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Self Catheterization Instructions for Men

By Travis Karlskind October 25, 2016

  • Before you begin, collect all of the supplies you will need (catheter, towelette or something to cleanse the area, lubricant, a towel, and a container to collect urine if you are not planning to sit on the toilet). Inspect the supplies to make sure they are not contaminated or damaged. 
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or an antibacterial hand cleaner.  
  • Lay out your equipment so it is within reach, and prepare your catheter. If you catheter is not pre-lubricated, apply lubricant to the tip and top 2 inches of the catheter. 
  • Once in position, hold your penis upright on the sides, making sure to not inch the urethra.
  • If uncircumcised, retract the foreskin. Wash the glans penis from the urethral opening to the base of the glans with a towelette, soap and water, or baby wipes the way your doctor or nurse showed you. Wash in a circular motion, making sure to not wash back and forth over urethral opening.
  • While holding your penis straight out, with firm gentle pressure, slowly insert catheter until the urine starts to flow. If you meet resistance, never force the catheter. Breathe deeply and try to relax. Once the catheter is in properly urine will start to flow.
  • After urine starts to flow, gently push in catheter about 2 more inches or to the "Y" connector (in indwelling catheters).
  • Once urine stops, slowly rotate catheter between fingers and remove the catheter, slowly. If urine starts to flow as you are removing, stop each time it flows and let it drain. Continue slowly withdrawing the catheter until the bladder is empty and the catheter is removed. 
  • Throw away the used catheter and wash again with a towelette.

For full, downloadable and printable instructions click here.

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