Rather than being inserted through your urethra, the catheter is inserted through a hole in your tummy (abdomen) and then directly into your bladder. This procedure can be done under general anaesthetic, epidural anaesthetic or local anaesthetic.
Urine is drained through a tube connected to a collection bag, which can either be strapped to the inside of your leg or attached to a stand on the floor.
The sterile catheter is usually pre-lubricated, to reduce the risk of any discomfort when you insert it.
You should be taught how to insert the catheter yourself. It’s usually inserted into your bladder through the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your body).
Indwelling urinary catheters
In most cases, intermittent urinary catheters are recommended. These catheters are inserted several times a day, for just long enough to drain your bladder, and then removed.
The catheter is held in the bladder by a water-filled balloon, which prevents it falling out. These types of catheters are often known as Foley catheters.
One end of the catheter is either left open-ended, to allow drainage into a toilet, or attached to a bag to collect the urine. The other end is guided through your urethra until it enters your bladder and urine starts to flow.
A suprapubic catheter is a type of catheter that is left in place.
This type of catheter is usually changed every 4 to 12 weeks.
You can clean your catheter while you’re in the shower.
You may see some blood or urine around where the catheter enters your body. This may happen when you’re walking or having a bowel movement (pooping). This is normal, as long as there’s urine draining into the drainage bag. If you don’t have urine draining into the drainage bag, call your healthcare provider.
Cleaning Your Catheter
This information will help you care for your urinary (Foley) catheter while you’re at home.
Changing Your Drainage Bag
To take care of your catheter, you’ll need to do the following: