Self-Catheterization Guidelines for Men

Reference guides can be extremely helpful for patients with urological issues to understand how to catheterize and sanitize. (Note: When using a coudé catheter, the curved tip must be facing upward, toward your navel.)

  1. Wash your hands and your penis with warm, soapy water or a moist towelette.
  2. Lubricate the tip of the catheter. Place the opposite end of the catheter in the toilet or basin. (For a coudé, lubricate the first few inches of the catheter. If using a hydrophilic catheter, please consult the manufacturer information for lubrication instructions.)
  3. Hold the tip of your penis at a 45° angle from your stomach. Slowly insert the catheter into your urethra. If it is hard to insert, relax. (For a coudé, hold the tip of penis at a 90° angle and insert the catheter with the curved tip facing upward, toward your navel. Some catheters have a guide stripe or dot; make sure this mark is facing up while inserting.) If you feel a sharp pain, remove the catheter and try again. When urine begins to flow, stop inserting the catheter and lower your penis.
  4. When the urine stops flowing, slowly remove and discard the catheter. Be sure to wash your hands.

Hints & Tips

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Always use a clean or sterile catheter.
  • Follow your schedule whether you feel the need to urinate or not.
  • Keep a log of your self-catheterization schedule.
  • Relax.

When To Call the Doctor Even though self-catheterization is safe, occasionally problems may arise. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Little or no urine
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Sand-like particles in your urine
  • Leakage between catheterizations
  • Pain when inserting catheter
  • Lower back or abdomen pain
  • Low-grade fever of 100.4° or higher

Direct any medical questions to a health care professional. Always consult with your physician before modifying any course of treatment.