheter.

Doctors refer to a UTI that results from catheter use as a catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI). Symptoms of a CAUTI can include:

  • pain in the lower abdomen or groin area
  • a high temperature
  • a burning sensation during urination
  • more frequent urination

A person can reduce their risk of developing a CAUTI by:

  • washing their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after touching catheter equipment
  • keeping the skin around the catheter entrance clean by washing it with mild soap and water twice per day
  • ensuring that urine collection bags are kept below the level of the bladder, as this will help prevent blockages
  • not lying on the catheter, as this can prevent the flow of urine through the tube
  • ensuring that there are no twists or kinks in the tubing, as blockages can raise the risk of infection
  • keeping hydrated by drinking one or two glasses of liquid every 2 hours

Other activities

It is possible for a person using a urinary catheter to carry out most of their regular activities. A doctor will advise when it is safe for a person to resume working, exercising, or having sex.

Many people who use a catheter are concerned about the effect that it may have on their sex life. Generally, however, people with an intermittent or suprapubic catheter can have sex as normal. Those with a urethral catheter may find sex more difficult, but it is still possible.

Males who use an external catheter can usually remove the sheath during sex or place a standard condom over the top of it. In some cases, it is possible to temporarily remove the tube and drainage bag.

People who use a drainage bag with their catheter may wish to talk to their healthcare provider about the possibility of switching to a valve system. This can make sex easier and more comfortable.

A urinary catheter is an important aid for people who have difficulty passing urine. There are several different types available, and a person should talk to their doctor about the type that is best suited to their needs.

A common complication of using any type of catheter is an increased risk of UTIs. However, a person can reduce this risk by practicing good personal hygiene and catheter care, as well as learning how to use the equipment correctly.

People should consider talking to a medical professional if they experience any persistent pain or discomfort associated with the catheter. They can offer advice on how to make living with a catheter more comfortable.

Foley catheter: an effective method of stimulating labor

Foley catheter helps not only patients with diseases of the genitourinary system. Often, obstetricians and gynecologists choose it as a method of stimulating labor. How does it work in this case, and can its use lead to complications?

Indications for use

The main indication is absent or extremely weak labor at the onset of labor. Doctors switch to stimulating them if a woman is unable to give birth to a child on her own.There are different methods for stimulation, and a Foley catheter is used when the following indications are present:

  • fetal post-pregnancy for 10 days or more,
  • diseases in women in labor: heart disease, severe forms of preeclampsia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus,
  • high blood pressure, physical weakness,
  • earlier discharge of amniotic fluid or their excess,
  • very large fetus or multiple pregnancies,
  • Non-opening cervix when contractions have already begun.

Also, the catheter is used if the woman in labor has contraindications that do not allow resorting to other methods of stimulating labor.

Foley catheter for cervical dilatation

The insertion of this type of catheter stimulates the dilatation of the cervix. This procedure should be performed exclusively by a doctor or qualified medical personnel.

Preparation for catheter insertion includes:

  • cleaning the vagina with a disinfectant,
  • installation of a sterile mirror,
  • Removing the catheter from the packaging with sterile gloves.

The doctor then proceeds to insert the catheter:

  • takes it with a clamp, so as not to violate sterility,
  • very carefully inserts through the cervix so that the balloon remains over its internal os,
  • fills the balloon with saline with a medical syringe,
  • attaches the outer end of the catheter to the inner thigh.

How long does labor start after the Foley catheter is inserted?

The principle of its action is very simple – a filled balloon presses the uterus and exerts a expanding effect on it, thereby increasing its tone and motor skills.The time during which the effect of the Foley catater installation occurs is individual – but most often the uterus begins to contract after about 6 hours. However, sometimes the baby is ready to be born in just an hour, but in some cases it will take from 8 to 12 hours for this.

Foley catheter care

While a woman is waiting for the onset of labor, she needs to carefully monitor the position and condition of the catheter in order to avoid unpleasant consequences. For this you need:

  • Wear cotton underwear that does not restrict movement,
  • Ensure that the Foley catheter does not fall out and that the tube does not bend or pinch.

Removal of the Foley catheter

The procedure for removing the catheter should be carried out only by the attending physician, in two stages:

  • through the 2nd course of the catheter, with a syringe, remove all liquid from the balloon,
  • pull the tube out with a clamp and gently remove it from the vagina.

Almost always, a patient with a Foley catheter remains in the hospital until labor begins. Very rarely, such women in labor are allowed to go home. if the catheter falls out, only a doctor can replace it. Any independent manipulation of the catheter is strictly prohibited!

Possible complications when using a catheter

  • Severe pain during catheter insertion – in this case, the doctor can administer intravenous pain relievers,
  • Catheter prolapse – the doctor can insert a new one, or choose a different method of induction of labor,
  • Labor has begun, but the catheter is still inside – then the nurse or the doctor himself removes it from the uterus.

