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How do I find my urethra to insert an intermittent catheter?

When you’re new to using catheters, one of the first questions you may have is, “How do I find my urethra to insert my catheter?” The urethra is the opening and conduit that connects to the urinary bladder. You’ll need to insert your catheter through the urethra in order to empty your bladder. Different anatomies will require different ways of locaitng the urethra.

How to Find the Urethra to Insert a Catheter

Here’s a brief guide that may help in finding the urinary opening for catheter insertion.

Finding the Male Urethra

Identifying the urethral opening is a little easier usually. This is a small hole situated at the tip of the penis.

Finding the Female Urethra

catheter mirrorFor women, the urethral opening is situated between below the clitoris and above the vaginal entrance. Women might find pinpointing their urethral opening slightly challenging because it is not as visible. This is why it may help to use a standing or handheld mirror as a visual aid during your first attempts at inserting a female catheter. 180 Medical offers several mirror options, which may help.

Please note that you’ll want to avoid poking the catheter around as much as possible. You don’t want to introduce more bacteria into the urethra, which can sometimes lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs).

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