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Intermittent catheterization is the preferred method for emptying your bladder.

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It is important that you empty your bladder regularly as prescribed by your doctor or nurse. If you cannot empty your bladder naturally, intermittent catheterization (IC) is the recommended solution for bladder management.

Other bladder emptying methods include:

  • Manually pressing down on the bladder (Credé)
  • Inserting a more permanent catheter through the urethra (indwelling catheters)
  • Inserting a more permanent catheter through the belly (supra-pubic catheters) 

Always follow the advice of your physician and healthcare professional and follow the instructions for use.

Why do your healthcare providers often recommend IC as the preferred solution to these options?

The reason why IC is widely thought to be the preferred method is that it has a lower risk of complications as compared to an indwelling (more permanent) catheter

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One explanation is that most people using intermittent catheterization may find it more comfortable and convenient compared to an indwelling catheter.

Once you master the routine you will be able to determine and maintain your own schedule to catheterize and empty your bladder, as prescribed by your physician.

Why might I choose one catheter over another?

People who use intermittent catheters have different preferences and needs. Surveys suggest that hydrophilic catheters, which have a special smooth and low friction coating, are more comfortable, convenient and easy to use.

Other benefits of intermittent catheterization include more independence and better overall quality of life. 

These are general guidelines meant to help you with typical questions. You should follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider and the intermittent catheterization solution you are using.

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