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Some facts and guidance about bladder issues

With over 20% of people over the age of 40 experiencing some kind of urinary disorder, bladder issues are more common than you might think. Get more facts on bladder issues

Facts on urinary problems

A lot of people who experience bladder issues may be hesitant to see their doctor. Many find it embarrassing to talk about while others consider it a sign of ageing that they just need to get used to. But in order to clarify what is causing the symptoms and to rule out anything potentially serious, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional.

When to get in contact with your doctor

You should make an appointment to see your doctor if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • I feel that I cannot fully empty my bladder
  • I need to get out of bed at night to pass urine
  • I leak urine during my sleep
  • Urine comes out in a weak stream
  • I often suffer from urinary tract infections
  • I need to pass urine more frequently than I used to
  • I feel an urge to pass even small amounts of urine
  • I feel an urge to pass even small amounts of urine and sometimes I do not make it to the toilet
  • I leak urine when I am physically active, laugh or sneeze

Depending on the cause and nature of your issues, you may be given advice about pelvic floor training, lifestyle changes such as modifying diet and fluid intake, or managing your symptoms with the help of pharmaceuticals and/or medical devices.

Coloplast offers a range of solutions that can help if you are unable to empty your bladder or if you experience urinary incontinence.

Unable to empty the bladder

Coloplast offers several Clean Intermittent Catheters (CIC). This kind of catheter is considered the gold standard for people with a long-term need for help emptying their bladder. 

Men with urinary incontinence

Coloplast offers a range of urisheaths for men who experience urinary incontinence. These are condom-type sheaths that are worn over the penis and connect to a collecting bag attached to the leg.

Surgical treatment

Read more about your surgical treatment options.


Good to know

How do I deal with my bladder issue?

Depending on your issue, you might need to use an intermittent catheter or a urisheath. Either way, finding a product that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle is important for your overall quality of life. How to deal with bladder issues

Dealing with bladder problems

Dealing with bladder retention

If you have difficulty emptying your bladder, you will typically use an intermittent catheter. Your first step will be to find one that fits you and your lifestyle. Once you’ve decided on a catheter, it’s important that you follow the guidance in terms of how often you catheterise.

If you experience frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs), it could be a good idea to do the following:

  • Drink more fluid during the day
  • Increase how often you catheterise daily. Typically you will be advised to catheterise 4-6 times a day if you are not able to void by yourself.
  • Ensure you have clean hands and materials when catheterising
  • Reassess your intermittent catheterisation technique

If you keep getting UTIs despite following these guidelines, be sure to contact a healthcare professional.

Dealing with urinary incontinence

Urisheaths are used effectively by many men dealing with urinary incontinence. These are discreet, condom-like sheaths worn over the penis and connected to a collecting bag worn on the leg.

It’s important you use the right size urisheath while finding the right collecting bag depends on how much you leak.


Finding the right catheter

If you need to use a catheter to empty your bladder, you will find there are a lot to choose from. Before you decide, here are a few suggestions to help you choose a catheter that’s right for you. Find the right catheter

Find the right catheter


  1. Only for SpeediCath Compact female
  2. Only for SpeediCath Compact male

Finding the right catheter is very important in order to make sure that your bladder is emptied in a safe and efficient way with as little hassle as possible.

When talking product choice with the nurse or doctor, make sure you also explain about your lifestyle, concerns, special needs etc.

What to look for when choosing a catheter

When choosing a catheter you should look for: 

  • Safety
  • Ease of use
  • How it fits you and your lifestyle

Coloplast offers a range of catheters. Here is a short introduction to the most popular ones.

SpeediCath® is:

  • Instantly ready to use – straight from the packaging
  • Intuitive handling – with no preparation required
  • Minimised risk of urethral damage due to hydrophilic coating of both catheter and eyelets

SpeediCath® Compact has all the benefits of the regular SpeediCath plus:

  • Discreet – the most compact catheter for women and men
  • Non-medical design – so you can keep it your personal matter regardless where you are
  • More hygienic catheterisation – with the easy-grip handle (1)
  • Hard casing ensuring protection of the catheter and coating at any time (2)


Frequently asked questions about bladder issues

Bladder issues can affect anyone at almost any time. Here you will find answers to the most common questions about typical symptoms, causes and treatments. FAQs about bladder issues

FAQs about bladder issues

How can bladder issues affect my health?

If your bladder is not emptied regularly, it can cause infections. These start in the bladder but can move back to the kidneys and cause renal damage. Even small amounts of urine left in the bladder can cause infections.

Alternatively, if you cannot control the urge to urinate, you may leak involuntarily. Finding a way to take control of your bladder issues can help you stay healthy and confident.


What can I do to manage my bladder issues?

There are a number of methods and products available, including catheters, urisheaths (for men) and absorbent products. Get help finding the right product for your needs.


What is a catheter?

The catheter is a slim, flexible tube that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra to allow the urine to drain.


Does it hurt to catheterise?

No. You might feel some pressure when the catheter goes in. If you experience discomfort or if it is difficult to slide in the catheter, take a short break. Try to relax by taking a deep breath or by coughing. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you find it painful.


Can I just empty my bladder in the morning and in the evening?

No. You should follow the schedule your doctor has given you. As a rule, the bladder should be emptied at least 4–6 times a day.


Can I drink less so that I don’t have to empty my bladder so often?

No. It is very important that you drink enough. This keeps the urinary system clean and healthy.


What if the urine looks cloudy or dark and smells funny?

You may have an infection. Talk to your doctor or nurse.


What if I get frequent urinary tract infections?

 Using an intermittent catheter increases the risk of urinary tract infections. However, compared to other catheter types such as permanent (indwelling) catheters, intermittent catheters are less likely to cause urinary tract infections. There are ways to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections:

  • Drink more fluid during the day – the principle is simply to wash out the urinary tract, providing you continue to catheterise
  • Make sure that the bladder is fully emptied every time you catheterise
  • Increase number of daily catheterisations
  • Ensure you have clean hands and equipment when catheterising
  • Reassess your intermittent catheterisation technique (insert link to animation) 

What should I do if I am still leaking?

Urine leakage may occur for different reasons:

  • A urinary tract infection may cause urine leakage and you should contact your doctor if you suspect you have one. Typical symptoms to be aware of include:
    • Dark-coloured and strong-smelling urine
    • Cloudy urine
    • Blood in the urine
    • Fever/sweating
    • Bladder spasms
    • Increased muscle contractions in your leg
  • If you catheterise less than four times per day, the leakage may occur because you do not catheterise often enough.
    • Consider catheterising more frequently to prevent the bladder pressure from building
    • Make sure your bladder is fully emptied every time you catheterise. Reassess your intermittent catheterisation technique (link to animation)
    • If you are catheterising more than seven times per day and still have problems with urine leakage you may wish to consult your doctor (see below) 
  • You may leak because you have involuntary bladder spasms/contractions (not caused by a UTI).
    • Talk to your doctor about the possibilities of being prescribed some medication that will relax your bladder 
  • If the leakage mainly occurs doing physical exercise, you should consider catheterising before you start to exercise. 

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