When surgery is the only option.

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Every day, disabled women are choosing surgery because there are no usable toilets outside their home.

Sometimes it's an ostomy bag for poo or more frequently a supra pubic catheter.
A catheter allows urine to drain from the bladder [through a hole in the skin] into a
bag or through a valve into a bottle/toilet. It's a big life changing decision.

Getting surgery for a catheter is the most talked about topic within women's forums and social media groups.

Read above one woman's experience.

The reason is not often for medical purposes – but simply because toilets are not accessible / available. They don't have the right amount of space or equipment to be usable. Sometimes they aren't provided at all or are padlocked. If you need a hoist then you only have a choice of around 1000 toilets – across the whole of the UK or Northern Ireland. There may be none in the county you live.

Catheters can cause regular infections and several other medical problems – yet bring an element of liberation and the ability to leave the house. They don't remove the need to manage menstruation hygiene though and many women also choose contraceptives or surgery to control this (oral contraceptives pose a high risk for blood clots in women who aren't active) – because they can't get on the toilet.

Disabled women experience the most discrimination when it comes to using toilets. They take the most life changing health risks. This has to change.

Have you had surgery because of no usable toilets? Tell us in the comments below.

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Re-directing Urine – Gadgets and Gizmos, part 1

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When you can’t get to the toilet to pee – what do you do? If you can get close, a urine re-director (also called a director) might work. They are basically a funnel and tube design which extend your urine stream.

Whiz®

If you can stand easier than sitting – women might use a urine director to pee whilst standing. If you can’t get near to the loo – you might want to direct or re-direct into a container or storage device.

In this blog we look at some of the gadgets and gizmos for women that can take your urine stream in a better or different direction – and how to use them. In the next part we will look at items specific to men.

You can find these on our Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/criptical/urination-devices/

* Please Note we do not sell these products – merely provide information and an example of where they can be purchased. Other retailers may be available.

Urine Directors

Directors allow you to pee standing – directing the flow of urine into a toilet or collecting vessel.

They come in many different shapes and some are rigid whereas others are totally flexible. Many come in materials that are suitable for people with allergies e.g to latex.

You can choose from the sort you use once and throw away – or the more popular ones which you rinse, dry and fold away for next time.

For some of them, you can re-direct the urine into a storage device (urinal), down the toilet via an extension pipe or into a urine bag (bags can also have a gel that soaks up the urine and turns it to a solid for easy disposal).

How to use them

If you have some mobility and a level of dexterity, grip and balance – these may be an option for you. There are some important things to take not of – many people have been unhappy with devices wondering why urine won’t flow uphill!

So…

Wash them before and after use – many come with a storage bag.

  • TIP: If you use a wheelchair and can not shuffle forward, to the edge of your seat then, due to most having a downward spout, you will not be able to get the correct angle – and urine will not flow downwards using gravity (it will gather in the cup and then spill backwards or over as you remove it) – remember these are gravity, urine channeling devices.
  • TIP: Key to all of these is maintaining a back seal at all costs – or you will dribble or overflow backwards. This one what I personally found difficult with weaker arms and fingers.
  • TIP: You need an extension tube long enough to reach near the toilet or container without causing splashing! Sometimes you can extend with a pipe from a DIY shop – be aware that the narrower the pipe, the more the urine could backup into the cup and spill – so choose a spout with a wide diameter.

If standing, you will need to be able to stand with your legs apart and hold the director under and close to your body at a specific angle whilst urinating.

To use them whilst sitting, you need need to be able to shuffle right to the edge of a seat that is not contoured to hug your pelvis. You need to be able to pull aside knickers and hold the director at the correct angle – using gravity to ensure flow goes down towards your receiving vessel.

All devices suggest practicing in the shower or bath – however if you use a shower/bath chair/stool – the position and firmness of the seat is very different to balancing on the edge of a wheelchair cushion – so practicing might be difficult. It will give you an idea of the angle required and whether you can hold it though.  A lot will also vary depending on how rigid or flexible the director is.

