Cleanliness is next to godliness, or at least that’s what plucky grandmothers have been touting to dirty children and greasy teenagers for centuries. But of course, like a majority of old sayings, there’s some truth to the phrase. In our modern, Western society, we are expected to be clean and well-groomed as we enter public or shared spaces with others. This usually entails some level of cleansing and keeping on top of our health. Coincidentally, our health and general cleanliness tend to go hand-in-hand with one another. Sometimes, tools and items used to aid in our health or well-being need just as much cleaning and attention as our bodies. For example, menstruating women must change sanitary products, catheter bags must be changed, bandages must be redressed, etc. Light bladder leaks are also a problem that may be addressed with tools or products, but for them to be effective and safe, the user has to practice good hygiene and cleaning habits.
What is Revie®?
A perfect example of users having to practice proper cleansing practices for a product to be safe and effective is the bladder support device called Revive®. Revive is designed for women suffering from light bladder leaks as a result of Stress Urinary Incontinence or SUI (bladder leaks during a run, coughing, sneezing, etc.). The silicone device is inserted much like a tampon to support the urethra internally, thus reducing the number of involuntary leaks experienced during the day. Revive® has been clinically tested and FDA-approved for over-the-counter sale at retailers nationwide, so that women everywhere are able to access it regardless of healthcare coverage. One of the best parts about Revive is that the device is reusable and can be washed and re-worn up to 30 times with the provided replacement strings! This reduces waste created with pads and liners in addition to being more comfortable and sanitary (plus, it could save you some money!).
How to Clean
To ensure that Revive is safe and ready to use, properly cleaning and storing the device are imperative. Every Revive kit contains the device itself, the applicator, 30 replacement strings, a carrying case, and detailed instructions on use and care. Cleaning the device and applicator specifically, the instructions say the following:
- To clean the applicator, remove the advancer from the back of the applicator body by gently pulling out the advancer. If you feel resistance, gently press on the advancer behind the thumb grip.
- To clean the bladder support, first remove the string and discard the string into the trash. Do not reuse the string!
- Hand wash and soak in warm water while using a fragrance-free soap for 20 seconds. Pay close attention to hard-to-reach spots, such as inside the applicator.
- Rinse under running water until no soap bubbles are visible and pat dry with a clean towel or air dry. Inspect the bladder support and applicator, including the inside of the applicator, for any visible soil. If you see any visible soil, repeat the cleaning instructions. Store in the provided case until next use.
It should be noted that the cleaning and storage of Revive® should come before reuse and that after all of the replacement strings are used, another device should be repurchased.
Why Cleaning Revive is Important
As we mentioned before, good hygiene habits and overall well-being tend to coincide with one another, and it rings true to properly use Revive. If you take proper care of the device, it can properly help you. Not properly cleaning or storing Revive has the potential to lead to more serious complications such as:
Urinary Tract Infection – A Urinary Tract Infection, or UTI, is “an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.” UTIs occur because bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract has found its way into the urinary tract. Symptoms of a UTI include:
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone
Vaginal Infection – When a woman experiences an infection or inflammation of the vagina, healthcare professionals use the blanket term “vaginitis”, though there can be several types stemming from bacteria, yeast, or viruses. The most common kinds of vaginal infections are yeast infections, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, etc. Symptoms of vaginitis include:
- Vaginal pain
- Foul-smelling discharge
Toxic Shock Syndrome – Any product placed in the vagina has the potential to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS. TSS is rare, but fatal, and is often a result of toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria. While Revive has not been shown to increase the likelihood of women developing TSS, and there were no reported incidents during clinical trials, it is still important to know your body and its warning signs. Possible signs of TSS include:
- A sudden high fever
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- A rash resembling a sunburn, particularly on your palms and soles
- Muscle aches
- Redness of your eyes, mouth and throat
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, discontinue the use of Revive and contact your doctor. While these health complications are scary to think about, the good news is that simply taking care of Revive and yourself properly will likely prevent them from occurring. For more information about Revive®, visit our FAQ page here.