Can anyone help!! I started ISC a week ago - I’m doing it ‘blind’ as my Urethra is hidden with a prolapse BUT, it’s painful with blood each time and doesn’t empty. I’m doing it from a wheelchair into a bag - you can’t see when the urine has stopped only that the bag has stopped inflating, have used the technique of slow withdrawal (a few milimetres out then reinsert to ensure last bit are out, pressing on bladder, coughing), but have to double catheterise because its not empty or go to the loo. Today in a public toilet, I cathertised, did the usuals technique and wee gushed out on slow removal at end! I quickly put another in but stil felt full and of course there was a mess of pee (poor mum had to come in and help clean up).

The whole point of learning this was to stop the numerous loo trips which were becoming impossible because of the transfers (I stand and transfer) and my partner not happily having to help get me on/off the loo.

I notice the catheter ‘bends’ too.

Any ideas? I’m miserable! So much for giving me my life back!


hi lindiepop

get back to your continence nurse and see what else can be offered.

i’ve been self catheterising for several years with no problems but recently no pee comes out.

i’ll be seeing mine because i don’t want to end up with a UTI.

carole x

Thanks Carole - I’ve had two in three weeks of doing this with suspected third but it doesnt feel like a UTI - just painful poking from cath trying to get the pee out (seeing Dr monday fortunately). Sigh . . . x

Hi Lindie

Have you tried a different make of catheter? This can sometimes help. Some are far more rigid, which means they won’t bend and as you’re trying to do it from a wheelchair (sounds really difficult to me!) it might be less problematic to have a more rigid, less bendy catheter. (Eg something like Braun Actreen which is made of different type of plastic.)

Doing it sitting in a wheelchair isn’t going to be the best way to avoid infections either. But you might get around any contamination issues as you get better at it.

I’m slightly confused though, you say you stand and transfer, but also that you find it hard getting onto the loo.

Do you mean that you can stand and transfer into the wheelchair, but transferring on and off the loo is more problematic?

If so, have you tried catheterising sitting / half laying on the bed? (Obviously doesn’t help when you’re away from home!) you could put a towel under you to avoid the ‘pee everywhere’ problem. You might find that you have to try different solutions until you have found the right make of catheter, and got settled with your technique. Also, try to take it slower, forget dashing to the loo, sitting on it and pressing your stomach, that’s not going to be easy with the position you’re sitting in. When I first started self catheterising I did it with a bag on the bed (at the time I was slightly more able to use a mirror but this wouldn’t be possible for me now). It could take some time sitting there waiting for the bag to get as full as possible.

It definitely sounds like you need some help with it. I should get hold of your B&B nurse on Monday and / or the catheter delivery company. They may have a nurse who can come out to you with a whole load of different catheters for you to try put which suits best. Even if they don’t have a visiting nurse, they should be able to send you out a load of samples so you can see what make is easier for you.

Best of luck.


Hi Sue -thank you! Getting on the bed is a problem too :-)! I can toilet transfer for the first part of the day then that’s it (public loos are too low). I went very slowly as you suggested and had a better result! Still pee’d out after but at least I put the towel down lol. Will talk to my nurse about trying the Actreen - during her visit she did say there were other options (ominously . . . twilight zone theme). x

There are lots of other options out there to try and see what works best for you. I’ve tried many catheters that reminded me of trying to insert a strand of cooked spaghetti into a narrow gauge straw. Blindfold. And pairing that with trying to do it sat on a wheelchair - Lindie, you have my admiration for doing as well with it as you are so far. Hopefully your nurse can get you some other options for types of catheter, it’s a balance between being rigid enough to use, whilst not doing damage. Blood is not good.

Sue x