ISC reduces the risk of UTI compared to other bladder management methods, e.g. indwelling catheters. However, the risk of developing UTI is still present since bacteria from outside the body may enter the bladder via the urinary catheter.
A UTI occurs when bacteria has a chance to grow and multiply in the urethra and bladder, causing symptoms. There are several factors that will influence the risk of developing a UTI. One is to empty your bladder completely, where most of the bacteria will follow the urine out through the catheter and the risk for bacterial growth in the bladder will decrease.
The difference between a Bacteriuria and a Urinary Tract infection, UTI
Bacteriuria is presence of bacteria in urine without accompanying symptoms of a UTI, such as frequent urination, painful urination or fever. Bacteriuria is very common in people using ISC. In fact, some studies show up to 60% of ISC users have bacteriuria.
It is recommended to minimize the use of antibiotics in persons practicing ISC due to potential antibiotic resistance and antibiotic side effects. Bacteriuria without symptoms should not be treated with antibiotics unless you are pregnant or have had a kidney transplant.