What are the advantages of intermittent catheterization for urinary incontinence treatment?

Updated: Jan 22, 2021
  • Author: Sandip P Vasavada, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Many studies of young persons (both male and female) with spinal cord injuries have shown that intermittent catheterization is preferable to indwelling catheters (ie, urethral catheter, suprapubic tube). Intermittent catheterization has become a valuable alternative to indwelling catheters for individuals with chronic urinary retention due to an obstructed, weak, or nonfunctioning bladder.

Young children with myelomeningocele have benefited from the use of intermittent catheterization. In addition, self-catheterization is recommended by some surgeons for women during the acute healing process after anti-incontinence surgery.

Intermittent catheterization may be performed using a short rigid plastic catheter or a soft red rubber catheter. Plastic catheters are preferable to red rubber catheters because they are easier to clean and last longer.

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