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Self Catheterization- Male

Self-intermittent catheterization can be performed in a sitting or lying position. Do what is most comfortable for you! If possible, stand in front of a toilet, sit nearby on a chair/wheelchair, or sit on the toilet with legs apart. 

BEFORE YOU BEGIN, GATHER THE FOLLOWING MATERIALS: A Catheter in a sealed wrapper, water-soluble lubricant, something to cleanse the area: soap, water and a washcloth/unscented disposable wipes, a container to collect the urine if not cathing on/near a toilet, and a hand towel.


Steps for Men Using Catheters:

  1. Inspect catheter BEFORE USE. If catheter or package is damaged DO NOT use.
  2. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or if not available, use an antibacterial hand cleaner.
  3. Lay out equipment so it is within easy reach. Open the water soluble lubricant and catheter package. The Catheter package may open from both ends for ease of use. Apply a liberal amount of lubricant to the tip and first several inches of the catheter.
  4. Position yourself comfortably! Arrange clothing so it is out of the way. If sitting on the toilet, spread your legs apart lying down, knees can be straight or bent. Hold the penis upright on the sides so that the urethra is NOT pinched.
  5. Retract foreskin if the penis is uncircumcised. Wash the glans penis from the urethral opening(tip) to the base of the glans with soap, water, and washcloth or unscented disposable wipe. Wash with a circular motion from the tip outward. DO NOT wash back and forth over the urethral opening. Repeat the washing two more times with different areas of the washcloth or with a new unscented wipe each time. 
  6. While holding the penis upright with one hand at a 45 to 60-degree angle from the body, slowly insert the lubricated catheter into the penis using your dominant hand. Gently slide the catheter until you meet resistance at the urethral sphincters. DO NOT pull the catheter in and out when you meet resistance; just apply gentle but firm continuous pressure until the catheter advances into the bladder.
  7. Continue to insert the catheter until the urine begins to flow. I f you are standing in front of the toilet or sitting on it with legs apart, the urine can drain into the toilet. If you are lying down, place the funnel end of the catheter into container to collect the urine. Hold it in place until the urine stops flowing.
  8. When urine stops flowing, slowly rotate the catheter between your fingers while withdrawing the catheter, If urine starts to flow again when withdrawing the catheter, stop each time it flows and let the urine drain. Continue to slowly withdraw the catheter until the bladder is empty and the catheter is removed. IF YOU ARE UNCIRCUMCISED, make sure you bring the foreskin back over the glans penis when you are finished.
  9. Some men have very tight sphincters or an enlarged prostate which makes it difficult to pass the catheter into the bladder. A catheter with a special, curved (Coude) tip ma make passing the catheter easier. If a catheter with Coude tip is needed, your doctor or nurse will show you how to use it.


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