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How do you insert your own catheter?

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Quick Answer

If you are a woman inserting a catheter, hold the labia apart with one hand and slowly put the catheter into the meatus with the other hand, explains Drugs.com. Gently push the catheter approximately 3 inches into the urethra until urine starts flowing, and then push it up 1 inch more, holding it in place until the urine stops. To remove it, pinch it closed with the hand holding the labia, and gently pull it out, keeping its end up.

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Full Answer

If you are a man inserting a catheter, hold the penis straight out from your body with one hand, and slowly put the catheter into the urinary meatus with the other hand, notes Drugs.com. Gently push it out about 7 to 10 inches into the penis until urine starts to flow out. Push the catheter up 1 inch more, and hold it in place until the flow of urine stops. To remove the catheter, pinch it closed with the hand holding your penis, and gently pull the catheter out, keeping its end up to prevent dribbling of urine.

Whether you are a man or a woman inserting a catheter, it is important to wash your hands with warm water and soap before starting the procedure, get into the right position, and clean yourself with warm water, soap and a washcloth, states Drugs.com. Put water-based lubricant jelly to the first 3 inches of the catheter, for women, and 7 to 10 inches for men, to decrease discomfort during the procedure. For women to find the meatus, use a mirror.

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