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Self Catheterization- Female

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 Women 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. Layout 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 far apart. If lying down, bend knees and place your heels together in a "frog-like" position.
  5. Using the non-dominant hand, seperate the labia with the thumb and forefinger to locate the urethra.
  6. With the labia separated, wash the urethral area from front to back thoroughly with soap, water, and washcloth or unscented disposable wipe. NEVER go back and forth over the urethral opening. Repeat washing from front to back with the different areas of the washcloth of throw away wipe.
  7. With your dominant hand, insert the catheter gently into the urethral opening. Continue to insert the catheter about 2 inches until urine begins to flow. If sitting on the toilet the urine can drain into the toilet. If lying down, place the funnel end of the catheter into a container to collect the urine. Hold it in place until urine stops flowing.
  8. When urine stops flowing, slowly rotate the catheter between your fingers while withdrawing the catheter. If urine starts flowing again, stop withdrawing the catheter and let the urine drain. When the bladder is empty, finish removing the catheter. 


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