5 Common FAQs on Catheter Lubrication

Daniel Butler posted this on Nov 25, 2019

Why is Catheter Lubrication needed?

Catheter lubrication serves the purpose of easy and painless insertion of the device through the urine path of both males and females. This helps in situations like urine incontinence and especially incomplete emptying of the bladder. Let's have a glimpse of what sort of issues are addressed by lubricants for a catheter:

• It reduces the risk of both trauma and pain during the insertion of the catheter

• The amount of friction is cut down which again cuts down on the chances of rashes and injuries

• In case the urethra or orifice is narrow, lubrication serves the purpose of dilation.

What are the different variants of catheter lubricants?

Catheter lubricants are alternatively known lubricating jelly for catheters or only 'catheter lube'. They are available in both tubes and packages. Some of the well-known catheter lube brands are:

1. ReliaMed Lubricating Jelly

It is a greaseless and water-soluble lubricating jelly that is suited for other purposes too, such as in the case of lubricating surgical instruments, and gloves, etc. however, it is ideal for lubricating rubber products like catheters and rectal thermometers. Some of its unique features are:

• It has great viscosity

• Fragrance and alcohol-free

• Microflora sperm-friendly, and

• Latex-free

2. Dynarex DynaLube Sterile Lubricating Jelly

This lube is unique in the sense that, it is also used for the lubrication of hinged instruments. It facilitates the smooth passage of delicate instruments by providing an external sliding surface! Consumers prefer the Dynarex DynaLube Sterile Lubricating Jelly for its bacteriostatic, water-soluble and latex-free qualities.

3. E-Z Lubricating Jelly

The E-Z Lubricating Jelly is a flip top tube, easy-to-use jelly that is manufactured specifically to be applied to diagnostic and therapeutic devices for medical purposes only. Unless the contents are used or the packaging opened, its contents remain sterile.

4. Nycomed Fougera Surgilube Lubricating Jelly

This is a blend of natural water-soluble gums and provides both instant and continuous lubrication for catheter insertion or other medical devices, gloves, etc. inside body orifices. This one is also sterile, bacteriostatic, safe and reliable. Its crystal-clear color aids in the application and is also economically priced too.

Can I reuse catheters?

Catheters should never be reused! According to the FDA, intermittent catheters are suitable only for single use. This is indeed an aseptic technique to reduce the risk of UTI (urinary tract infections). To discourage the reuse of catheters, insurance companies provide catheter coverage. This move also saves them from having to end up covering higher medical costs that might crop up due to infections from catheter reuse!

Can I use petroleum jelly to lubricate my catheter?

The most common query on catheter lubrication that you come across is: Is it okay to use petroleum jelly to lubricate my catheter? The answer, unfortunately, is: NO. Two critical features of lubes that are essential are:

• It should be water-soluble

• It should be sterile.

Both these properties minimize the risk of infections and petroleum jelly is not water-soluble.

What if I am not able to follow the prescribed self-catheterization schedule?

Sticking to the catheterization schedule that has been prescribed by your healthcare professional, is the ideal thing to be done. But in case you forget and tend to run behind schedule, catheterize as soon as you remember to do so, but do not forget to first use a catheter lubricant, you will experience a more comfortable catheterization!

Is water intake related to catheter lubrication?

The answer to this query is 'no'. However, for individuals who need to catheterize intermittently, drinking water is very essential. This is because intermittent catheters are used by patients who have chronic bladder issues and drinking water can keep your urinary system in good health! Thus, drinking water is, in a way, highly recommended.

Selecting the right type of lubricant is one of the most crucial parts of intermittent catheterization. This is because, an inappropriate lube could result in skin reactions, rashes or worse still – skin infections. A thorough check of the type, its ingredients, and properties such as 'latex-free' or alcohol-free' ensures that you are free from allergies and other skin hazards too!

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