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Self Catherisation

I am trying this for the 2nd time and still having problems. Think I have found the urethra but nothing comes out, feel deflated and disappointed and ready to give up. Please can anyone give me some tips. My incontinence adviser seems to know very little about MS.

hi suki

i could never find my urethra either. tried all the tips on offer but no luck.

i can now find it with a magnifying mirror (enough to give me nightmares!) and i can only do this using the speedibags.

my continence nurse knows a lot about how ms affects the bladder and gave me a lesson on how 2 muscles have to contract & release in time with each other. so it multi-tasks!!

perhaps you could ask for more help or ask to be referred to someone who can give more help.

it’s scary isnt it? my nurse emphasised how important it is to void the bladder or we risk kidney infections,

another possibility is to ask your gp to refer you to urology.

good luck and don’t give up.

carole x

Hi Suki, Please don’t get disheartened, it takes a little time to get used to it. I’ve been self catheterising for about 8 years now and there are still times when I can’t get the catheter to go into my urethra. (Often when I’m really tired and my bladder is screaming to be emptied!) I find you just have to sit and try to completely relax all your muscles. To be honest I haven’t had much to do with continence nurses in the past 4 years as the one I had went on maternity leave and then they changed the areas the nurses covered and the nurse I’d seen from the outset no longer covered my area. But she was great. One of her recommendations was to get up, wash your hands, go and do something else for a little while, then come back and try again. It often works for me. I don’t know if my ramblings are any help, but please speak to your continence advisor again and don’t give up. Fingers crossed for you! Nicola x

Hi, I was in a state just thinking about self catheterising at the beginning and I am/was a nurse so knew where to go etc

however it does get easier honestly, my own method was to use a mirror with a little torch both attatched to an long loo roll holder stand. I then could get into the correct position sitting on the edge of loo and get the catheter in place. I still use the speedicath bags even after months…they work for me so I will keep using them. Plus I am still having to measure input/output so easy with the bags.

Don,t panic if it does not happen straight away…go back to it after a while and try again, maybe slide the catheter in and out just a bit as you may have gone higher than the urine pool in the bladder.

I still have to do it when laid down on my bed. I use a mirror and put the catheter in place while remembering to keep my finger over the end. Then I stand up and urinate into a jug (only used for this purpose, honest!!)

I just can’t get the hang of it sitting on the loo and I certainly haven’t got the mobility to stand on one leg!!

It’s a good job I only do it first thing in the morning and last thing at night!!

Hi girls. Slightly different for me being male, but I sit on a stall in front of the loo, stool has backrest so can lean back, might help.

I’ve been ISC-ing for a couple of years and honestly it does get easier. I started by sitting on on the bed with a good light on and a mirror (using a catheter with a bag). At times it was a bit hit n miss. Being able to see what you’re doing has it’s advantages but it’s not a fail safe method for some reason. I decided after about 6 months to just try doing it sitting on the loo and to my surprise it worked first time. I have quite a lot of sensory deficits so can’t actually feel things properly with my hands, or in fact ‘down below’ so it was very surprising that it was so easy. I suspect that knowing what it feels like and visualising the anatomy helps. There have still been days when it’s harder to get the right ‘spot’, when I’ve gone through 3 catheters before getting it right. You could also think about the type of catheter you are using - I’ve tried many different ones. It may be you’d find it easier with a different type. I started with Actreen lite mini - they are quite inflexible which I think makes them easier to use cleanly. However, their rigidity is less appealing when you are comfortable with the process. I phoned the delivery company and got them to send some other types to try out, I found Hydrosil a bit too bendy (I likened it to a piece of cooked spaghetti) and opted for Lofric - both of these can be a bit tricky to open as you have to bust a sachet of saline within the sealed package. Eventually I swapped again for Speedicath Compact. They are somewhere half way between the rigidity of Actreen and and the bendiness of Lofric and are easy to open! Whatever you decide to do, just relax about it, try some different methods and/or types of catheter and if you find it helps, talk to the delivery company, they usually have a nurse available for you to talk it over with. Sue

Even doing it 5 times a day I have good and bad times…I think that is just the nature of the issue added to the good and bad MS days.