Contraindications to the use of a Foley catheter

In some cases, the use of a two-way catheter can complicate the course of labor or even cause intrauterine infection of the fetus, and therefore Foley is not used in the following situations:

  • the presence of an infection in the vagina that causes inflammatory processes – cervitis (in the cervix), vaginitis (in the vaginal mucosa, etc.),
  • low placenta previa,
  • internal bleeding,
  • rupture of the amniotic fluid.

If you have been prescribed stimulation of labor with a Foley catheter, then you can purchase them in the Sterilo.com online store. Our advantage is direct cooperation with all manufacturers presented in the catalog. And also leave feedback on your experience using this method of stimulating labor. Your feedback will be important and useful for expectant mothers!

Related articles:

90,000 How to choose a Foley catheter? Foley catheter and prostatic catheter are the main differences.

In today’s article we will tell you how to choose a Foley catheter, what you need to consider when buying, what types and structural features of urethral catheters have, and how prostatic catheters differ from Foley catheters.

A Foley catheter or urethral catheter is a special medical device designed to drain urine from the bladder. To do this, it is inserted into the bladder cavity through a natural pathway – the urethra – and fixed with a balloon.Such a catheter is placed for a period of 1 to 90 days. Foley catheter is not uncommon in the Russian market. It can be ordered from a specialized company dealing with medical equipment and supplies, medical equipment stores, pharmacies, and some orthopedic salons. When buying a Foley catheter, do not forget to purchase a urine collection bag – a special item that attaches to the Foley catheter, where urine flows after it is excreted from the body.

How to choose a Foley catheter?

To buy a Foley catheter, you need to clarify with your doctor the following parameters, the knowledge of which will greatly facilitate your ordering a catheter:

Catheter size (diameter).The unit of measurement for the diameter of the catheters is Sharrière (Ch, Fr) or French (Fr). 1 Ch / Fr = 0.33 mm. The size of the catheter is chosen by the attending physician based on the patient’s condition, the time of installation, the material of the catheter. As a rule, 6-10 Ch are children’s sizes, 14-16 Ch are more often given for women, and 20-24 – for men. Each case is unique, so in no case buy a Foley catheter without a doctor’s prescription. There are also various recommendations of professional urological associations – the Russian Society of Urology, the European Society of Urology – which detail the criteria for choosing the diameter of the catheter.



6-8 Ch

Child size

10 Ch

Pure urine, without hematuria (presence of blood in the urine), mucus

12-14 Ch

Pure urine, without hematuria, mucus, “sand”

16 Ch

Slightly cloudy urine, there may be mild hematuria with or without small clots, presence of a small amount of mucus, tissue debris

18 Ch

Severe hematuria, the presence of clots, a large amount of mucus, tissue debris, the presence of “sand” in the urine

20-24 Ch

Severe hematuria, a large amount of mucus, blood clots, “sand”.Rinsing is required.

If the catheter frequently clogs, you can choose a larger size. It must be remembered that the larger the diameter of the catheter, the higher the risk of injury to the urethra.

Another product characteristic is associated with the size of the Foley catheter – color coding. This helps doctors and nurses in the operating room or treatment room to quickly find the right catheter, focusing on its color, rather than on the label on the packaging or on the catheter itself.Color coding may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it is usually universal and helps clinicians more easily navigate the range of consumables. In the picture above, you will see a red connector – this is the part in the Foley catheters that is color coded. We see the red connector and understand that this catheter is 18 Ch.

Foley catheter length. Foley catheters can be male or female. This is due to anatomical features – the urethral canal in men is longer than in women.The length of the female Foley catheter is about 25 cm, the male – 40-42 cm. The female Foley catheter is not available in all medical equipment stores and pharmacies and, moreover, cannot be used by men, therefore, universal catheters 40 cm long are prescribed for women and men.

Cylinder size. A balloon located at the distal end of the catheter is used to fix the catheter in the bladder cavity. When inserted, the balloon is deflated and does not protrude above the surface of the catheter. If the catheter is successfully inserted into the bladder, the balloon is “inflated” with saline to the desired volume.Thanks to a special valve in the connector, the saline solution does not flow back. Foley catheters most often have a 30 ml balloon, but there are models with a 15 or 50 ml balloon. In children’s Foley catheters, the volume of the balloon is 1.5-5 ml. The balloon prevents the urethral catheter from falling out of the bladder.

Straight or curved tip of Foley catheter or Nelaton vs Thiemann. The tip of the Foley catheter (the part above the balloon) can be straight or curved. The straight form (classic version) is the most common model.Such a tip is also called Nelaton’s catheter after the urologist who first used a urethral catheter to drain urine. For complicated cases of administration, for example, with hyperplasia of the prostate gland, there is a beak-shaped curved tip – the Timann catheter. The tip itself in the Timann or Nelaton catheters is closed with two side holes.

