Helpful Tips and FAQs for Catheterization

Catheterization is recommended when a bladder does not completely empty on its own. It is to help preserve your health and prevent urinary tract infections. Reading these helpful tips and FAQs for catheterization can help you on your way to living out your best life.

Helpful Tips for Intermittent Catheterization

  • Wash your hands before and after catheterization. Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to promote good bladder and kidney function. Try to limit your caffeine intake to no more than two cups per day.
  • Relax and take a few deep breaths before inserting the catheter.
  • Contact your physician with questions if you experience any difficulty with catheterization.

FAQs for Catheterization

We asked Cheryl Hutton, a wound, ostomy and continence nurse (WOC nurse) with CHC Solutions, Inc., to answer frequently asked questions about catheterization.

When and Where to Catheterize

How Often Should I Catheterize?

Your physician can help create a schedule of when you should catheterize. At first you might track your catheterizations so that you can adjust your schedule to better fit what works for you.

Where Can I Catheterize?

Many people prefer to catheterize in the bathroom, but you can catheterize anywhere you feel comfortable, have privacy and are able to dispose of the urine.

How Do I Know When to Catheterize?

Follow the catheterization schedule you created with your physician. Younger children may need to catheterize more frequently. If you forget to catheterize at the scheduled time, do so as soon as you can.

Why Is It Important to Catheterize When Scheduled?

It is important to catheterize during the scheduled time because any residual urine left in the bladder for too long can put you at risk for a urinary tract infection.

Catheterization Supplies and Fluids

What Supplies Will I Need?

You need soap and water, to wash your hands, and a catheter. You can get a water-soluble lubricant that may help the catheter slide into the urethra more easily. Also, you could get an insertion kit that includes a drape, cleansing towelettes, lubricant, gloves and a plastic bag for the disposal of supplies.

Should I Limit the Fluids I Drink?

About eight 8oz. glasses of water a day is recommended for every person’s health unless advised otherwise by your physician. Your physician should inform you on your special fluid needs related to your catheterization program.

Other Catheterization Questions

How Often Should I See My Physician?

You should see your physician for regular checkups that occur as often as recommended by that physician. Contact your physician right away if you have cloudy or foul-smelling urine, pain or burning when inserting the catheter or while urinating, bloody urine, fever, chills, back pain or are unable to insert the catheter.

Does Catheterization Interfere with Sexual Activity?

Intermittent self-catheterization should not interfere with sexual activity. If you have questions or concerns, always ask your physician.

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.