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A Guide to Bladder Health

There are books, podcasts, blogs, and magazines dedicated to helping people improve their lives by focusing on the function of a certain organ or body part — your brain, heart, and reproductive organs — but one commonly overlooked organ you should pay attention to is your balder! That’s right, that small, seemingly insignificant organ that serves as a collection point for liquid waste. Not many people take notice of their bladder until something is wrong with it — pain due to infection, urgency, frequency, and leaking. Join us in today’s post as we discuss bladder health tips.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we engineer the best medical lubricants with your bladder health in mind. Our HR Lubricating Jelly has been the trusted brand for medical professionals to use during invasive exams and Foley placement procedures for more than 80 years. It is the go-to lubricant for medical professionals and self-cath patients around the world.

Your Practical Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Bladder

While you cannot prevent everything bladder-related, there is a certain level of prevention and maintenance you can engage in to help keep your bladder in peak condition. In your 20s, 30s, and even 40s, this may seem like just another thing to add to the list of things to concern yourself with, you will be grateful in your senior years that you took the steps to properly care for your bladder. Additionally, the measures you take to support your bladder health have a positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing. So, they aren’t really extra steps at all.

Drink plenty of water.

You’ve heard it a thousand times and you are likely to hear it a thousand more over your lifetime. DRINK WATER. Water is the lifeforce that keeps the world flowing. There are different schools of thought regarding how much is enough water, where some sources suggest drinking eight 8-oz. glasses of water each day, while others recommend a formula based on your body weight. We won’t suggest a certain amount, but rather encourage you to monitor hydration and drink plenty of free water as opposed to juices, colas, teas, and coffee. Water helps to keep your body hydrated and performing optimally, down to the cellular level. And, where your bladder and kidneys are concerned, plenty of water helps to dilute waste and easily remove sediments that would otherwise build up, causing uncomfortable conditions including kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Another tip that you are likely to hear over and over again to prevent a variety of health conditions. Where bladder health is concerned, a higher body mass index (BMI) leaves less room for your bladder to properly expand and completely empty. Allowing your bladder the space it needs to function as it should help to support its health. Additionally, the food and beverage choices that result in higher BMI are not usually those that support healthy organ function in general. Be sure to eat plenty of high-fiber foods and drink water as opposed to sugary alternatives.

Just go!

The next series of tips all have to do with using the bathroom. This seems obvious when we discuss bladder health, but all too often, the inconvenience of going — on a drive, during an important meeting, while trying to sleep — prevents people from doing what is natural. Your body is sending signals telling you that you need to relieve yourself and so many people ignore these signals. Some helpful tips to proper urination include:

  • Go when you need to
  • Go every 3 to 4 hours
  • Take the time to empty your bladder completely
  • Relax — this may mean no hovering!
  • Wipe from front to back

It may seem silly to pay attention to how you pee and concentrating on doing it properly, but if you are constantly holding your urine until you can’t and then only taking the time to void what provides relief, you are denying your bladder the opportunity to completely empty or relax. Over time, this can lead to urinary tract infection, bladder leaking, and increased frequency and urgency.

Void after sex.

It is not rude to use the restroom after you finish having intercourse. You and your partner should take turns and both urinate after completion. Urine helps to clean your urethra of any semen left behind, shared body fluids, sweat, and bacteria that may try to find its way up to your urethra into your bladder.

Wear bladder-friendly clothing.

Don’t worry, bladder-friendly clothing is not what it may sound like, there is nothing special or different, and no one will be able to tell you are dressing to support your urinary health. Cotton underwear allows for air movement that prevents bacteria growth and helps keep the area around your urethra dry. Satin and nylon underwear, while comfortable, does not help keep your nether regions dry and bacteria-free. Wearing loose clothing helps for the same reasons helps to support bladder health. Tight jeans or jogging pants don’t allow your urethra to dry out properly and causes compression that can damage your urethra.

Only use bladder-friendly products.

There are industries full of products manufacturing self-care, hygiene, and family-planning products that are more for presentation than health. Be cognizant of your soaps, lotions, personal lubricants, bubble bath, and other products that are used near your urethra. If you have to perform any self-care treatments or have procedures performed on your urethral area, ensure that they are sterile, bacteriostatic, and water-based to prevent infection or damage to your urethra or bladder.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we manufacture medical lubricants with the highest care to maintain sterility and only use the best, safest ingredients. Our HR Lubricating Jelly is safe for personal use and as a medical lubricant for catheter insertion. Our water-based and paraben-free formula won’t compromise the integrity of silicone catheters or your urethral wall. Additionally, the water-based property makes it perfect for comfort, performance, and safety for use as a personal lubricant. For the sake of your bladder health, browse our entire product line today.

Managing Incontinence and Reducing Infection

Incontinence poses a significant problem in infection control. Whether in the healthcare setting or managed at home, incontinence contributes to infection in a variety of ways. Regardless of how incontinence is managed, the utmost care must be taken to prevent different infections. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some things to consider in managing incontinence to reduce infection.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we make products with the health and safety of end-users — both incontinent patients and their caretakers alike — into consideration. Each of our products is sterile and bacteriostatic to help prevent and reduce infection. Regardless of how you manage incontinence, choose products that have a positive impact.

Reducing Skin Breakdown

One of the biggest concerns regarding incontinence-related infection is skin breakdown and sores. Our skin is the biggest organ and offers the greatest protection against microbes in the environment. Even a slight compromise in skin integrity by the acid in urine or bowel can leave the person susceptible to sores that can be incredibly difficult to heal because of the constant exposure to more urine and feces. Additionally, human waste carries millions of bacteria, that in the gut and toilet are harmless, but in an open flesh wound can cause serious complications.

To help prevent skin breakdown in the incontinent, pads, briefs, and other continence management supplies should be changed regularly and barrier cream applied to protect the skin. In addition to keeping the skin clean and dry, pressure should be offloaded regularly in the physically impaired to help reduce skin breakdown and pressure ulcers.

Foley Catheters

Foley catheters, whether used to self-cath, intermittently, or as a long-term solution, provide effective protection from the complications of soiled underwear, but present their own infection control challenges. Skin can break down around the catheter tubing or where they tubing rests, including on the thigh, meatus, or urethral opening. Great care must be taken to prevent pressure sores and the tubing should be cleaned regularly to prevent urine from touching skin around the tubing and from bacteria using the tubing as a port of entry into the bladder.

To help prevent or reduce infection, HR Lubricating Jelly is a sterile, bacteriostatic lubricant that can be used, along with sterile technique, to help prevent bacteria to be introduced into the urinary tract while placing a Foley catheter. And, to make things better, HR Lubricating Jelly is water-based, so you don’t have to worry about it compromising the integrity of the silicone tubing.

Reduce Waste Exposure

Another important component of infection control regarding incontinence is the exposure to human waste by caretakers, the incontinent, or passersby. For instance, those who are incontinent and not using means of waste collection — pad, brief, chair liners, or Foley catheters — run the risk of accidentally leaving waste residue wherever they sit. When waste is produced, the bacteria that exists is generally harmless, however, very quickly microbes flourish on the nutrients it provides.

Improper hand hygiene by any person exposed to human waste can potentially spread the waste on any surface they touch. Preventing the spread of infection includes the practice of proper hand hygiene before and after incontinence management care, proper disposal of incontinence products, and disinfection of all surfaces with approved cleaners.

If you manage incontinence for yourself, patients, or family members, keep the HR Pharmaceutical line of medical lubricants in mind. HR Lubricating Jelly is trusted by medical professionals around the world. Our products are available in multi-use tubes or single-use foil packets for convenience and sterility. Browse our entire product line online today.

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