Basic rules for intermittent self-catheterisation

Intermittent catheterisation is a method in which a catheter is temporarily inserted into the bladder to drain urine. It is important to follow the basic rules to avoid infection and injury.

Basic rules for intermittent self-catheterisation_Teleflex Urology Care

Intermittent self-catheterisation is used when someone is unable to urinate naturally. It allows control over the timing of bladder emptying and helps to prevent urinary tract infections and other complications. By following the basics, intermittent catheterisation can be performed safely and effectively.

Ensure aseptic conditions during self-catheterisation
Intermittent self-catheterisation should be carried out under aseptic conditions. Wash your hands and urethral opening with water and soap and/or disinfect them with a disinfectant agent before catheterisation. Important: Use a new sterile catheter for every catheterisation!

Never touch the part of the catheter that is inserted into the urethra and bladder and avoid letting it touch other surfaces. When in doubt, discard the catheter and start the process with a new one.

Maintain a sufficient frequency of self-catheterisation
Never exceed your normal bladder capacity! The bladder should not contain more than 350–500ml. If you don’t catheterise often enough and the bladder is overstretched, the risk of urinary tract infection and urine leakage increases. In the long term, you can seriously damage your kidneys.

Chose the right diameter for your intermittent catheter
Make sure you have chosen the right diameter for your catheter. A catheter with a diameter that is too large can harm the urethra, and a catheter with a diameter that is too small will take too long for the urine to leave the bladder. It also increases the risk of injury. For adults, catheters of size 12–14 Charrière (3 Charrière = 1mm) are usually the most appropriate.

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