Why is my Catheter Leaking?
Bladder spasms are strong, painful cramps caused by the bladder contracting and can be caused by infections, consuming too much caffeine or alcohol and irritation from your catheter, amongst others. Leakage, or catheter bypassing, may occur as the strength of these spasms force urine out. If your catheter leakage is accompanied by strong cramps/pain in your abdomen, speak to your healthcare professional to identify the root cause of the spasms.
A build up of minerals, sediment and crystallization of urine can cause the catheter channel or eyelets to become blocked. This will prevent urine draining through the catheter effectively. Where urine is retained in the bladder it can leak around the outside of the catheter. If you feel your catheter is blocked, speak to your healthcare professional as a regime of catheter maintenance solutions can be used to prevent the catheter blocking.
A Urinarry Tract Infection (UTI) is another possible cause of catheter bypassing. Symptoms of a UTI include cloudy urine, lower tummy pains, a burning sensation when passing urine and sometimes a fever/general feeling of being unwell. Such infections can be treated with antibiotics but can cause complications if not treated, so it is important you seek medical advice should you think you have an infection.
Incorrect Charriere Size
It could be possible that the leakage is being caused by the incorrect catheter charriere size. The charriere size relates to the outer diameter of the catheter; the bigger the charriere, the more the urethra is dilated. Using a catheter that is too big can be a cause of bypassing.
If you become constipated the bowel can put pressure on the bladder, causing an obstruction to the catheter, and preventing the urine draining through. This can cause urine to be retained in the bladder, causing it to leak around the catheter.
If you are experiencing catheter bypassing (leakage) then speak to your healthcare professional who will be able to work with you to identify the cause. More information on Great Bear’s range of Catheters can be found here