What is self-catheterisation?
Self-catheterisation means that you insert a small, flexible plastic tube into the bladder. The urine flows out through this tube which is then removed. By emptying the bladder regularly in this way, you will prevent a build up of stagnant urine and should feel more comfortable. You will also be keeping the kidneys and bladder healthy by preventing urinary infections. Some people find that they have less difficulty preventing themselves becoming wet using this technique.
What equipment do I need?
- A catheter – supplied at first by the out-patient clinic and then available to order on prescription from your GP
- Baby wipes
- A bottle, dish or plastic box to catch the urine
How do I do it?
- Sit on a towel with a plastic sheet just underneath; some men prefer to perform self-catheterisation sitting on or even standing in front of the toilet
- Remove your pants and tuck other clothing out of the way
- Wash your hands thoroughly
- Roll back the foreskin and wash the end of the penis using baby wipes
- Hold the catheter two inches from its tip.
- Hold the penis straight out from the body and, without touching the catheter on anything else, slowly and gently insert it until urine flows
- If the catheter seems to stick just before it enters the bladder, wait a few seconds to allow the sphincter (valve) muscle to relax and then push it gently in a little further
- Withdraw the catheter slowly
Use the catheter ……… times a day
Use a new plastic bag every day
Discard the catheter and use a new catheter for each catheterisation (catheters are single-use and are not re-usable)
Catheter recommended…………………………… (male)
This patient information leaflet provides input from specialists, the British Association of Urological Surgeons, the Department of Health and evidence based sources as a supplement to any advice you may already have been given by your GP. Alternative treatments can be discussed in more detail with your urologist or specialist nurse.
Who can I contact for more help or information?
Uro-oncology nurse specialist
Bladder cancer nurse practitioner (haematuria, chemotherapy and BCG)
Urology nurse practitioner (stoma care)
Urology nurse practitioner (stone disease)
01223 349800 or bleep 152-879
Patient Advice and Liaison Centre (PALS)
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Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.
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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge
Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151