It’s now been a year since my last UTI. I did used to find that when I sent away on holiday I was tending to get an infection, something I put down to the change in routine etc. This year I’ve been away twice and have had no UTI. I’ve put this down to 2 things: I take D-Mannose while I’m away and for a week either side of the holiday. I’ve not bothered with it while I’m at home because I don’t seem to get the UTIs at home. The second thing is using antibacterial gel on my hands all the time, especially when I’m using a loo outside of home. So I’m using it before I touch any of the catheter gear and again just before I use the catheter (because just getting sorted out in a strange loo involves touching things). So far it seems to be working.
I tend to use 5 or 6 catheters each day. I increased gradually because I have trouble starting to wee in the first place and trouble emptying. I try at least once per day to just go naturally, but even if I can start, I end up wanting to go again very soon after. So I don’t think using catheters frequently is a cause in itself of UTIs.
I’ve not bothered with cranberry juice or tablets or anything else (apart from drinking plenty of water). Whilst I’m at home, I simply stay as clean as possible, using moist toilet wipes for bowels and using baby wipes very frequently both before I catheterise and after. I’ve tended to use bought baby wipes rather than the wet wipes provided by the delivery companies, because they’re stronger and I think work better to keep things clean. I use antibacterial gel on my hands at home too. I think setting a clean routine is the key to avoiding UTIs at home.
The other thing you could consider is the type of catheter you use. It maybe that changing to a different kind could help. It might make it easier to get the catheter straight into the urethra. Or, or course trying different techniques. I’m currently using Lofric. It’s easy to get your delivery company to send you a load of samples so you can see whether something different suits you better.
Good luck with the UTI avoidance!!