How to Use a Urinary Catheter

Simplify the catheter ordering process

The task of inserting and using your own urinary catheter might sound daunting, but it’s very straight-forward. Read our guide to using your own intermittent urinary catheter system.

Catheterization can be confusing but at Medipply we’re here to help you navigate the process. Find out who we are and how we can help you save money on catheters and catheter supplies. In three easy steps, we can help you save on at-home catheter delivery.

Using a catheter is something that will eventually become routine, but at first can seem daunting. Rest assured, the task itself is quite simple.  Soon, this will be second nature.

No matter the specifics of your situation, the most important step is cleanliness. Always begin by washing your hands, the area, and your catheter and supplies and ensuring your area is clear and arranged optimally for your comfort.

If at any point you experience pain or discomfort, stop and try to relax yourself. Take a deep breath and try again. If you cannot move forward or you continue to experience discomfort, contact your healthcare provider immediately. There are many options on the market and your doctor (and Medipply) can help you find a solution that works for you. They can also provide specific guidance on any issues you are having.

Men

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
  2. Clean the head and tip of your penis gently with a mild soap and water or a disinfectant wipe, using a circular motion outwards from the urethra.
  3. Prep your catheter per your manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Hold your penis in your non-dominant hand, then use your dominant hand to gently insert the catheter introducer tip into the urethra until urine starts to flow. If you feel resistance when the catheter reaches the sphincter muscle, breathe deeply and apply gentle, steady pressure. Do not force the catheter. As urine begins to flow, advance the catheter another inch.
  5. When the flow urine stop, withdraw the catheter slowly. As you pull the catheter out, rotate it slightly, unless you are using a curved tip catheter (coudé). As urine drains, stop briefly, moving and straightening yourself to ensure the bladder is completely empty.
  6. After use, dispose of your catheter with other household waste.

Women

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
  2. Sit or position yourself comfortably with your thighs spread apart. You can either sit on the toilet, facing the toilet on a chair, or in a wheelchair.
  3. Wash the urethral opening from front to back, lifting your labia as needed. If available, use a disinfectant like betadine swabsticks or benzalkonium wipes. You might need to use a hand mirror to find your urethral opening at first.
  4. If necessary, lubricate the first two inches of your catheter using a water-soluble lubricant.
  5. Use your dominant hand to gently insert the catheter introducer tip into the urethra until urine starts to flow (it should be at approximately 1 to 1.5 inches). Then insert the catheter an additional inch and hold it there until urine stops flowing.If you feel resistance when the catheter reaches the sphincter muscle, breathe deeply and apply gentle, steady pressure. Do not force the catheter. As urine begins to flow, advance the catheter another inch.
  6. When the flow urine stop, withdraw the catheter slowly. As you pull the catheter out, rotate it slightly, unless you are using a curved tip catheter (coudé). As urine drains, stop briefly, moving and straightening yourself to ensure the bladder is completely empty.
  7. After use, dispose of your catheter with other household waste.

At Medipply, our mission is to make buying and using catheters easier. Find out how we make the process of purchasing catheters and supplies more transparent. In a few easy steps, we can help you purchase catheters with insurance, connect you with the providers you prefer, and streamline the process of getting the medical supplies you need. Have questions? Check out our list of frequently asked questions and learn about how Medipply can help.

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