How To Guide For Female Self-Cathing

Angela Breslin, RN
October 25, 2023
min read
  1. Before starting the process of emptying the bladder with the use of a catheter, we must first gather and open all of your supplies given to you by your supplier, nurse, and/or doctor.
  2. Wash your hand using soap and water and dry well.
  3. It is recommended to position yourself with legs spread apart, sitting on the toilet or in a chair across from the toilet. 
  4. Lubricate the catheter if instructed to by your doctor from the tip to the first 2 inches of the catheter. If you are using a lubricated or coated (hydrophilic) catheter it will be ready to use.
  5. With one hand, find the two folds that surround the vagina, also known as the labia, and separate them.
  6. Once the urethral opening is found, gently insert the tube until urine begins to drain, approximately 1-1 1/2 inches. Then insert the catheter another 1 inch further and hold it in place until urine stops draining. * If you are using a curved tip catheter (Coudé) insert the catheter with the curved tip pointing up at the ceiling. 
  7. When the urine stops draining, slowly start to withdraw the catheter while slowly rotating it. 
  8. If you are using a curved tip catheter (Coudé), do not rotate. There may be some urine that drains out as you remove the catheter. 
  9. Make sure the bladder is completely empty and the catheter is entirely drained out by straightening yourself out. 
  10. Dispose of the catheter after completing the catheterization process and wash your hands again with warm water and soap.

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