catheter trouble

Hi all

Hope you are as well as you can be on this cold day. It’s been ages since I wrote a topic on here but I’m having trouble with self catheterisation help. The saleswoman that came couldn’t get it in neither could I or my husband what type do others use mine was Fittleworth. I’m running out of time as I’m going for botox so I’m going to try a different one, I know it’s there somewhere. Thanks for any help.

Hello Angel

I’ve not heard of Fittleworth catheters. But I’ve used lots of others.

There are two issues you need to be clear about in order for us to know what your problem is. What I would suggest is that you think about your method plus the type of catheter you’re using.

Firstly, are you using a bag system (i.e. with a mirror on the bed, with a collection / disposal bag attached to the catheter)? Or are you doing it by feel, sitting on the loo? If you’ve tried one way, but not the other, try swapping. Obviously if you’ve been trying and failing to do it sitting on the loo, you’d need to get some samples with a bag to try doing it on the bed with a mirror. If you’ve not tried to ISC just sitting on the loo, then try having a feel around to see how you’d do it and then just give it a go.

Secondly, what type of catheter is a Fittleworth? Is it a bendy, super flexible type? That could resolve your problem right there. If it’s very bendy it’s super difficult to get it into the right hole. I’ve likened it to trying to pass a piece of cooked spaghetti into a straw. And trying to do it blindfold.

The type of catheter you’re using is perhaps the most important question. Are you getting your supplies straight from the catheter makers or from a delivery company who can dispense all types and makes? If you have a delivery company that is more or less independent, you can phone them up and get some samples of other types.

If you’re getting your supplies direct from Fittleworth, or if you prefer it this way anyway, just look up the companies that make other ISC catheters (on the internet) and ask for samples.

The more rigid types are simpler to use especially if you are having trouble. Regardless of your method, Braun Actreen Lite would work better than the bendy type. And you can attach a bag to these (or they do one that has a bag attached) if that’s your preference.

Or you could get samples of Coloplast Speedicath. Or Lofric Sense. Both of these are hydrophilic (they’re made of special plastic that gets slippery all on its own when wet so they come with a supply of saline in the packaging) so they are very easy to use. Neither is suitable to having a bag attached so they are used just sitting on the loo.

I started out trying to use a catheter by sitting on the bed, using a mirror and collecting the wee in a night bag. I had quite a lot of trouble with this. So one day I just sat on the loo and gave it a go, and it worked first time. Initially I used Actreen Lite Mini catheters. These are the most rigid I’ve seen. Much harder plastic. They are coated with a lubricant rather than being hydrophilic. And I’d suggest these might be a good place to start.

If you get samples and give several types a go, figure out what works best for you (and I’ve just mentioned the three I’ve found to be easy to use, there are many others), then see if your current suppliers can deliver them, if not then get a different delivery company. Don’t forget, you are a customer. The delivery companies (not to mention the catheter makes) make a fortune from ISC users. So it’s in their interest to keep you happy.

Let us know if you need more help, or what happens.


I am only 5ft tall and need to use a child’s catheter when I needed one.

Just a though, I have been having problems using my catheters too. I emailed my continence nurse and she has suggested that I try using a catheter that is a ch size smaller. Was wondering if this would be worth a try for you too xxx

Coloplast for me and I keep two children sizes on hand Plus a box of bags to go with them if needed.

Hope you get sorted.