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Catheterization Instructions for Women

Self-Catheterization Instructions: Women

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
  2. Collect your supplies: catheter (open and ready to use), towelette, lubricant, and a container to collect urine if you are not.
  3. You may use clean disposable gloves if you prefer not to use your bare hands.
  4. With one hand, gently pull the labia open, and find the urinary opening.
  5. You can use a mirror to help you at first.
  6. With your other hand, wash your labia from front to back, up and down the middle, and on both sides. Use a fresh antiseptic towelette or baby wipe each time. Or, you may use cotton balls with mild soap and water. Rinse well and dry if you use soap and water.
  7. If not pre-lubricated, apply sterile lubricant to the tip and top 2 inches of the catheter.
  8. While you continue to hold your labia with your first hand, use your other hand to slide the catheter gently up into your urethra until urine starts to flow. Do not force the catheter. Start over if it is not going in well. Try to relax and breathe deeply. 
  9. Once the catheter is in, urine will start to flow.
  10. After urine starts to flow, gently push in the catheter about 2 more inches, or to the "Y" connector.
  11. Let the urine flow into the toilet or container.
  12. When urine stops flowing, slowly remove the catheter. Pinch the end closed to avoid getting wet.
  13. Wipe around your urinary opening and labia again with a towelette, baby wipe, or cotton ball.


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