LadyP: RRP £9.95 from http://www.cleanseatuk.comLadyP_Female_Urination_Device

  • Disposable: No
  • Features: Round edge seal, grip loop
  • Material: Silicone, flexible, soft, medical grade
  • Accessories: Yes, protective case, extension tube, urine absorbent pouch can be purchased (or a gift pack)
  • Colour choice: 4 colours

 

Whiz Freedom: £9.99 from http://www.whizproducts.co.uk

Whiz®

  • Disposable: No
  • Features: Hydrophobic, anti bacterial, foldable.
  • Material: Thermo Plastic Elastomer, medical grade.
  • Accessories: Connecting tube extension available, organza bag, plastic  bag.
  • Colour Choice: No
  • Other: Available on NHS prescription

 

Shewee: £6.00 from http://www.shewee.com

The_Original_Shewee

  • Disposable: No
  • Features: Hydrophobic, anti bacterial, foldable.
  • Material: Unknown.
  • Accessories: Extension pipe and carry case available
  • Colour Choice: Yes
  • Other: Available on NHS prescription

 

 

GoGirl – £11.98 on Amazon by http://www.go-girl.com

GoGirl even produces T-shirts and lip-balm and tattoos for their products if you want to share how wonderful it is – they has a very good marketing campaign. The proof is in the testing so here are the details if you want to give it a try. They have a useful video on how to hold and use the device.

GoGirl_-_Created_for_women_s_convenience

Picture Source : http://www.go-girl.com

  • Disposable: No
  • Features: See picture
  • Material: Silicone, medical grade.
  • Accessories: Extension tube and plastic carrying bag
  • Colour Choice: Lavender or Khaki

 

 

 

Freshette: £ varies from £20 to £100 from different retailers. http://www.freshette.com or buy direct from the US.

I have tried these as they have been around since the early 1980’s, and they are reviewed by many as the best and most robust to handle – but they are difficult to purchase in the UK – so shop around if it looks like this might be the one for you or buy at a good price from the US.  The design has been ‘improved’ since the first edition

Freshette

  • Disposable: No
  • Features: Anatomical contouring.
  • Material: Hard plastic
  • Accessories: Extension tubes of varying lengths and carry case available.
  • Colour Choice: No

 

 

 

The Pibella Comfort – €19 from http://pibella.ch

The claim is you can use this device sitting in a chair or laying on a bed. My own experience said I either have faulty anatomy, position or angle because I had no luck with this smaller devices – but it’s a very individual thing.

You ideally need to use these smaller ones right next to your urethra (i.e. parting the labia) and again getting the angle right. Diagrams are provided and a video to help.

Pibella__the_great_female_urination_system_-Urine_director_for_ladies_Pibella_–_Made_for_woman_«_Pibella

  • Disposable: No
  • Features: Water repellent, boil-proof
  • Material: Plastic (Polypropylene).
  • Accessories: No – comes with a lid though.
  • Colour Choice: No

 

EZwee – US product but worth mentioning $14.95

For use sitting, standing or lying down.

 

EZwee_Urination___Adult_Incontience___Unisex_Portable_Urination_Cup___BioRelief

  • Disposable: No
  • Features: Contouring.
  • Material: Plastic with rubber cover
  • Accessories: Collection bag
  • Colour Choice: No

 

 

 

 

P EZ- Estone:  £2.55 from Amazon (Also sold as the SODIAL(R): £1.63

 

  • EstoneDisposable: No
  • Features: Anatomical contouring.
  • Material: TPR (plastic)
  • Accessories: No
  • Colour Choice: No

 

Disposable urination cones

Below is just one example of many disposable urination cups and funnels. They are essentially a disposable, anatomically shaped cone that you put in the bin (not flush) after use.

P-Mate – £3.99 for 5 from http://www.pmate.co.uk

 

P-mate

  • Disposable: Yes
  • Features: Recycled
  • Material: Waxed cardboard
  • Accessories: No
  • Colour Choice: No

 

 

Do you have a 3D printer?  – Print your own device – the ChickD!ck

 

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:320207The_ChickD_ck_Female_Urination_Device_by_heytiger_-_Thingiverse