Bladder Management

Bladder Management

Prevent bladder infection with our easy to follow steps on bladder management.

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

A urinary catheter is placed into your bladder to drain your urine and it is held inside your bladder by a balloon filled with water.


Daily Catheter Care

It is important to keep your catheter clean to avoid any risk of infection. You can clean it daily whilst in the shower (no baths). You will need the following supplies:

  • Mild soap, perfume free soap
  • Water
  • A clean washcloth (not one already used for bathing) or a 4”x 4” piece of gauze
  • 1 Catheter
  • A multi-purpose tube holder
  • Night drainage bag
  • 2 alcohol swabs

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Clean your genital area using mild soap and water. Men should retract the foreskin and clean the area, including the penis. Women should separate the labia, and clean the area, front to back. Clean your urinary opening, which is where the catheter enters your body then 
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. Use A multi-purpose tube holder to keep the catheter from moving.
Rinse the area well and dry it gently.


Changing the Drainage Bag

You will need to change your drainage bag twice a day.

Once, in the morning after you shower, change the night bag to the leg bag. And then at night before you go to bed, change the leg bag to the night bag. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Empty the urine from the drainage bag into the toilet before you change it.
 Pinch off the catheter with your fingers and disconnect the used bag.
 Keeping your fingers pinched, wipe the end of the catheter using an alcohol pad.
 Wipe the connector on the new bag using the second alcohol pad.
 Connect the clean bag to the catheter and release your finger pinch.
 Check all connections. Straighten any kinks or twists in the tubing.


Caring for the Leg Bag

Always wear the leg bag below your knee. This will help it drain. Keep the leg bag secure with leg bag straps. 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 through the spout at the bottom every 2 to 4 hours, as needed. Do not let the bag get completely full and do not lie down for longer than 2 hours while you are wearing the leg bag.


Caring for the Night Bag

  • Always keep the night bag below the level of your bladder.

At bedtime place a clean plastic bag inside of a wastebasket and hang the complimentary night bag that we send with your first order, on the inside of the wastebasket while you sleep.


Cleaning the Drainage Bags

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Rinse the equipment with cool water. Do not use hot water because it can
  • damage the plastic equipment. Wash the equipment with a mild liquid detergent
  • and rinse with cool water.
  • To prevent odour, 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.
  • Rinse the bag with cool water and hang it up to dry.


Preventing Infection

  • 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.
  • Do not lie on 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.
  • The spout of the drainage bag should never touch the side of the toilet or any emptying container.


Special Points

  • You may see some blood or urine around where the catheter enters your body,
  • especially when walking or having a bowel movement. This is normal, as long as
  • there is urine draining into the drainage bag. Drink 1 to 2 glasses of liquids every
  • 2 hours while you’re awake.


Call your doctor immediately if:

  • Your catheter comes out; do not try to replace it yourself
  • You have a temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
  • You have a decrease in the amount of urine you are making
  • You have foul-smelling urine
  • You have bright red blood or large blood clots in your urine
  • You have abdominal pain and no urine in your catheter bag


For more information or help and support on bladder management, speak to one of our advisors on our FREEPHONE number 0800 18 19 01.