incontinence is unfortunately a common issue among many today. There are several
men, women and children who are affected by it and their physical and social
well-being are often impacted. Fortunately, with self-catheterization, you can
safely and effectively control your bladder and reduce the likelihood of
bladder and kidney infections.
your first time self-catheterizing, to
help you better understand catheters, how they work and the process, we've
examined the eight most commonly asked questions about catheters, along with
exactly is a catheter?
catheter is a small rubber or plastic tube that is placed in your bladder to
drain your urine. Catheters
are available in a number of different sizes,
styles and materials. You will need to do some experimenting to determine which
kind works best.
How does it work?
Self-catheterization only takes a few minutes
and is rather easy. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and
water, and you may use clean disposal gloves if you prefer. Lubricate the tube
with a water-soluble lubricant and carefully insert it into the urethra. Once
the tube reaches the bladder, the urine should begin flowing through the catheter
naturally. When it stops flowing, slowly remove the catheter. If it's your
first time, you may want to ask your doctor to show you how to use it. After some
practice, it will get easier.
3. Why do I need one?
catheter is necessary if your bladder cannot hold all of your urine or you
cannot empty your bladder completely. The catheter helps to drain and empty
4. How long does it take to empty my bladder with a catheter?
This will ultimately depend on the diameter of the catheter and how much
urine you need to release. Typically, a few seconds to a minute is the average
5. How will I know
if it has entered my bladder?
Typically, once the catheter has entered your bladder, urine should begin
to flow out of the catheter, which will continue until your bladder is fully
When can I remove it?
You can remove the catheter once the flow of urine has
7. How often can I use a catheter?
Usually catheters are
used infrequently, but it is OK to use them more regularly. This will depend
upon your individual health needs. You may want to speak to your doctor if
8. Are there complications involved in
using a catheter?
You may feel a slight burning sensation after removing the catheter, but
this will pass with time and use. The more practice you have in using a catheter,
the more comfortable it will become. There may also be an increased risk of
Urinary Tract Infections, as well. If you encounter any symptoms of a UTI such
as consistent burning in the urethra, feeling an urge to urinate more
frequently than usual, fever, or cloudy urine, consult your doctor. You can
reduce the risk of UTIs by using your catheter one time only.
Please note that this is intended to provide a general understanding of urinary catheters. It should not be used in place of a visit, call, or consultation with a physician or other health care provider. Please let us know if you have any questions, we'd be happy to help.