Question for the ladies - Self-Catheterisation

Next week I have the Bladder nurse visiting me at home to teach me to self catheterise my wayward bladder and I have a few questions I was hoping you ladies might have the answer to?

I got a 31/2 mirror last year (when I thought I was going to be taught this) It is a magnified mirror but even so, the nurse says it’s not big enough! My question is – what’s the best kind of mirror to use when self-catheterising?

And secondly, I know it’s probably a daft question but…do I need a hair-cut ‘down there’ before the nurse shows me where I’m aiming for? I told you it was a silly question…

I’m dreading it in a way as I was right handed before the MS made my hand virtually useless so I’m going to have to learn to do this with my left hand. But my bladder has made my life a misery for so long and I’m WAY too dehydrated to not attempt self catheterisation – I’ve just got to get the hang of it somehow, and I’d be grateful for any tips!

Thank you ladies

Hello Tangle

First of all, I think we all felt a bit nervous prior to starting self catheterisation. So what you’re feeling is usual.

Re the mirror, if you’ve managed to have a look for yourself in the mirror you have an identified the correct hole, then it’s got enough magnification. And if you haven’t had a look, try that first. What you’re looking for is the opening for the urethra just below the clitoris and above the vagina. Have a look at the pictures here is you’re not sure what you’re looking at. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-human-vagina-and-other-female-sexual-parts.html

(I have to admit, I’d never gazed at mine in a mirror before starting ISC!)

If you can’t see the urethral opening, then try for a higher magnification. To be perfectly honest, once you’ve established exactly what you’re doing, can visualise it and have had a go so you know what it feels like, it’s actually easier (for me at least) to do it sitting on the loo, by feel rather than sight.

With regard to a trim, you might find it easier to see initially, I do try to keep my pubic hair slightly shorter because I feel it’s cleaner and a ‘clean’ technique is what you’re aiming for. So long as you can hit the right spot don’t worry too much about length of pubic hair though.

I have wondered if I’d be able to do it with my left hand because my right is worse than my left in terms of feeling and movement. But so far I’m OK with my right so I can’t help with the left hand thing. Sorry.

Hopefully all will be alright. It does become second nature after a while.

Sue

Hi, the first thing I would say is that I found using a mirror really unhelpful, so have always done it by feel. I must admit that I never even thought about doing anything with my pubic hair, so I would say that’s not necessary. Hope that helps xxx

hi

after 6 months of struggling with a mirror, i have found it easier to find it by sense, i do it in the shower and it works for me.

maybe not the most hygenic for other users of our shower/bath

ps when you are prodding around the general area - it’s further forward than you think.

carole x

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Hiya

First of all it is not a daft question. All of us who self catheterise know exactly how you feel.

I promise you once you find the right hole it is very easy.

I didn’t find the mirror at all helpful. I did it by feel.

This sounds awful but I stood in the shower and weed and as I was weeing I felt where it was coming from. (sorry if too much information). That’s the only way I could self catheterise at first. Now, after 5 years, it’s easy.

Don’t worry too much about shaving. I’m sure your nurse will be used to it.

Good luck.

Shazzie x

Hi I self catherterise and it is the best thing I could of started. I wish I had started it earlier. I use the ones with the bag and I found this works for me as I can do it standing up or sitting down. I have never used a mirror and just do it by feel. I think that when you start doing it. You won’t look back.

Good Luck

Polly x