A urinary catheter collects urine from the bladder to an external bag, from which the urine can be discharged. It is vital for those who have suffered an injury, recently undergone surgery or have an illness or disease that prevents functional urinating. Build up of urine can cause permanent damage to kidneys, making them a life-saving piece of medical equipment.
Being unable to control urine, unable to discharge urine or having urinary incontinence can be caused by:
- Mental impairment and underdeveloped motor skills (most common in the elderly)
- ALS or multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Recent surgery around the bladder area
- Blocked ureter due to kidney stones, blood clots etc.
Indwelling urinary catheters come in different materials (silicon, rubber, PVC) and two main different types: urethral or suprapubic. Urethral indwelling catheters are inserted into the bladder via the urethra, whereas suprapubic ones are inserted through a small hole in the abdomen. These must be inserted at a clinic by a trained professional (like a nurse). Some may need it only for a temporary basis, for example those who have undergone surgery and are recovering. Others, like patients of ASL or a mentally impaired elderly individual, need it on a permanent basis.
Many discount indwelling catheters are available in a variety of hundreds, from renowned manufacturers or medical equipment. Prices often start below $100 and a discount of up to 20% is available at canmeddirect.com.
Pessaries are designed for vaginal use to treat urinal inconsistency, vaginal infections or to act as contraception.
For contraceptive purposes, pessaries come in the form of small rubber cubes treated with spermicidal substances. This can be fitted in individually or by a physician. Pessaries are a very reliable form of contraceptives and have a success rate of over 99% in preventing pregnancies. Being a barrier method, it poses no side effects, is reversible, and is under the full control of the individual using it.
Ring or donut pessaries support the pelvic muscles and are essential for prolapse i.e pelvic organs starting to protrude through the vagina.. This also helps in urinary incontinence. Vaginal pessaries are convenient as they offer non-surgical, non-medicinal treatment for prolapse and urinary incontinence.
Donut pessaries are the most common and recommended as they can be removed and re-inserted by the user independently. The ring shape allows women to continue to have healthy sex lives as it doesn’t interfere with sexual intercourse. Other types of pessaries, like the Gellhorn pessary require clinical fitting by a physician. They must be removed, cleaned and re-inserted (dry) regularly, though this is a quick process once gotten used to.