How To Properly Use A Catheter

The process of self-catheterization may look scary to an individual that is new to catheterizing. Although it is natural to be worried when you get such information from your doctor, that you will begin to catheterize yourself without visiting the clinic or receiving assistance from the clinic staff except during an emergency.

However, the procedure is not complicated, provided you get some helpful tips about self-catheterizing either from your doctor or those that have experience in the process.

Thousands of people self-catheterize every day due to health conditions related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), spinal cord injury, bladder retention, Spina Bifida, and many more.

In this post, priority will be given to top tips to help you understand how to use a catheter without visiting the clinic often. Read along.


Tips On How To Self-catheterize

  1. Avoid Forcing The Catheter

Avoid the temptation of forcing the catheter into your body. It is dangerous and could have a negative side effect on your overall health. This type of situation usually occurs when you have not assimilated yourself to the procedure.

One significant factor that could lead to this situation is when you are tense; at this point, your muscle’s sphincter becomes tight, making it difficult for the catheter to penetrate your body. If you ever find yourself in this tight corner, don’t panic; take in a deep breath. Doing so will relax your muscle, and you can start the process of inserting the catheter all over again.

  1. Ensure You Lubricate Your Body 

To have a smooth ride during this process, always use catheter lubricant—lubricating your body helps reduce the friction inside the urethra during the catheterizing process.

If you opt for a straight uncoated intermittent catheter, you should use more lubrication so that the process can be smooth and comfortable for your body.

  1. Catheter Type: Straight Or Coudé Tip

You know your body system better than any other person, including your doctor. When it has to do with the choice of the catheter, discuss the situation with your doctor.

However, if you are new to self-catheterization and notice your body is not reacting well with a straight catheter due to blockage, enlarged prostate, urethral stricture, or BHP. It would be best you discuss with your doctor to get an alternative approach like a coudé tip.

  1. Never Re-use Your Catheters

Health regulatory institutions such as FDA recommend intermittent catheters for only single use. Therefore, you are expected to dispose of it after usage because reusing it could worsen your health condition. You also have to ensure your catheter from is in great condition to avoid any issues.

Also, timely disposing of intermittent catheters reduces your level of exposure to contracting urinary tract infections (UTIs) and catheters associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs).

For better understanding among users, most countries usually ensure manufacturers producing intermittent catheters have the instructions boldly spelled out on their brands.

  1. Reach To Your Doctor If You Notice Any Terrible Signal 

The process of catheterization requires gentleness and may be painful, especially if you are self-catheterizing if you are a newbie. But then, it should not be harrowing or lead to bleeding. If you notice it is becoming painful beyond normal circumstances or see any bleeding signs, that is a red flag. The first thing is to stop the procedure immediately and reach out to your doctor to avoid a situation where everything goes out of control.

Apart from bleeding and extreme pain, it would be best if you also watched out for these signs:

  • Frequent urination

If you notice that the urinating rate is beyond the norm, the best option is to contact your doctor. That is a sign that something is not adding up.

  • Painful insertion

If you notice the straight or coudé tip method is not reducing the pain level during insertion, the best thing is to reach out to your clinic or see a specialist.

Benefits Of Knowing How To Use A Catheter Properly

  • Saves you time

The moment you can properly administer the catheter by yourself, it will save you the time of frequently visiting the clinic to book an appointment with the doctor.

  • Liberty

You may be restricted from traveling at the early stage of the catheter because you will have to visit the hospital for a check-up frequently. The moment you understand the procedure on how self-catheterize properly, you will have the freedom to move around without being worried because you can now manage the situation

Using a catheter requires a lot of patience. It is not a procedure that you can rush. You need to understand your body operation to understand the method of catheterization that works for you. If you diligently follow the guidelines above, you have nothing to worry about.

However, knowing how to self-catheterize does not rule out visiting your doctor for a medical appointment. If you notice any red flag during the process of self-catheterizing, your first point of call is to contact your doctor or any clinic near you.