Self-Catheterization for Males – A Step-By-Step Guide

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1. Wash Hands

Self-Catheterization for Males
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Remember to wash your thumbs too. This will ensure a clean and hygienic intermittent self-catheterization.

2. Collect Supplies

Self-Catheterization for Males
Make sure that you have everything required for successful catheterization. You will need a right-sized catheter, mild soap, and cotton swabs. If you perform catheterization while sitting in a wheelchair, you will need a urine bag as well.

3. Prepare the Intermittent Catheter

Self-Catheterization for Males
Remove the intermittent catheter from the package and arrange it so that it is easy to reach when you are ready to use it. If you are using Speedicath Standard Catheter, hang the packet vertically as shown in the image. If performing self-catheterization while sitting in a wheelchair, attach a urine bag to the catheter.

4. Take a Proper Position

Self-Catheterization for Males
Stand in front of the toilet and pull down your clothes so that you can easily reach your urethra. If you can, always try to urinate on your own before using an intermittent catheter. If you are sitting in a wheelchair, tug your clothes in a planter so that they do not interfere during intermittent catheterization.

5. Clean the Urethra

Self-Catheterization for Males
You must clean your penis properly to prevent bacteria from getting into your urethra and bladder when you use the catheter. Gently pull your foreskin back and clean the head of the penis in a circular motion, starting in the middle and working your way outwards. From this point, keep holding your foreskin back and do not let your clothes touch the head of your penis. Use each moist cotton swab only once.

6. Hold the Penis in Proper Position

Self-Catheterization for Males
Hold the penis pointing upwards and keep it close to your stomach. Provide gentle pressure to the head of the penis to open up the urethra. This will ease the insertion of the intermittent catheter as the natural 'S' shape of the urethra is changed into a 'U' shape. But be careful not to squeeze your penis as this may obstruct the passage of the catheter during insertion into the urethra.

7. Insert the Catheter

Self-Catheterization for Males
Relax and slowly insert the catheter into your urethra. If it does not go in, take a deep breath and put some downward pressure as if trying to urinate. Remove the catheter and try again if you feel a sharp pain. You may feel some resistance from your sphincter muscle, so be gentle. Continue to insert the catheter until it reaches your bladder and the urine starts to flow. If you bend the funnel end of the catheter before the urine flow starts, it will prevent spillage. Then continue for a few centimeters further.

8. Drain Urine

Self-Catheterization for Males
Let the Urine drain completely from the bladder. Withdraw the intermittent catheter slowly to ensure that you drain any remaining urine present at the base of your bladder. When the Urine flow stops, move a little and straighten yourself up to make sure that the bladder is empty. If you use a straight tip intermittent catheter, turn it slowly while pulling it out and stop each time more Urine comes out. In this way, you can completely drain Urine from the bladder.

9. Dispose of the Catheter

Self-Catheterization for Males
Throw the catheter and packaging in a trash container when you have finished. Do not flush it down the toilet.

10. Wash Hands Again

Self-Catheterization for Males
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to prevent cross-contamination.

When to Seek Medical Help?

Immediately seek medical help if you notice any of the following during self-catheterization:

  • Burning sensation in the pubic area or urinary tract
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Chills or fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher
  • Mucus or sediment in the Urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling Urine
  • Bloody Urine
  • Lower backache

This is just a guide. We recommend you consult with your healthcare provider before performing intermittent self-catheterization.

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Visit to buy a wide variety of intermittent catheters along with accessories. There are different types of intermittent catheters from renowned brands, including Bard, Coloplast, Hollister, and many more.


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