Intermittent Catheterization for Men
Whether you can use a catheter yourself or someone does it for you, periodic catheterization services (ICPs) are also used. You insert the catheter into the bladder through the urethra, a thin, flexible, hollow tube that allows the urine to drain out. This kind of catheter is not permanent.
An ICP allows you to restrict your fluids in general. You and your doctor should determine how much fluid you will consume each day and the best times to use the catheter.
How the catheter should be used
A general description of the protocol is presented below. Your recovery (rehab) team or doctor will teach you how to handle a catheterization and/or for a loved one.
- Make sure you’ve got what you need. This usually requires a catheter, a lubricant, a urine storage tube, protective gloves, and cleaning supplies such as cotton balls, paper towels, soap, and antiseptic.
- With soap and water, wash your hands properly, and put on your gloves.
- Get into a space that you and/or your caregiver are most relaxed in.
- With soap and water, wash the tip of your penis or use an antiseptic medicine.
- The end of the catheter is placed so that urine can flow out into a storage tube.
- Lubricate 2 in. of the tip of the catheter (5.1 cm).
- Pull back the foreskin and hold it back throughout the procedure unless you are not circumcised.
- Hold your penis in front of you so that your head is facing away from your body. You may keep it upright, too, so that it points up.
- Insert the catheter softly into the urethra, the opening of the penis. Stop for a few minutes if you encounter resistance and then gently push the catheter in again. Do not force it if you can not insert the catheter. Stop and give your doctor a call.
- Insert the catheter approximately 2 in before urine starts to flow—more into the penis (5.1 cm).
- Press the abdomen or tighten the abdominal muscles when the urine stops flowing. This helps to drain the bladder entirely.
- Slowly remove the catheter. Avoid withdrawing the catheter before the urine flow ceases if urine starts to flow again.
- Take the gloves off and wash your hands.
- Check the urine. Call your doctor if it is cloudy, have blood in it, or have odor and color changes.
Caring for catheters
Catheters for one-time use must be thrown away after each use. If you have a reusable catheter, you will need to wash and dry it after each use. To have your catheter cleaned:
- With soap and water, wash the catheter, or place it in an antiseptic solution.
- In clean water, rinse the catheter, inside and out. To transfer soapy water through the catheter, some people use a syringe.
- The dry the catheter, place it on a clean towel, fold over the towel, and hang on a rack with the towel.
- Please place it in a bag (i.e., plastic bag) when the catheter dries.