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If you are new to intermittent catheterization, you may find the idea of catheter insertion a bit unnerving. Fortunately, there are some simple tips that can make the process easier.
Do you have a spinal cord injury or other medical condition that has made it difficult or impossible to empty your bladder naturally? Will you need to use an intermittent catheter (IC)? If so, a nurse, specialist, or other healthcare provider has likely walked you through the all of the necessary steps to perform the procedure properly at home.
When you begin catheterizing on your own, it’s natural to feel hesitant and uncomfortable. Sometimes that can lead to stress and anxiety, which may make catheter insertion more difficult. The good news is that there are simple things you can do to relax, make insertion easier, and gain confidence.
Intermittent catheter insertion tips
Here are a few things you can do to prepare for self-catheterization and help things go more smoothly:
Be patient with yourself, and seek help if you need it
Although catheter insertion may be a new and intimidating experience, with time, you’ll learn to relax and be more comfortable. Self-catheterization is a skill that you’ll learn to do better and faster every day — just as you’ve done with other skills. With every successful catheter insertion, you’ll gain greater confidence.
Also, it’s important to know that many of today’s intermittent catheters include coatings and other innovations that make insertion, draining, and removal easy and trouble-free.
However, if you continue to have difficulty inserting your catheter — even after following your instructions, using the product guide for use, and trying some of these techniques — be sure to ask your healthcare professional for additional assistance.
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