Can anyone (female) who self-catheterises help me to overcome my fears?

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My consultant tells me I have to learn to self-catheterise because my bladder doesn't empty fully and I am in constant pain from infected urine. When I have had to be catheterised in hospital it has always been so difficult and painful that teams have had to give up - the last time the consultant had to be called out. So I'm afraid that it will be too painful for me to do. Also, I cannot find the urethral opening, and my sight is bad at middle-distance so a mirror hasn't helped so far. Added to those physical problems there is a psychological one, in that quite honestly I find the whole idea distasteful - whether one calls it modesty or prudery, it's a problem, especially as learning the technique involves other people. I am desperate to hear ASAP from anyone who has had my problems and managed to self-catheterise in spite of them. I find it hard to believe my consultant who tells me that women patients tell him that they find it easier than they expected.

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  • Posted

    Hi, Christina, I am male and was cathertising myself for 2 yrs. Try to relax during the procedure.

    Plus you are not the first person the urinary team have seen, they are professional.

    I now have a supra-pubic cath fitted

    Maybe having one would suit you x

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  • Posted

    I have also been self catheterising for 2 years. I'm a 72 year old male and was also terrified when I started. First I was shown in hospital how to insert it , trying with the smallest size and working up to a size 16.

    Taking a pack home I was successful straight away. I now do it three times a day and regularly measure my output. I get

    200 ml out naturally and then with the catheter another up to 800 ml. I also take a prophylactic antibiotic once a day and careful personal hygiene I no longer get infections.

    Don't be scared and go ahead because you must empty your bladder completely.

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    • Posted

      Adythewarrior and davidansy I am most grateful for your replies and sympathse with males because of the comparative length of the urethra - ouch. However, you have a distinct advantage in being able to locate the opening easily!! I'll read up on the supra-pubic catheter, although my cnsultant has said that if I can't do it myself I'll have to have a knee-bag. It would almost be preferable except that I'd be living in constant dread of the torturers coming regularly to change the catheter.

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    • Posted

      Yeah, Christina, your right about us being able to (see the opening lol).

      Honestly, a suprapubic cath may be the way forward.

      It just needs regular cleaning, and the torturers (love it lol), only change it every 8-12 weeks.

      Ady x

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    • Posted

      Hi Ady,

      Can you still get a lot of infections with one of those? They did offer me one of those, but I declined it, as it would be yet another operation and not sure if it would cut the risk of infection. What do you think? Is it easier for men and not women? Also do you know of any support groups for us people that have to ic?

      Thanks,

      Sam x

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