All You Want to Know About Urinary Catheterization

What is Catheterization?

Catheterization is the process to drain the fluid and urine from the bladder through a small tube (catheter) inserted into it. A catheter is the hollow tube comes in various types like rubber, plastic, silicone and latex.


The process is used when the bladder is not able to empty itself. The catheter linked to the bladder to make the urine flow into the drainage bag. It may be removed after the hours or days or may be kept for a long type, depending on the person’s condition. Urinary Catheterization is useful for the patients who have difficulty in urination or can’t pass it naturally. Besides, it is helpful when certain surgeries require the bladder empty before or after the treatment.

A flexible catheter helps physician access to the patient’s bladder and its fluids so that they can drain it for decompressing. On the other hand, a catheter can be used to support examination of the GU bleeding. However, a physician can consult the urology department when the insertion is complicated, in cases like urethral stricture and prostatic hypertrophy.

Uses of Urinary Catheters:

It is useful in several conditions:

  • If a patient having difficulty in urination because of the blockage in the tube, which is responsible for delivering the urine out of the bladder.
  • To help you urinate if your bladder is weak or you have an issue in nerve.
  • Also useful to draining the bladder during childbirth when you’re given an epidural anesthetic.
  • Useful in several surgeries which require an empty bladder, like womb operation, bowels, and ovaries.
  • To transport the medication directly into the bladder (in case of chemotherapy for bladder cancer.)
  • To treat urinary incontinence when other treatments fail.


  • Intermittent catheters

It is used for short-term and removed once the bladder is drained out.

  • Indwelling catheters

Indwelling catheters are placed for a long period and positioned by a water-filled balloon in the bladder. It is convenient as a patient doesn’t require repeating inserts with it. But they can cause infections when being used for a long time.

Inserting either type of catheter can be painful, for which, a physician can use an anesthetic gel to ease the pain and discomfort. In starting, it causes some discomfort, but most people with a long-term catheter get used to this.

Risks Associated With Catheterization?

Catheterization may cause infections in bladder and urethra, known as UTI, which is diagnosed with antibiotics. In some cases, it is found responsible for the bladder pain, blockages, and damage to the urethra.


If you are on the long-term urinary catheter, you must follow the clinical guidelines at home. The doctor’s guidelines may include the use new catheters, prevention of infections, and identifying the symptoms of potential problems. However, you can live a normal life even with a catheter and a bag hidden under your outfits and can perform the normal activities.

  • Drink plenty of water to keep your urine clean.
  • Empty the bag and clean it with a solution of vinegar and water by using squirt bottle