Tips to Prepare for Urinary Catheterisation

By  , Expert Content
Mar 02, 2012

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Urinary catheterisation means insertion of a thin, hollow tube called catheter through the urethra and into bladder. Urine formed in the kidney is stored in the bladder and it leaves your body through the urethra. When a urinary catheter is inserted, the urine passes out of your body through the catheter. The catheter may be inserted by a health care professional or at times, by the patient himself. When the catheter is inserted by a health professional, you don’t have to do anything to prepare for this procedure. When the catheter is self inserted intermittently to drain the urine it is called intermittent clean self-catheterisation (ICSC). Intermittent clean self-catheterisation (ICSC) may be done when a person’s control over their bladder is lost. This helps to keep them dry and reduce the risk of infection and kidney damage. Read to know how to prepare for intermittent clean self-catheterisation.

Catheterisation procedure

Things that are needed for ICSC include:

  • A clean catheter
  • Washed cloth or cotton balls to clean the genital area
  • Water or a water-soluble lubricant (to help insertion of the catheter)
  • Container to hold the drained urine if you are unable to get to the toilet

Way to perform ICSC: All the necessary equipments needed for ICSC should be clean and ready before you insert the catheter to drain urine.

  • Wash your hands properly with soap and water and dry them thoroughly before starting ICSC.
  • Clean the opening of the urethra well using water and face washer, cotton balls or moist towelettes.
  • If needed, smear the urethral opening with local anaesthetic cream (this can reduce pain and sensation of discomfort when the catheter is inserted).
  • Hold the end of the catheter to be inserted and place the other catheter into the toilet or container.
  • Lubricate the catheter and insert it gently and slowly (do not use force to insert the catheter) until urine starts to flow down the tube.
  • Remove the catheter after the bladder is completely empty. If urine stops flowing before the bladder is empty, try adjusting the catheter by moving it slightly in or out or moving your body to another position.
  • Rotate the catheter slowly and gently when you remove it from the bladder.
  • Clean your equipment immediately after each use as directed.
  • Empty your bladder at least four times a day, more frequently if needed or as directed by your health care professional.

Immediately after the procedure: You may experience an unpleasant dragging sensation or pain when the catheter is removed from the urethra initially, but ICSC is a safe and easy procedure when it is performed correctly with clean equipment/s.

These are some suggestions for intermittent insertion of catheter. Your health care professional can advise you more regarding the precautions and care that are needed for intermittent insertion of catheter.



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  • jerome shapiro29 May 2012

    do you have to continue using a catheter once you start using it

  • KV Ramakrishan29 Mar 2012

    I am practicing ICSC 5 times a day from the past 14days as recommended by urologists at CMC vellore.iam using hot water and dettol soap to clean the catheter before and after the use and air drying. Can I use surgical spirit to clean the outer surface before washing. How best i can clean the inner surface. What is the idle no of days to use single job involves touring .is it safe to use public toilets what additional precautions during travel and stay away from home. advice requeste