Foley catheter material. The patient’s comfort, the frequency of catheter replacement and its operational characteristics directly depend on the material of the catheter.Today Foley catheters are made from:

  • Silicone coated latex (siliconized latex) is a cheap material, rather soft and porous. Unfortunately, many patients are allergic to latex, which makes it impossible for long-term use. To reduce the risk of allergies, as well as to improve performance, the latex catheter is coated with a micron layer of silicone. A latex Foley catheter is placed for up to 7 days.
  • Silicone is a completely biocompatible material that does not cause inflammation and allergic reactions. Silicone catheters are soft and thin-walled. Foley silicone catheters have a large internal lumen, which allows for better urine drainage. They are less clogged and can be installed for up to 30 days. Children’s catheters are made of silicone. Special treatment of the silicone and catheter surfaces allowed them to be inserted for up to 90 days – for example, the X-Tra and Folisyl LT series from Coloplast.
  • “Silver” is an obsolete version of the catheter. Material: silicone with a layer of silver, which is why such catheters are often called “silver plated”. It was believed that silver catheters have antibacterial activity, however, studies have shown that the presence of a silver layer does not significantly affect the development of infection or the duration of installation. Silver catheters are practically out of circulation due to their low profitability and lack of obvious clinical efficacy. Instead, patients are advised to buy long-term silicone Foley catheters (with an installation period of up to 90 days).

Number of strokes: 2 or 3? The most problematic question. Unfortunately, due to errors in terminology, doctors, patients and pharmacists often confuse three-way Foley catheters and prostatic catheters (TURP catheters, hemostatic catheters). The classic Foley catheter has 2 strokes, that is, 2 channels, one of which is used to divert urine, and the other is to inflate the balloon. In some cases, a third channel / passage is required – for washing and introducing medicinal substances into the bladder cavity.

However, there are prostatic or three-way catheters. Prostatic catheters are used exclusively in men after prostate surgery – prostate resection. They should not be confused with Foley catheters. Despite the similar structure and function, both of these catheters are different. These differences are:

  • Balloon volume: for prostatic catheters, the balloon has a volume of 50-120 ml for effective prevention of bleeding after surgery on the prostate gland (for Foley catheters it is 15-30 ml).
  • Tip structure: prostatic catheters are divided into types Dufo, Delinot, Couveler and others. The curved Dufo and Couveler straight tips also have a large drainage hole for the successful drainage of urine, blood clots, tissue and mucus. A typical 3-way Dufo catheter is shown below.
  • Diameter: Prostatic catheter size 18 to 24 Ch / Fr. Foley catheters have a much wider size range – from 6 to 30 Ch.
  • Number of channels: Prostatic catheters are usually always three-way.

Attention! This article is not a call for self-medication! Be sure to consult your doctor! Never insert or remove urethral catheters yourself!

Bottom line: any patient may be faced with the need to purchase Foley catheters. When choosing a catheter, it is important to know its dimensions, which are measured in Shariers / French, the volume of the balloon, the number of strokes.When purchasing, check all the data, be sure to specify the expiration date of the medical device, the presence of the Registration Certificate and the Declaration and Compliance, the presence of instructions. If you find it difficult to choose, we recommend the following positions:

You can buy Foley catheters in Moscow at the Uromed M company by phone +7 495 783 68 11 or by sending a request to e-mail [email protected] We work with individuals and legal entities. Fast delivery to any region of Russia.There is no minimum order!

Uromed M is the official distributor of Coloplast (France) products in Russia. Direct deliveries from the Coloplast factory from France.

Foley and Nelaton Catheter

The Foley catheter is considered the safest urological catheter for bladder drainage. Thanks to the surface treatment with silicone, it easily passes the narrowing of the urethra. It is ideal for both short-term and long-term use. And the durable balloon is easy to deflate and inflate, thus ensuring patient safety.The stiffness of the tube is quite high for insertion, but flexible enough for a less painful catheterization procedure.

A catheter is a special medical instrument that is a tube and is designed to interact with the natural channels of the body in order to empty or introduce fluids with it. Urological products periodically undergo quality control, proper certification and verification of compliance with standardization. The goods sold by our online store “Lifestoma” are reliable products and our company guarantees their safety.Foley’s products are designed for a sufficiently long catheterization, which can reach seven days.

Catheters are subdivided into: urological male external, urological female, children’s, bedside urinals, leg wearable urinals, intravenous peripheral, single lumen, trocars, umbilical and epidural. The most common and well-known brands are:

  • Foley
  • Malekota
  • Pezzera
  • Nelatona
  • Robinson

The nelaton catheter is designed for short-term and long-term bladder catheterization.It is made of plastic and non-toxic polyvinyl chloride, it has a universal connector. It is produced with a Tiemann standard tip.

Nelaton of optimal rigidity is designed for a fast catheterization process, after insertion it softens under the influence of body temperature, which helps to reduce human discomfort.

Bladder catheterization is performed both for therapeutic purposes and for diagnostic purposes. In the modern world, there are a large number of different catheters and preference for one or another product is given based on the purpose.Also, catheterization is required for people who have undergone surgery. Catheterization in such cases serves as an assistant in tissue restoration and suture healing in patients who have undergone surgery on the prostate, bladder, urethra, etc.

