Intermittent Self Catheterisation for Females

Self catheterisation is a simple procedure where you pass a catheter regularly into the bladder to assist in the drainage of urine. It is usually required when a woman cannot pass urine normally or is in urinary retention (unable to pass urine at all).


  • Nelaton catheter – female.

  • Lubricant – sterile lubricant gel.

  • Container for collection of urine (if toilet not available).

  • Clean container for storing clean catheter.

  • Soap and water.

How to do it

  • Ensure hand and labia are clean.

  • Retract the labia.

  • Place a small amount of lubricating gel on the tip of the catheter.

  • Assume a comfortable position.

  • Slowly and gently pass catheter through the urethral meatus (opening), advancing slowly until urine starts to flow.

  • You will usually feel a “clamping” sensation as you pass the urinary sphincter.

  • Drain until no more urine flows.

  • If you happen to miss the urethra a place the catheter in the vagina – simply rinse the catheter and try again.

This procedure needs to be performed a number of times each day – you should discuss the required number with your doctor or nurse.

Care of Catheters

  • Nelaton catheters can be re-used for up to one week, if you have made the decision to reuse the catheter.

  • After use, rinse catheter under cold, running water.

  • Then wash in warm, soapy water. Rinse well, shaking to dry well.

  • Store catheter in a clean container in refrigerator (clean container between each catheter use).

  • Discard catheter if you develop a urinary infection on the first and last day you complete a course of antibiotics.