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Thread: condom cath to intermittent cath help

  1. #1

    condom cath to intermittent cath help

    i recently started an intermittent cath program. i have been using condom caths almost solely for the last 3+ years. i have the IC with the hydrophilic coating which is supposed to be the smoothest, slickest process causing the least irritation.

    so here's my problem...after i cath and the time goes by and it's about time to cath again, when i open my pants there is a little dark red "stuff" around/in the hole to the urethra. sometimes it is dry, other times it is wet. and if i squeeze my penis around the shaft i can get a little more wet stuff appearing at the hole. it is very dark red, almost black. is it blood, or some sort of mucous? why is this happening? is this normal? the catheter is 14 fr so it's standard size, and i don't usually have to push with much force, so i don't know what is up.

    please help, thank you.

  2. #2
    It sounds like it could be irritation and what not, but I'm not sure. SCI-Nurse could probably anwser better, or go see your urologist.

  3. #3
    i saw a lil' blood today that was red and darker on my clothes, probably dried. it was not there this afternoon, so i assume it was a lil irritaion from last night's "lights out" cath attempt
    Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened

  4. #4
    Senior Member redbandit's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    North Carolina
    it sounds like irritation to me...

    it could be stationed in because your urethra is not used to having a catheter shoved down it, I remember having a little bit of bleeding early on. It would be just like you described, crusty around the opening and almost black. Sometimes I would see a little bit of bright red blood in the catheter. If it continues or gets worse, I would make a change and/or talk to my urologist.


    at one point I switched from using a dry Mentor 14 French catheter with lube to a 14 French hydrophilic catheter thinking that it would be more comfortable and faster. However, after I started using them, I started having trouble getting the catheter past my sphincter. I would have to hold pressure on the catheter until the sphincter would relax, sometimes for as much as 30 seconds. Then I started developing a spot before my sphincter that was difficult for the catheter to pass, possibly a stricture. Sometimes I couldn't get the hydrophilic catheter to go through at all so I would switch back to the mentor catheter with lube and the catheter would go right in. Long story short, the Mentor catheters were more effective and caused less trauma than the hydrophilic catheters. I would suggest trying several different types of intermittent catheters. Companies like Uromed will send you free samples to test. Try different hydrophilic and dry catheters and see what works best for you. Some of the customer representatives at Uromed are spinal cord injury folks, so they can give you some good advice. Good Luck!
    Last edited by redbandit; 04-16-2006 at 11:43 PM.

  5. #5
    It doesn't sound like mucuous. Blood can appear very dark, almost black.
    It sounds like you probably have an irritated area & need more lubrication.
    Do you have the tube of lubricant or packets of lubricant?
    They can be purchased over the counter but you need to coat the catheter about 2-4 inches- as much as you can & still be able to cath.
    You could put lubricant on the hydrophylic catheter also even though it defeats the intention.
    This will help it slip right in with less irritation. After cleared up you can go back to the hydrophilic.


  6. #6
    I don't have much experience with Hydrophylic caths other than a few Bard Hydrophylics that I bought. I tried using them with gel and it just was very difficult for the cath to go in, gel created resistance. Are you following the instructions? Generally you have to let them soak for a minute or so before insertion and they should go in easily. Also, is there any blood (or that dark stuff) on the tip of the catheter when you pull it out? Good luck.

  7. #7
    yea, i have had a few occassions since my first post where blood was actually on the catheter itself. this blood was bright red and kind of stuck to the catheter. obviously this worried me even more. i'm trying to go back to the condom cath in the meantime until i can figure some stuff out, but i think some of the ditropan is still affecting my ability to void. i was not anticipating this problem when deciding to switch. hopefully i will find a good solution.

  8. #8
    I would like to clear up something that I wrote in my last post. When I used the hydrophillic catheter with gel I DID NOT soak it in water, my mistake for not reading the instructions.

    In my experience, when I had blood on the tip of the catheter it was because I was poking the bladder sphyncter trying to pass the cath. This probably caused the sphyncter to bleed a little and some of it was picked up by the cath on the way out. I was using Hollister caths and for some reason they did not pass my sphyncter with ease. This happened to me many times, one time I had to go to the emergency room because it had been seven hours since my last cath and they just would not go through. I changed brand of catheters to mentor 450's and dover kendall rob-nel catheters and it has not happened to me since. Maybe you should try different brands, who knows.

    KLD, you have said that you do not recommend latex caths. The Dover Kendall has worked well for me and it is my primary cath now. Plus it is the least expensive of my choices (insurance does not cover my caths). Is the rob-nel cath latex? and if so (I know they create a little more friction) what is the problem with them??

    Sorry for sidetracking a little, but the more we know the better.

  9. #9
    The "rob-nel" or red rubber catheter has both latex free & latex catheters. I think the Kendall Dover is latex free. There is also one that is silicone coated. To be sure you should look on the package/box.
    The FDA requires that anything containing latex be ;abeled as such. And most things that are latex free mention that also.
    Non latex is prefered because a latex sensitivity/allergy can develop after repeated use of products wit latex in them.
    Most things now adays are manufactured as latex free. WE just use a different ,aterial than what latex is made from.


  10. #10
    Don't know if it helps but I was taught to cough at the same time I was trying to pass the sphyncter, i.e. when the catheter gets to where you feel resistance, cough and gently push. The reason for this I was told is that when you cough all soft tissue sphyncters relax which should allow easier insertion. I know using this technique I very rarely ever had blood on the tip, worth a go if you don't already do this

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