Self-Catheterization Guidelines for Women
- Wash your hands and your genitals with warm, soapy water or a moist towelette. Make sure you wash from front to back.
- Lubricate the tip of the catheter. Place the opposite end of the catheter in the toilet or basin.
- Spread the labia and find your urethra with a mirror, or your index finger.
- Slowly insert the catheter into your urethra. If it is hard to insert, relax. When urine begins to flow, stop inserting the catheter.
- When the urine stops flowing, slowly remove and discard the catheter. Be sure to wash your hands.
Hints and Tips
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Always use a clean or sterile catheter
- Follow your schedule whether you feel the need to urinate or not
- Keep a log of your self-catheterization schedule
When to call your doctor
Even though self-catheterization is safe, occasionally problems may arise. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Blood in your urine
- Leakage between catheterizations
- Little or no urine flow
- Pain when inserting the catheter
- Foul-smelling urine
- Lower back or abdomen pain
- Sand-like particles in your urine
- Low-grade fever of 100.4° or higher
For a PDF of this information click here. For a Spanish version, click here