Catheterization-Clean - Males
What Is a Clean Catheterization?
Clean catheterization uses a clean, not sterile, catheter to drain urine from the bladder.
The Urinary System
The urinary system consists of the kidneys, bladder and ureters.
The kidneys filter waste and excess water from the blood stream and make urine. The urine then flows down the ureters to the bladder. The bladder holds the urine until you empty your bladder.
When the bladder is full, nerves in the bladder send a message to the brain and to the spinal cord. The message causes the muscles that hold urine in to relax and the bladder to squeeze urine out of your body through the urethra.
Your doctor or nurse will explain your bladder problem. These are some common problems:
- Messages from the bladder to the brain and/or spinal cord are not complete.
- The bladder has weak muscles. All the urine does not empty out.
- The sphincter does not open properly. The bladder overfills.
- The sphincter is always open. Urine dribbles out.
- Uncontrolled spasms cause urine to leak out.
You may need to drain the bladder if you cannot void or control urine output.
If the bladder overfills for a long time, urine can back up into the ureters and into the kidneys causing damage to both. If the bladder is overstretched, it slows urine flow, making a bladder infection more likely.
You can empty the bladder on a schedule using a catheter to help prevent backflow of urine and reduce infections.
Catheterization helps you stay dry. If you have bladder spasms or a weak sphincter muscle, catheterization alone may not keep you dry. Your doctor may suggest one or two medicines to stop the spasms and tighten the sphincter.
How Often? Most people need to catheterize every 3-4 hours to prevent urine overflow.
A clean catheter
Water soluble lubricant (K-Y® jelly, Lubrifax, or Surgilube®). Do not use Vaseline®.
Container for urine
Liquid soap and water
Step by Step guide
1. Gather the equipment.
2. If your doctor or nurse has told you to void, do so before you begin.
3. Wash your hands with soap and water.
4. Wash the tip of your penis with soap and water. Dry.
5. Lubricate the catheter from its tip down about 2 inches.
6. Grasp the sides (not the underside) of your penis below the tip. Push back the foreskin if present. Hold the penis up at a 60° angle. (See picture).
7. Gently insert the catheter. You may meet some resistance. Use gentle, but firm pressure until the muscle relaxes. Insert the catheter 1-2 inches further after urine starts to flow.
8. Allow all of the urine to flow out.
9. After the urine has stopped flowing remove the catheter slowly. If more urine flows out at one spot, stop there and allow it to drain.
10. Pinch the catheter as you remove it to avoid getting wet.
11. Wash the catheter with liquid soap and water. Rinse well. Drain the water out. Place it on a clean towel to dry. Moisture causes bacteria to grow.
12. You will need a new catheter every week or as prescribed by your provider.
- If you leak urine, carry extra clothing and pads with you.
- Catheterize before your scheduled time if you plan to be away from home.
- If you travel, plan when and where you will be able to catheterize.
- If your child needs to be catheterized at school, discuss the schedule with the school nurse.
- Empty your bladder every __________ hours, day and evening.
- You may catheterize yourself sooner than 4 hours if you have discomfort. Do not wait more than 4 hours.
- Drink 8-10 glasses (8-oz.) daily.
- If you limit fluids after supper, you will be able to stay dry and avoid overfilling your bladder. This may allow you to go through the night without catheterizing.
- If you notice the following symptoms, drink more fluids.
Cloudy or dark-colored urine
Foul smelling urine
Solid flakes, mucous sediment floating in the urine
When to Call the Doctor
- Bloody urine
- Blood from the urethra
- Temperature greater than 100.5° F by mouth
- Back pain
- Stomach ache
Urology Clinic, (608) 263-4757 - This is a 24 hour number.
After Hours, Nights and Weekends, (608) 262-0486. Ask for the Urology Resident doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #5515
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 01/08/2013
Copyright © 01/08/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4358
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