A catheter can be used if you have difficulty urinating on your own due to an illness, disorder, injury, or infection. You should only insert a catheter as recommended by your doctor, and if possible, it should be inserted by a trained medical professional. If you need to insert a catheter at home, collect the necessary equipment and insert the catheter correctly, being very careful while adhering to the sterilization guidelines. Then, you can bring up common problems with the catheter to make it work properly.
Part 1 of 3: Gathering the Necessary Equipment
Step 1. Purchase a catheter
For most people, a 12–14 French catheter will be required. You can find Foley catheters at medical supply stores, the internet, or through your doctor.
- Pediatric and male patients with congenitally small urethras cannot use a catheter of this size. They need a catheter of 10 fr or less.
- If you experience blockages, we recommend that you contact a professional. You will use a large, three-way irrigation catheter to treat the blockage. You have to know how to insert it without pushing the blockage, and this is difficult for people who are not well trained. This process is not recommended for self-catheterization.
- Some catheters are sold in kits, which contain a catheter and an antiseptic solution to be poured over the catheter until it is sterile. You must follow the procedure provided by the device to ensure that the catheter is sterile before use. Check the device's expiration date to make sure it's still usable.
- While using a catheter can be difficult at first, it will become easier and more routine in the end.
- If you have any questions, consult a nurse trained in incontinence.
Step 2. Purchase enough catheters to use each time
Most catheters are designed to be single use because they must be sterile. Catheters are sold in individual packs so they are easy to use and dispose of.
Some catheters can be cleaned with soap and water. Talk to your doctor before trying to wash the catheter
Step 3. Prepare a water-based lubricating jelly
You will need lubricating jelly to smooth the catheter tip. This makes it easier for the catheter to be inserted into the penis. Catheter lubricants must be sterile and should not be packaged in multi-dose packages (capable of holding more than one dose, such as jars) because once opened, the lubricant must be discarded and not reused. You should only use disposable lubricant packs.
Make sure the lubricating jelly is water-based because it doesn't irritate the urinary tract too much
Step 4. Prepare a container for urine
You will need a urine container or bag to collect the urine after it comes out of the catheter. You can use an inner plastic container, or a bag designed to hold urine.
Step 5. Use a bath towel or waterproof pad
You will also need a thick towel to place under the container to absorb urine or water as you insert the catheter. You can use a waterproof rug that can sit on, if you have one.
Step 6. Prepare medical gloves
Always wear medical gloves when handling any type of catheter. Your hands must be clean and protected during the insertion process. You can buy these gloves at medical supply stores, pharmacies, or the internet.
Holding urine puts the patient at risk for a UTI, and inserting a non-sterile object into the urethra increases the chances. Try to wear gloves and sterile technique
Part 2 of 3: Inserting the Catheter
Step 1. Wash hands with soap and water
You should start by washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. Then, put on gloves before unwrapping the catheter.
- Make sure your hands are clean and the surrounding area is clean before removing the catheter from its package. We recommend choosing an area in the house that is open and free of obstructions, such as the bathroom floor. Make sure the floor is clean.
- Make sure your hands are clean before putting on gloves. If it is handled with dirty hands, the gloves are no longer sterile.
Step 2. Sit down
You need to sit with your legs bent. Place a waterproof towel or rug under the penis if you are already seated. The penis should be easy to hold by hand.
You can also stand in front of the toilet can reach out to reach the penis easily. Point the tip of the catheter toward the toilet so that urine can be drained directly into the toilet
Step 3. Clean the area around the penis
Wash the penis with warm water, soap and a washcloth. Clean the area in a circle. If you are not circumcised, retract the foreskin and wash the penis well.
- Make sure you wash the head of the penis and the urinary meatus, which is the small opening through which urine comes out.
- When finished, rinse and dry the penis well. Then, place the container used to collect urine to the side of the thigh so that it is easily accessible.