The foley catheter is an elastic tube designed for long-term use. Provides the exit of urine through the external fistula on the anterior abdominal wall in the absence of the possibility of urine excretion in natural ways. Has a tip with two holes.The disadvantages of such a product are considered to be rather small openings of the holes, which are often clogged with salts and the absence of divisions, which makes it impossible to determine the depth of introduction. The Nelaton catheter has a smooth surface and a closed, rounded end, which makes the introduction of the product easy and painless.

90,000 three stories of complications during childbirth

Katya, 25 years old, my son is two and a half years old

My pregnancy began in January, and everything went very calmly, but at the beginning of June, slight bleeding began and I was admitted to the hospital for a week.There were no more special incidents, analyzes and ultrasound showed that everything was ok. I walked calmly until the end of September, when the doctors set the PDR.

I conducted pregnancy and childbirth under a contract, I had a trusting relationship with the doctor: I was sure that no matter what happened, the doctor would be able to cope with it. She answered all the questions in detail, from the additional information I read about the development of the fetus every week and asked my acquaintances how everything went (learned about the episiotomy, was a little scared).

In the 40th and 41st weeks (already in October) I went to the CTG every three days, but the contractions did not start. At the end of the 42nd week, they put me in the maternity hospital to stimulate labor: I took pills, they put a Foley catheter on me. The manipulations lasted two days, after which the contractions began in the evening. At that moment, I was given an enema, asked to shave my pubis, transferred to the delivery room and hung a permanent CTG on my stomach. Somewhere within an hour after the transfer, my husband drove up to the ward, I really wanted him to be there, with the doctor we agreed on his presence in advance.

I had no wishes about being completely natural, I knew that the doctor would not do anything superfluous. Initially, I was against giving birth at home, because my acquaintances’ home birth cost the cost of an apartment for the treatment of the child and mother (as soon as the doula realized that there were complications, she ran away, such consequences could have been avoided in the maternity hospital). I do not extrapolate the behavior of one person at all, but having doctors nearby was an important factor for me.

The contractions lasted 12 hours, with some frequency the doctor dropped in to check the cervical dilatation.I was offered to pierce the bladder, because CTG began to deteriorate.

The liquid was vigorously green, like from a swamp, warned that it was not very good. After another five hours, the CTG worsened even more, I was told that I needed to have a cesarean section, because with such a weak labor, there could be complications for the child. I signed the consent, I was transferred to the operating room and had a caesarean. The child screamed very loudly, got 8 and 8 apgar, after being washed, brought to kiss.Then the son was carried to her husband, he carried him to the department where the newborns were, sat with him for several hours.

I was sent to intensive care, where I lay under a heavy warm blanket for about five hours. After that, they were transferred to a regular ward, where they brought the baby. Then it turned out that he had an intrauterine infection, and on the fifth day we were transferred to the children’s hospital, but this is no longer about childbirth.

During the contractions, I basically thought something like: “The pliers are strong, why is it so painful,” but, probably, because of the trust in the doctor, I took all his suggestions steadily and calmly.When they announced to me that something was going wrong, I tried to rationally ask what we were going to do, how to act in this situation, and generally behaved well. Some unpleasant thoughts began two months after giving birth in the spirit of “I’m kind of defective, since I couldn’t start giving birth myself,” another of the midwives said that “this is all because you are too smart and inclined to control, but here I could have relaxed. ” There were no worries about the cesarean.

The story of the birth of a child did not make much of an impression on me, so my further stay in the hospital shook my nerves a lot (they put a drip in a vein in the head of babies, quite a terrible sight, but you get used to it).Our further relations developed well, social isolation pressed on me, but I tried to go to museums, to pull out my friends, to go to dachas to visit. Now I am preparing for the start of a new pregnancy, and I really want my spouse to have three children.

Anna, 33 years old, daughters two months

At 40 weeks I was admitted to the hospital under observation due to low placentation. I had no other problems, the pregnancy was going well. However, in recent weeks, the placenta still rose to the “required” five centimeters from the edge of the internal pharynx.So, in general, you could sit at home. Childbirth began two days later: after lunch I went to take a nap, and then the water broke. Everything was as it should be: examination, enema, shower – and hello, maternity ward.

There were no contractions until the doctor opened the shell. Gradually increasing, the contractions lasted about seven hours, I was very tired, I wanted to walk, but basically I had to lie on the CTG only with short breaks. At four centimeters, the nervous anesthesiologist placed an epidural for the third time, and for the next two hours he even managed to take a nap.The anhydrous period was inexorably approaching the permitted 12 hours, so it was not without oxytocin.

The contractions gradually turned into attempts, and the epidural was turned off. Further, as is often described – “ring of fire”, not particularly successful attempts to push (it turned out every other time), episiotomy and the birth of my Alice on one push. The whole placenta quickly came out, the daughter was put on my chest, and she immediately screamed. Quite normal childbirth, nothing special.

