Self-Catheterization for Women

Self-catheterization helps you empty your bladder if it doesn’t empty by itself. It also helps if your bladder doesn’t empty all the way. Follow the steps below.

This is what you’ll need

  • Soap and warm water, or a moist towelette

  • Water-soluble lubricating jelly (not petroleum jelly)

  • Clean catheter

  • Mirror

  • Toilet or basin

Closeup of hands applying lubricant to urinary catheter.

 

Closeup of vulva showing hands inserting catheter into urethra.

Cross section of catheter in urethra, draining urine from bladder

1. Preparation

  • Gather all equipment needed.

  • Arrange clothing so it is out of the way.

  • Wash your hands and your genitals. Use warm, soapy water or a moist towelette. Always wash from front to back.

2. Lubricate the catheter

  • Lubricate 2 inches to 4 inches of the catheter tip. Place the other end in the toilet or basin.

3. Insert the catheter

  • Spread the labia. Find the urethra with a mirror, or with your index finger.

  • Slowly insert the catheter into your urethra. If it doesn’t go in, take a deep breath and bear down as if trying to urinate.

4. Empty urine

  • When the urine starts flowing, gently advance an additional one-half to one inch.

  • When the urine stops flowing, slowly remove the catheter.

5. Wash the catheter

  • Wash the catheter in mild soap and water.

  • Rinse it well. Run water through it. Then let it air-dry.

  • Wash your hands. If you use a basin, wash it out.



Back

Contact Us for a Free
Consultation & Care Assessment

Let's Get Started

Contact Us for a Free Consultation
and Care Assessment

Greenwich, CT:

203-532-0500

Westchester, NY:

914-517-0520

235 Glenville Road 3rd Floor,
Greenwhich, Connecticut 06831


Learning Center

Medication Library

Find medication information to help educate patients, families and caregivers.

Diseases & Conditions Library

Find detailed information on a wide range of health conditions, illnesses, and treatments.

Aging Wellness Center

Find helpful articles to make the most out of your golden years.

Resource Links

Find links to helpful aging resources around the internet

Blog

Find the latest information and announcements from Sterling Care.