Self cath training

Hi all,

been referred for self catheterisation training and I’m feeling pretty miserable about it. I’m not so much fussed about having to self cath, I just don’t want a nurse there watching me fumbling around my bits trying my first attempt. Had ms for 15 years, am only 33 and this is the most stripped of my dignity I’ve felt with ms so far.

im really anxious about it. Have searched around but not found anyone detailing what goes on in training. What’s your experience? Does the nurse have to watch? Can I have a verbal lesson and then privacy?

Thanks for any insight x

This is a perfectly reasonable request to preserve your dignity. Verbal instruction with pictures. Then let you have a go in private by yourself. There is nothing serious that could go wrong. Except catheter goes up largest hole I.e Vagina so should be dumped. The bladder tube the urethra tends to be smaller and usually trickier to find.

good luck

Min x

the nurse who trained me was so lovely and understanding.

she gave me a leaflet with diagrams and a mirror so that i could find my way round my bits.

you’ll manage with the diagram and mirror.

you can attach a bag to begin with so no flooding should occur.

it’s one of those moments of sheer horror when you are told you have to self cath but really just another learning curve.

hygiene is given very high priority.

you need to be calm and relaxed (?)

it takes quite a while to get to a stage where you can be relaxed about it!


I remember being quite embarrassed, I had two (yes two!) nurses watching me try to fumble my way around. I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, what the urethra hole looked like or anything. Totally clueless. So what I’d suggest in preparation is a) look at some pictures of the anatomy, and b) get a mirror and have a look at your own ‘bits’. Then tell the nurse that if you don’t mind, can you first have a go on your own.

You might find it quite challenging at first doing it sitting on the loo, without being able to see where you are going with the catheter. I started off first doing it with a collection bag,sitting on the bed with a mirror, then one day I just gave it a go sitting on the loo (by this time I had familiarised myself with my own body!) and it worked first time.

Good luck with it.