Alice was taken away to wipe and weigh, and then I saw the face of the doctor who was taking delivery.For some reason, I immediately realized that bleeding had begun, although this process was painless. They quickly deployed a mini-operating room, gave me general anesthesia, performed a manual examination of the uterine cavity, and stopped the bleeding in a matter of minutes. However, even during this time, blood loss was up to two liters!

Then I spent a day and a half in intensive care, where blood counts were constantly monitored and various drugs were administered. As a result, I had to transfuse blood as my hemoglobin continued to decline. For this procedure, a medical consultation was gathered, everything is serious.My state of health and analyzes improved significantly, and the next day I was transferred to the postpartum department. Alice was immediately brought, and life gradually began to improve.

Postpartum hypotonic uterine bleeding in the early postpartum period occurs in three to four percent of cases. It is impossible to foresee it in advance. It is only known that if a woman has it, then there is a high probability of recurrence in subsequent births. In maternity hospitals, of course, they are not allowed to die in such cases, but if this happens outside the hospital, it is unlikely that it will be possible to take the postpartum woman to the operating room and save her.

Albina, 30 years old, daughters one and a half years old

I was observed in a regular antenatal clinic, and since the pregnancy was taking place in a regular mode, I also decided to give birth under the compulsory medical insurance, I did not look for a maternity hospital and a doctor. The only thing I was afraid of was not having time to arrive at the hospital on time, because my mother had a rapid first birth, and here Moscow and traffic jams. But here, too, my anxiety was minimized: the doctor in the antenatal clinic sent me for preliminary hospitalization in the maternity hospital, because she suspected overmaturity.

Of course, I wanted to give birth with a minimum of interventions and as naturally as possible, but when I arrived at the pathology department, I decided that the welfare of the child is above all, and if they offer any procedures, I will not refuse. For a week I just hung out in the pathology department, and then agreed to stimulation with gel, the doctor in our ward turned out to be excellent, she was on duty in the delivery room, so I was not afraid of anything at all and was wonderfully in tune.

I knew that anything can happen in childbirth, but I deliberately avoided information about what exactly could go wrong.Childbirth without Fear made me feel confident that I know what awaits me and that everything is going according to plan. Labor activity developed very quickly, after four hours in the delivery room I was shown a tiny girl.

In less than two minutes, they put some paper under my nose with the words sign, you will be given general anesthesia. Only in response to my question, the doctors told what exactly was the matter: not all of the afterbirth had gone away, and a manual examination of the uterus had to be done. There was absolutely no strength to find out something in more detail, I signed it and they immediately began to inject me into anesthesia, I did not even have time to ask if everything was fine with the baby.

After the anesthesia was gone, I was only interested as a child, if everything was all right with her, I wanted to hug her as soon as possible. The staff didn’t tell how it went, and I didn’t ask, because I could only think about the child and that it’s so good that it’s with me, and not with her that something went wrong, I’m an adult and I will survive everything.

The fact that I underwent an episiotomy under anesthesia and had stitches applied, I found out only the next day after giving birth (and it was my fault that I didn’t know right away).Then I googled that I had a complicated birth, and for this, an extension of the sick leave is due for a month and, accordingly, an additional payment from the employer. I had to pull the doctors to get the paperwork done. And a week after discharge, I learned from my own experience that there are still complications of the late postpartum period: leaving the baby with my grandmothers, I left with bleeding in an ambulance. Here, too, no one explained anything – neither about the reasons, nor about the treatment. So now I have enough reasons to reflect on the topic of domestic medicine and specifically obstetrics.

But complicated childbirth, nevertheless, does not seem to me a terrible nightmare, it just took more time to physically recover and more help at first than I expected. In the end, this did not affect my relationship with the child, I managed to maintain breastfeeding and quickly recover psychologically. I think that if there is confidence in the professionalism of doctors and that there will be a normal attitude towards you (and not this is all like in an ordinary maternity hospital), then giving birth to another child is not scary.Therefore, it seems to me that women should devote considerable time and attention to choosing a maternity hospital and a doctor so that childbirth is safe, and a midwife / doula (or call a partner, if this is a suitable option) so that it is psychologically comfortable and always clear what is happening.

Foley Catheter Care – How to Flush, How Often to Change, Treatment of Foley Indirect Urinary Catheter

Contents of the article:

In some serious pathologies of the genitourinary tract, after trauma or surgery, against the background of tumor growth, the outflow of urine from the bladder through the urethra to the outside may be impaired.In these cases, an indwelling catheter may be required to drain urine. In order to prevent complications associated with finding a foreign object in the bladder (even for medical purposes), you need to follow the rules for caring for an indwelling Foley urinary catheter. This will allow the patient to lead a relatively normal life.

