Catheter valves: What is a catheter valve and why should I use them?
A catheter valve is a sterile, tap-like device that is designed to fit all urethral and suprapubic catheters and sheaths. Unlike a drainage bag, with a catheter valve the urine is held in the bladder and drained directly into a toilet.
What are the benefits of using a catheter valve?
There are number of reasons why people may find catheter valves preferable to a drainage bag.
1) Catheter valves are more discreet
Discretion is one of the main advantages of using a catheter valve. When using a catheter valve, urine is held internally, in the bladder, which removes the need to wear a drainage bag. The Libra Lever Catheter Valve measures just a few centimeters so it is far more discreet and easy to hide under clothing.
2) Catheter valves are more comfortable
If drainage bags aren’t emptied frequently, they can become heavy, pulling on the catheter. In hot weather, even though Libra Leg Bags have breathable fabric backing for maximum comfort, a catheter valve will be a more appealing option than having to wear a drainage bag strapped to your skin.
3) Catheter valves help maintain bladder tone and capacity
Another advantage that catheter valves offer is that they allow the bladder to function as it normally would; filling and draining at regular intervals. This facilitates greater possibility of maintaining good bladder function, tone and capacity over the use of a drainage bag where urine is continually drained from the bladder.
4) Catheter valves produce less waste
The Libra Lever Catheter Valve is simply the tap used on our drainage bags. If you can use a catheter valve you will be using less plastic and therefore lessening the amount of waste that will be incinerated or end up in landfill.
5) Catheter valves are easy to use
A catheter valve is a simple, tap-like device. It can be inserted into any urethral and suprapubic catheter or sheath and, once in place, it can stay connected for 5-7 days. The 180° lever action tap on the Libra Lever Catheter Valve is easy to use and allows for quick drainage of urine.
6) Catheter valves can be used for overnight drainage
Do you feel that a catheter valve would be perfect for during the day, but not so good overnight when you might not be able to access a toilet so easily? Not a problem, the Libra Lever Catheter Valve can be connected to a Night Bag for overnight drainage – perfect for a restful night’s sleep.
They aren’t for everyone.
Although a catheter valve is a more appealing option to drainage bags, for all the reasons listed above, not everyone can use one. Factors such as poor memory, reduced bladder capacity and lack of bladder sensation can indicate that a catheter valve is not suitable. If you are currently using a drainage bag and would like to try a catheter valve, we advise you speak to your healthcare professional first, to determine if they would be suitable for you.