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Suitable facilities are key to feel confident doing IC - in and outside of home

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A place where you feel comfortable, such as your home, is suitable for doing IC. If needed, it may help to map out your neighborhood and other places you frequent in order to be able to plan where you can do IC comfortably. There are three things that determine whether a place is suitable for doing intermittent catheterization:

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Privacy

To have privacy when doing IC is really important. Find out where there are restrooms that give you the privacy you need. Plan your day so you can visit the restroom at the needed time, according to your routine.

Cleanliness

When IC is performed, there is always a risk of infection, but your own bacteria is rarely the main reason for getting urinary tract infections (UTIs). The risk actually increases when other people, like your nurse or helper, perform your IC for you.

Whatever the location or circumstance, always wash your hands immediately before touching the catheter. If you need to touch anything (wheelchair rims, crutches or a restroom door handle) after you’ve washed your hands, use hand sanitizing gel or an antiseptic wipe before touching the catheter.

If you are prone to developing UTIs, you might be concerned about doing catheterization outside your home. Just remember, it is important that you empty your bladder regularly, as urine left in the bladder for long periods of time is one of the main reasons for getting UTIs.  So, when you are out and about, even though it may be difficult to find a clean restroom, it is not a good idea to skip catheterization.

Facilities

The layout in a restroom also affects how easy it is to use. How much space you have, where the sink is placed relative to the toilet, or if you’re in a wheelchair, the width of the door and whether there is a ramp (and how steep it is).

You can use the smartphone app “WheelMate” to find the restrooms that suit you the best. 

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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