Why and how the catheter is placed

This device is a small plastic or silicone tube that is inserted through the urethra into the bladder cavity.In women and men, the length of the urethra is different, there are features of the choice and placement of the catheter, with minimal discomfort for the patient. Having a catheter helps in diverting urine generated in the kidneys that accumulates in the bladder if the person is unable to urinate on their own. However, the Foley catheter communicates with the external environment, urine is separated through it, the product can become dirty, clogged, which requires regular cleaning and proper care. In addition, the patient needs to wash, change clothes and clothes, which requires knowledge of Foley catheter care at home. …

Washing, regular replacement of catheters with new products and processing of the Foley catheter are important to exclude the penetration of pathogenic microbes into the urogenital tract and the development of inflammation, severe complications. Infection when using a catheter is dangerous for a relapse or complication of the underlying disease, which can lead to re-hospitalization. Regular implementation of Foley catheter care algorithms helps to prolong their life, so they do not need to be changed as often.

Placing a catheter

Before starting manipulations, it is necessary to perform all hygiene procedures.The doctor thoroughly washes his hands, puts on sterile gloves, the patient’s perineum is treated with water and soap, antiseptics. The catheter is taken with sterile forceps, the tip is lubricated to facilitate insertion.

A special female catheter is placed for a woman, taking into account the length and width of the urethra. It is inserted in the supine position, with bent knees, legs apart. After treating the perineum, the doctor pushes the labia apart by gently inserting the tip of the catheter into the urethral opening. With the beginning of the separation of the urine catheter, the administration is stopped.After that, sterile water is injected through one of the holes at the other end of the product to inflate the balloon and fix the product in the bladder. A urine bag is attached to the other hole.

For men, a longer catheter is used, taking into account the size of the urethra. It is introduced in the same way, in the supine position, with bent knees, legs apart. The product is led slowly, gently, first holding the penis in an upright position, then tilting it down. With the separation of urine, the movement is stopped.

How often the Foley catheter is changed

If the outflow of urine through the catheter is normal, planned replacements are carried out as directed by a doctor or according to the instructions for the product.So, silicone can be used up to 30 days, latex – up to a week, silver-plated – up to 90 days.

How to care for a Foley catheter

When correctly installed by a doctor, the product does not require frequent cleaning. When urine is separated, the device is flushed naturally. Often, to enhance the cleansing effect of the urine itself, patients are prescribed cranberry fruit drinks, fresh berries, and herbal preparations with antiseptic effects.

Flushing of the Foley catheter may be required in case of cloudy urine, the appearance of flakes, salts on the walls or sediment, with periodic clogging of the lumen of the tubule.

How to flush a Foley catheter at home

You can apply a weak solution of potassium permanganate (1: 10000), “Dioxidin”, which is diluted with water 1:40 or “Furacillin” (1 tablet 0.1 g per 100 ml of liquid). It is possible to rinse the catheter with Miramistin, a ready-made pharmaceutical solution or a product that the doctor recommends. Rinsing is carried out in such a way that the patient is not painful and uncomfortable.

It is important to wash your hands thoroughly, use a sterile syringe that delivers the solution.The urine bag is disconnected from the tube, the end is treated with antibacterial solutions. A syringe is then attached and the rinsing solution is slowly fed. It is necessary to apply first about 20-30 ml, after the introduction of the liquid into the bladder, the syringe is disconnected. Again, it flows out by itself. Washing is repeated three times, then re-attaching the urine bag.

Care of the urine bag

It is important to maintain your drainage bags regularly. If this is a disposable product, as it is filled, it is disconnected and disposed of.Reusable products are washed daily with soap and rinsed with antiseptics. The urine is drained about once every 3-4 hours, or more often when a large volume of urine is excreted.

The urine container must always be below the level of the bladder. Change the reusable product as it wears out, as directed by the doctor.

Taking a shower with catheter and urine collection bag

It is important to maintain good body hygiene by taking a shower regularly. This reduces the risk of infection. Before getting up under the stream of water, the urine bag is disconnected, the catheter is clamped with a special clip.When washing, gently wash the genitals around the catheter using pH neutral baby or liquid soap.

After bathing, the catheter tube is gently dried, the genitals are blotted with a soft cotton towel, and a clean urine bag is put on. You can swim every day, observing these rules.

Prevention of infections

To reduce the risk of urinary tract infection, when using a Foley catheter, follow these simple rules:

  • Do not allow water from the shower to enter the tubing.
  • it is forbidden to treat the skin near the catheter with cotton pads, the villi can remain on the mucous membrane, provoking inflammation.
  • it is important to avoid using powders and similar hygiene products.
  • you should not go to the bathhouse, sauna, swim in the bathtub and open reservoirs.

When a specialist call is required

Even if all the rules are followed, inflammation and the development of infection are possible. There are a number of symptoms that require a doctor’s examination.So, this is urine leakage from the catheter, pain in the groin area, blood in the urine, fever or stagnation of urine, a sharp increase or decrease in the daily volume of urine, redness of the area around the installed catheter, or a change in the color and smell of urine.

Two-way Foley catheter – “POPULAR method of labor stimulation, which did not help me !! »

Hello everyone!

If you are reading this review, then most likely you are in the last stages of pregnancy and will see your baby very soon! But besides the happy expectation of meeting the baby, this time is full of excitement, and sometimes fear of the upcoming birth – especially if this is your first time.

