Self catheterising advice please

Sorry to keep revisiting this. I really want to do this. I’ve been visited by the continence nurse who’s talked me through the theory, left me three mirrors, boxes of two different catheters, there would’ve been three but I couldn’t get the third one out of its packaging, disposable bags and I’ve got DVDs and instruction leaflets. She’s suggested I watch the DVD and practice getting into position on the bed and getting the mirror in position. She’ll be back in just over a week to help me catheterise the first time.

The trouble is I can’t get into position on the bed and get the mirror in place never mind then removing the catheter from its packaging and inserting it. I’m just not mobile enough and my dexterity isn’t great.

There’s got to be a way I’m sure.

I’m tempted to just sit on the loo and try to do it by feel.

So those ladies out there already doing this what do you think?

Hi Flowerpot,

Now you’ve had a good look in the mirror at your anatomy (anything like me that was something I’d not done before - and I’d reached the age of 44 by this time!), pick the catheter you feel most comfortable with - I assume you have been left with quite a few so can waste some! Sit on the loo, relax and just give it a go. The first time I did this I got the right spot immediately, I astonished myself!

I’m not too good with my hands either so there are some sorts of packaging I had trouble with, initially I found Lofric really difficult, it was bursting the bubble of saline solution that was the trouble, then I was told by someone to put the package with the saline bubble under one foot and then it’ll burst.

In terms of the best type of catheter to start with, I’d go for one that is quite stiff and not too long or bendy. If the catheter is too wobbly it’s harder to get the right place immediately. I started with Actreen Lite Mini. These are very easy to open, are quite firm and easy to keep a hold of whilst using them. I later swapped to Lofric, once I got the opening the packet sorted I quite liked them but they are quite bendy so I swapped again to Speedicath Compact Plus. They are kind of a cross between the two, not difficult to get into, fairly firm but somehow a bit softer than the Actreen.

Just be prepared to chuck the catheter away and try another one if you miss the spot and think it’s not remained clean enough. This doesn’t mean if you don’t hit it exactly to throw it, just see has the tip slipped to the ‘wrong’ area, or has the tip of the catheter accidentally touched a surface.

Dont forget, if you don’t get it right, just give your continence nurse a call on Monday and ask for some different samples. You could try again with a mirror (try getting a different type of mirror - I got one that folds which I could stand on the bed between my legs and with a good enough light I could manage) or try a different make.

Good luck.



It took me a while to get used to it and finding the right spot as it didn’t feel natural to me to go to the loo led on the bed. I found it easier to sit on the loo and find the right spot by feel.

Just be patient. Once you find the spot it will be easy.

I use the Lofric as I find it softer than the first ones I tried. Can’t remember the name.

Also, don’t apologise for revisiting.

Hope you manage to feel happy doing the self catheterising. It makes a huge difference and I have far less accidents now.

Shazzie x

Thank you ladies, the trouble is I’ve not yet even managed to have a good look at my anatomy in the mirror!

I can get on the bed, yes it is bizarre to plan to empty your bladder on the bed, but as for getting my legs in the right position, they are most uncooperative, and placing a mirror to view said bits of anatomy, well that’s defeated me! I’ve been given three different mirrors to try.

At first my biggest fear was inserting the catheter, now I fear not even being able to get in a position to do so, which is why I thought I’d just try to feel my way sat on the loo.

I’m determined to succeed, one way or another!

Just give it a go Flower. Earlier on (sitting on the loo, doing my ISC thing) I thought that one of the most important things about the catheter you use is the bit you hold onto. Which is why Lofric is so good. The grip of the ‘wand’ is probably the best. It’s only the bendiness that is a problem which is why I’d go for a more rigid one to begin with.

And you’ve not managed to lookin the mirror at yourself, Google some images/diagrams of women’s anatomy ‘down below’. That’ll give you an idea of where to aim at, although we are all slightly different so you’ll have to have a feel around a bit. The trouble is that when your hands don’t work right, and maybe you can’t feel much down there either it’s a real trial and error. So all you can do is give it a go.

I’ve said before that men have a tough time with ISC, their catheters have to be an awful lot longer than us women, but at least they can see the right opening. And they don’t have the confusion of several places to pick from!

Best of luck, let us know if you carry on having trouble.

Sue x

Thanks. xx

Hi, I find that it is much easier not to use a mirror, and just do it by feel. I don’t have too many problems now, apart from occassionally getting it in the wrong hole lol. I have tried about 20 different brands of catheters and have found coloplast compact Eve to be the easiest to use and also the most discrete for carrying around with you. It is easier to hold cos it has a triangular bit to hold on to. Let me know if I can be of any further help, love Bex xxx


i did it this morning, no mirrors at the first attempt. It was really easy though I’m told it might not always be so, but I’ve done it once so I can do it again and again can’t I?

I wish I’d agreed months ago when it was first mentioned.

Thanks xx

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