Teleflex Urology Care: What is intermittent catheterisation?

Intermittent catheterisation is the repeated drainage of the bladder through a thin, disposable catheter. It´s a simple method of draining the bladder gently and without causing harmful pressure. Read more about the advantages, requirements and other interesting questions related to intermittent self-catheterisation.

Teleflex Urology Care: What is intermittent catheterisation

What is important to keep in mind when it comes to intermittent catheterisation?
Using a disposable catheter for bladder drainage should be carried out under aseptic conditions*, which involves washing the genital area, disinfecting the entrance to the urethra, using sterile material and a sterile catheter (provided with sterile lubricant or a sterile saline solution for hydrophilic coatings) and performing aseptic, no-touch insertion of the catheter.
* Recommendations of the European Association of Urology Nurses (EAUN) Guidelines 2013

How is intermittent catheterisation performed?
A distinction is made between catheterisation assisted by others, such as parents, relatives or caregivers and self-catheterisation, which is performed by the user. Please note: a catheter should only be used once.

How frequently is intermittent catheterisation required?
This depends on the daily fluid intake, as this determines the quantity of urine excreted each day. Intermittent catheterisation usually involves emptying the bladder 4-6 times a day. Initially, catheterisation may be performed by following a set schedule. After some experience, the user will know when to empty the bladder.

What are the advantages of intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC)?
Intermittent self-catheterisation is a gentle technique that can help improve the quality of life for many people with a voiding disorder. It is a gentle and safe method of emptying the bladder completely, protecting kidney and bladder function and reducing the risk of urinary tract infections.

Where possible, ISC is usually the preferred catheterisation technique because it gives you back control over bladder emptying and offers more freedom and comfort than having someone else catheterise you. Most importantly, ISC increases your personal independence and supports an active lifestyle.

What are the requirements for intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC)?
The method of intermittent self-catheterisation is not equally suitable for every patient. Certain prerequisites must be met, both in relation to bladder function and the patient’s overall situation. Of these, the key requirements are self-motivation and a good understanding of how the technique should be performed. It is important to understand the basics of the technique and how to perform it safely.

Hand function may be limited, but must still be effective enough for the user to be able to independently access the urethra and perform the procedure (with or without assistive devices). If this is not possible in a sitting position, the user should be able to move independently into a position that allows catheterisation to be performed.

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