If you have recently been fitted with a urinary catheter due to the needs of a surgical operation, then you may need to use the catheter for some time. This is often the case if the surgery caused an incontinence issue or if the bladder or urethra were involved in the surgery. Catheters are fairly easy to use, but you may have some basic questions about how they work. One common concern is how to change the catheter bag. Keep reading to learn about this.

Remove And Empty The Old Bag

Catheter or urine collection bags will need to be changed several times a day. Be prepared to complete the changing procedure about four to six times each day. You typically want to drain the bag before urine reaches the top fill line of the bag or before you go to bed in the evening. 

Most people will have catheter bags that attach to the leg, so release the leg strap. Pull the catheter bag away from the leg and place it on a clean towel. Look for the connector point where the catheter tube connects to the collection tube of the bag. You will see a release or a connection on the tubing. Use one hand to pinch the catheter tube above the connector. Use your other hand to release the connector. 

Keep the bag upright and look for the drainage port on the bag. Some collection bags will allow you to release urine through the top tube, while others will have a special drain opening. Place the drain spout above the toilet and open it if you need to. The most common drains will have drain caps that can be twisted off. 

Once the urine is drained from the bag, you can throw it out.

Secure A New Bag

Wash your hands with soap and water for a full 30 seconds. This is wise to remove urine as well as bacteria from the skin. Removing bacteria is extremely important so that microorganisms do not come in direct contact with the end of the catheter tubing. Bacteria can move up through the line and cause an infection.

Grab a new bag from your urological supplies. Locate the attachment opening and connect it to the catheter. If your doctor has instructed you to do so, irrigate the catheter at this point with saline. When you are done, use the strap to connect the bag to your leg. Alternately, you can place the bag on a stand or connect it to your bed. This is ideal if you are using a larger collection bag to hold urine overnight.