I will try to slightly open the veil of uncertainty before childbirth by talking about such a method of stimulating them as Foley catheter for opening the cervix.

The Foley catheter is a rubber tube with a ball at the end. This deflated balloon is placed in the cervix and filled with saline.

Principle of operation

The principle of operation of the catheter is simple: it is placed in the cervix and pumped with saline through a special tube located outside.The inflated ball presses on the cervix, softens it and stimulates it to open.

If the procedure is successful, the catheter should itself fall out through the dilated cervix and labor should begin later.

My experience

Background. Consent to the procedure

My pregnancy was complicated by the diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus and therefore I went to the hospital beforehand. Coincidentally, it was the day of the expected due date. On the round, the doctor said that the due date had already come, and “it would be necessary to give birth.”They suggested stimulating with a Foley catheter.

By the way, I already lay in this maternity hospital a week earlier, and saw that catheter stimulation of labor is often successfully used there. And the stimulation of labor with GDM is a very common practice. Thus, I was mentally prepared for the fact that I might need this procedure. I already wanted to give birth as soon as possible, so I, without much hesitation, gave my consent. Consent to stimulate labor, as it should be, is made in writing with the signature of the patient.

In the maternity hospital where I was lying, Foley catheters were placed by the doctor on duty in the evening – at about 23.00. I signed my consent to the procedure at lunchtime. Thus, I had enough time to be afraid of to morally tune in to the upcoming procedure.

Insertion of a Foley catheter

As planned, in the evening I was invited to the examination room to install a Foley catheter. How to put it, I approximately imagined, after reading the information on the Internet, and talking with those who went through this procedure.

Well, what can you say … It was very painful! But as I understood, the fact that my neck was still completely unprepared for childbirth and was slightly bent back played a role here. Therefore, the doctor could not place the catheter correctly. If you have such a procedure, do not be afraid, most likely, everything will go easier for you.

The doctor who inserted my catheter was a lovely woman. Despite the difficulties encountered during the procedure, I was calm with such a doctor – such a wave of benevolence and positiveness emanated from her that I was confident in the success of the procedure.

As a result, I stayed in the examination room for about ten minutes. The catheter was installed, two tubes sticking out from the outside were glued to the inner surface of the thigh with adhesive tape. They gave me pain relieving suppositories, in case it was really hard, and sent to wait for contractions to sleep until morning. And I stomped into the ward, limping in pain and obstructing the passage of the tubes.

After installing the catheter

Well, the first hour and a half was quite painful.I had to use the candles issued earlier. And then … Either the candles worked, or I was very tired, but I fell asleep soundly until the morning. I did not wait for the contractions.

Let’s go to the maternity ward! ..

In the morning I had to do a micro enema given by the nurse, pack my things, pack myself and go to the maternity ward. So I did)

There were no sensations from the catheter, except for the inconvenience when walking and the fact that blood began to drip from the protruding tube.An eerie sight, brrrr, as I recall …. And because of her it was terribly inconvenient to put on compression stockings.

I was a little alarmed by the absence of contractions and generally any sensations from the catheter. After all, normally, if everything goes well, the catheter helps to open the cervix, and then it falls out due to this opening. None of this was observed with me. I mentally prepared myself for a bladder puncture and further stimulation.

Once in the maternity ward, I was told to wait for the round.I waited for about an hour, the sensations are still the same – no! It was uncomfortable in front of other girls writhing from contractions … And a little uncomfortable that the process still does not start.

And here’s a detour. A whole squad of doctors came – just a shift shift. There was also a doctor who installed a catheter for me. She recognized me and wished me luck)

The doctors looked at me – and indeed, my fears were not in vain. The catheter didn’t work at all! It was taken out – completely painless, I didn’t even notice.And they sent me to the pathology department to wait for contractions.

… And we go back to wait for contractions

It was a little uncomfortable to return from the maternity ward to pathology. The mood from the failed birth was depressed. Foley’s catheter did not help, what awaits me next? .. In my head – anxious expectation of further procedures, and I already wanted to become a mother at last.

But my story still has a happy ending! Two days later, I gave birth on my own, without any stimulation – but that’s a completely different story!

I will not recommend this procedure, becausebecause here every expectant mother must decide for herself. My experience turned out to be negative, but during my stay in the hospital, I did not see a single other girl whom the Foley catheter did not help. So it seems that I am so “lucky”, in general, the procedure is very effective.

It will also be useful for expectant mothers to read:

Urinary catheters

Bladder – serves for the accumulation of urine, continuously flowing from the ureters, and performs an evacuation function – urination.The size depends on the filling of the urine, the capacity is from 250 to 700 ml. If for some reason evacuation of urine is difficult, a urinary catheter is installed – an elastic tube that is inserted into the urinary tract to drain urine.

