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Self-Catheterization for Women

This is what you’ll need

  • Soap and warm water, or a moist towelette

  • Water-soluble lubricating jelly (not petroleum jelly)

  • Clean catheter

  • Mirror

  • Toilet or basin

Self-catheterization helps you empty your bladder if it doesn’t empty by itself. It also helps if your bladder doesn’t empty all the way. Follow the steps below.


1. Preparation

  • Gather all equipment needed.

  • Arrange clothing so it is out of the way.

  • Wash your hands and your genitals. Use warm, soapy water or a moist towelette. Always wash from front to back.

2. Lubricate the catheter

  • Lubricate 2 inches to 4 inches of the catheter tip. Place the other end in the toilet or basin.

 Inserting3. Insert the catheter

  • Spread the labia. Find the urethra with a mirror, or with your index finger.

  • Slowly insert the catheter into your urethra. If it doesn’t go in, take a deep breath and bear down as if trying to urinate.


4. Empty urine

  • When the urine starts flowing, gently advance an additional one-half to one inch.

  • When the urine stops flowing, slowly remove the catheter.

5. Wash the catheter

  • Wash the catheter in mild soap and water.

  • Rinse it well. Run water through it. Then let it air-dry.

  • Wash your hands. If you use a basin, wash it out.


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