Intermittent self-catheterization (ISC) is used to treat bladders that do not empty fully.
You will be taught how to insert a urinary catheter into your bladder by a health professional – this can be done in a hospital, clinic or at home. Urinary catheters are inserted into the bladder at intervals throughout the day, or when you feel the need to go to the toilet. It is sometimes necessary to catheterize during the night as well. Once the urine has drained out, the catheter is removed. Catheters for ISC should be used once and then thrown away.
Most people feel apprehensive about performing Intermittent Self Catheterization. It can be a bit awkward to start with but with practice you will soon become confident, your local health care professional will offer you support until you feel able to manage alone. Most people go on to say that they find it easy to self-catheterize after a time. There are different types of catheters – we can help you to find the right one for you.
It is very important to wash your hands before touching or inserting the catheter – you may choose to use a fresh baby wipe if there is no wash hand basin in the toilet.
Once you have washed your hands, do not touch anything else except your catheter.
You have to ensure that your vulva (intimate area between your legs) is clean. A daily shower or bath is recommended using a mild soap, but when you go out it is useful to keep a small pack of baby wipes in your handbag or pocket to enable you to ensure the area is clean.
There are several ways to catheterize – you can learn to insert the catheter while sitting on the toilet or in your wheelchair, when standing or by putting one foot up onto the toilet seat to enable you to locate your urethra more easily. You can experiment and decide which way feels most comfortable. If you are a woman and find it hard to locate your urethra, try using a mirror to see where your urine comes out. Once you have done this several times you will probably not need a mirror. You can do it over the bath if it’s easier.
You have to ensure that the area around the tip of the penis is clean. It may be that a daily shower or bath is sufficient but when you go out it is useful to keep a small pack of baby wipes in a pocket to enable you to ensure the area is clean. Men may stand or sit to perform intermittent self-catheterization
When you are ready, take the catheter by the drainage end from the packaging and gently push the other end into your urethra. When the catheter has reached the bladder, urine will drain from it. Make sure all the urine has drained from your bladder before removing it.
To remove the catheter, gently twist it and pull down. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out first time. Try again, continuing to pull gently.
Retrieved from: https://www.bladderandbowelfoundation.org/bladder/bladder-treatments/conservative-treatments/intermittent-self-catheterisation/
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