In cases where a urinary catheter is required for a long time, it is necessary to install a cystostomy (epicystostomy) – the creation of an artificial excretory canal from the bladder by a surgical method. The outlet of the canal is in the suprapubic region. Indications for cystostomy appear, as a rule, in case of serious pathologies of the urinary tract:

  • inability to insert a catheter through the urethra if a long stay of the drainage in the bladder is necessary;
  • benign prostatic hyperplasia;
  • non-synchronized work of the muscles of the bladder and its sphincter, which leads to stagnation of urine;
  • pelvic trauma with urethral rupture;
  • operations performed on the urethra, penis

There is also intermittent catheterization with disposable catheters, you can read more about it in our blog https: // www.mc21.ru/blogs/urology/odnorazovye-mochevye-urologicheskie-katetery.php

Types of catheters

There are several types of catheters, but mostly now in medical urological practice a Foley catheter is used. This is the most common and demanded type of catheter.

This is a urinary catheter with an inflatable balloon for filling with sterile fluid (water or saline), which anchors the catheter in the bladder. On the other hand, the tube is connected to a special container (bag) in which urine accumulates.

Foley catheters can be with a different number of internal channels, made of different materials. They also differ in coating. A silicone-coated latex dual-lumen catheter is an inexpensive option. The most expensive is the silver-coated silicone catheter.

The advantages of a silver-coated silicone catheter are that the silver layer inhibits the growth of pathogenic microbes, reducing the likelihood of developing a urinary tract infection. Therefore, after insertion of the catheter, it can remain inside for a longer period.In this case, a higher price means a greater level of safety and a lower risk of infections during catheterization.

An uncoated silicone catheter can be used if you are allergic to latex. The silicone itself has the property of inhibiting the deposition of salts on the inner layer of the catheter.

Removal of urine is possible in two ways:
1. In the mode of constant opening of the locking device, urine outflow occurs in small portions into the bag-shaped urine collection bag attached to the sleeve.
2. When closed, when the outflow of urine is carried out at once, for a certain period of time, directly into the toilet or storage bag.

Replacing the catheter

On average, a month after the installation of the cystostomy, it needs to be replaced. This manipulation is performed by a urologist. Depending on how much the patient’s mobility is preserved, you can either come to the medical center for an appointment, or call a doctor at home. In the future, the timing of replacing the catheter is discussed with the doctor individually for each patient and depends on the type of catheter and how it is used, whether there are any complications.On average, during normal operation of the cystostomy catheter, it will need to be changed once every 4-8 weeks.

If you leave the catheter longer than the period recommended by the doctor, there is a risk of complications due to the deterioration of its throughput, delayed outflow of urine. The risk of developing an infection increases.

Now doctors do not recommend rinsing catheters, it is much safer to change them, since when rinsing with antiseptic solutions, there is a high probability that the flora on the walls will acquire resistance to these agents and if inflammation occurs, it will be very difficult to cope with it.Removal and replacement of a cystostomy is also mandatory by a doctor, who additionally examines the injection site, makes appointments for the underlying disease.

Care of the cystostomy (epicystostomy)

An indwelling catheter for urine removal from the bladder requires adequate hygienic care and adherence to a drinking regime.

Maintaining cleanliness is most important:

  • The loose catheter tube must be kept clean, as is the catheter insertion site in the lower abdomen.If there are no special recommendations of a doctor for treatment, then the skin around the catheter should be washed with warm water and soap or wiped with a swab moistened with water 2 times a day.
  • You can take a shower, a bath is not recommended.
  • If there are no signs of inflammation around the catheter, the dressing may not be used.

A person with a catheter in place needs to drink plenty of fluids to ensure that the volume and concentration of urine passing through the catheter is sufficient to prevent calculus, salt buildup, and inflammation.The recommended volume is from 1.5 to 2.5 liters per day, or the volume that is allowed by the attending physician, in the presence of any disease in which excess fluid is not indicated.

How to properly handle the bag-urine collection bag

  • The catheter and urine bag must not bend.
  • If the patient is walking, the drainage bag is attached below the bladder, on the thigh. If the patient is lying down, the drainage bag is fixed below body level, but not on the floor. The location of the drainage bag should allow urine to drain into the bag and not flow back into the bladder.
  • Empty the bag when it is half full. Change on average once a week, if not required earlier due to damage or clogging.

Training the accumulative function of the bladder

When inserting and replacing the catheter, the urologist should talk about training the accumulative function of the bladder. It is done to maintain the contractility of the bladder wall. The mode of constant outflow of urine disrupts the functioning of this organ, it is important to periodically create conditions for its filling.

Training of the accumulative function of the bladder consists in clamping the drainage of the cystostomy until the urge to urinate appears. If the urge arises, the drain must be unclenched and the bladder emptied. This method has absolute and relative contraindications. You cannot start a workout without consulting a doctor, this can lead to serious complications.

Absolute contraindications, in these cases training is prohibited:

  • Vesico-rectal, urethroperitoneal and other fistulas
  • Acute inflammatory process of the urinary tract
  • Macrohematuria and urethrorrhagia.