Catheter insertion can seem like an intimidating process but by following some simple guidelines and steps, you can have a very positive catheter insertion experience. We want you to feel comfortable and confident when inserting your catheter. Click here to view a step-by-step guide to catheter insertion.
Gather Yourself and Your Supplies
The first step in self-catheterization is to make sure that you have all of the supplies you will need. Depending on what type of catheter you have, this could include the catheter you intend to use, moist towelettes or soap and water, a dry towel, a water soluble lubricant, and a toilet or other drainage receptacle.
Stop and Look at Your Catheter
Before using your catheter, make sure that the packaging has not been previously opened or damaged.
Wash Your Hands
It is very important to make sure your hands are clean by washing them with soap and water, or a moist towelette, before beginning catheter insertion.
Step 4 (Women)
Position yourself in a comfortable position with your thighs spread apart. Some women prefer to sit on the toilet or on a chair across from the toilet. Clean yourself by separating the labia and washing from front to back with soap and water or a moist towelette. If you have an uncoated catheter, apply a water-soluble lubricant from the tip of the catheter to about six inches down the tube. Slowly insert the catheter into your urethra until urine begins to flow freely.
Step 4 (Men)
Position yourself by standing in front of the toilet or sitting in a chair across from the toilet. Hold your penis in one hand and clean from the tip of your penis to the base of the glans with soap and water or a moist towelette. If you have an uncoated catheter, apply a water-soluble lubricant from the tip of the catheter to about six inches down the tube. Hold your penis straight up from the body at a 60 to 70 degree angle and slowly insert the catheter into your urethra until urine begins to flow freely.
Make Sure Your Bladder is Empty
When the urine stops flowing, slowly begin to pull the catheter out. Rotate the catheter as you remove it and stop each time more urine begins to flow again. This helps ensure that as much urine as possible drains from your bladder. If you have a coude catheter, you do not need to rotate as you remove the catheter.
Once you have finished, dispose of your used catheter and supplies in a proper waste bin. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or a moist towelette.