Step 4. Apply lubricating jelly on the catheter
Grasp the tip of the catheter and apply the lubricating jelly to a distance of 18-25 cm from the tip of the catheter. Thus, catheter insertion will feel more comfortable.
Step 5. Insert the catheter slowly
Use your non-dominant hand to hold the penis so that it is perpendicular to the body. The penis should be at an angle of 60-90 degrees. Grasp the catheter with your dominant hand and gently insert it into the urinary meatus, or the small opening at the tip of the penis.
- Insert the catheter 18 cm-25 cm into the penis with a gentle pushing motion. Once urine begins to flow through the catheter, push the catheter another 2.5 cm and hold it until you have finished urinating.
- Make sure the other end of the catheter is pointing toward the receptacle or toilet so it can be accommodated and disposed of properly.
Step 6. Inflate the collection bag on the catheter, if possible
Some catheters are equipped with a collection bag that needs to be inflated with a sterile syringe after the catheter is inserted. It is recommended that you use a sterile syringe to inflate the collection bag with 10 ml of sterile water. The volume of water required varies depending on the size of the catheter used, so always check the packaging of the catheter for the exact volume.
It's a good idea to attach a collection bag to the catheter so that it can collect urine when you urinate. The inflated bag rests against the urethral opening in the urine so that urine can be accommodated properly
Step 7. Remove the catheter immediately after urinating
You should remove the catheter as soon as you finish urinating because it can cause urinary tract obstruction if left unchecked. To remove the catheter, pinch the tip with your dominant hand and gently pull it out. Keep the tip of the catheter facing up so that no urine drips or seeps.
- If the catheter is in a collection bag, it is best to remove the bag and dispose of it properly in the trash.
- You can retract the foreskin if the penis is not circumcised to protect it.
- Remove and dispose of medical gloves. Wash your hands well too.
Step 8. Clean the catheter
If the user manual states that the catheter is reusable, wash it with soap and warm water after each use. You will also need to sterilize them in a skillet of boiling water for 20 minutes to prevent infection and allow them to dry on paper towels. Store the catheter in a clean plastic bag.
- If the catheter is for single use, throw it away and use a new one. You should also remove any torn, hardened, or cracked catheters.
- Depending on your doctor's recommendations, you will need to use the catheter at least four times to make sure you are urinating regularly.
Part 3 of 3: Addressing Common Problems with Catheter Wear
Step 1. Rotate the catheter if no urine comes out
There may be no urine coming out of the catheter when it is inserted. You can try twisting the catheter slowly to remove the blockage. You can also push it 2.5 cm further into the penis or pull it slightly.
- You can also make sure the catheter opening is not clogged with lubricant or mucus. To be sure, the catheter needs to be removed.
- If no urine comes out even after spinning, you can try coughing to encourage the flow of urine.
Step 2. Apply more lubricant if it is difficult to insert the catheter
You may feel pain or discomfort when inserting the catheter, especially if you try to push through the prostate. You will need to apply lubricant to the catheter to make it easier to insert.
Take deep breaths and try to relax as you push on the catheter to make it easier to insert. If it's hard, don't force it. It's a good idea to wait an hour before trying again, and focus on remaining relaxed and calm while inserting the catheter
Step 3. See a doctor if you can't urinate or seem to have trouble urinating
If you are unable to urinate without the aid of a catheter, or have other urinary problems, such as blood or mucus, you should see a doctor.
It's also a good idea to see your doctor if you have stomach cramps, your urine looks cloudy, smells, or changes color, or if you have a fever, you may have a urinary problem that needs to be addressed before you can return to the catheter
Step 4. Use a catheter before sexual intercourse, if necessary
You can still have sex even if you need a catheter. If you're planning to have sex, it's a good idea to have a catheter in place beforehand to get rid of any urine that's in the bladder. Always remove the catheter before intercourse. If your urine is strong or dangerous, don't have sex before getting treatment because of the risk of infection.