catheter is a flexible plastic tube used to drain
urine from your bladder when you cannot urinate by yourself. A doctor will
place the catheter into the bladder by inserting it through the urethra, the
opening that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When
the catheter is in the bladder, a small balloon is inflated to keep the
catheter in place. The catheter allows urine to drain from the bladder into a
bag that is usually attached to the thigh. Indwelling urinary catheters can be used in both men and women.
A catheter may be
needed because of certain medical conditions, such as an enlarged prostate, the
inability to control the release of urine, or after surgery on the pelvis or
urinary tract. Urinary catheters are also used when the lower part of the body
Gotta go all the time? The technical name for your problem is frequent urination. In most people the bladder is able to store urine until it is convenient to go to the toilet, typically four to eight times a day. Needing to go more than eight times a day or waking up in the night to go to the bathroom could mean you're drinking too much and/or too close to bedtime. Or it could signal a health problem.
You may have trouble urinating. If this
happens, try sitting in a few inches of warm water (sitz bath).
This may help you relax. If you feel the urge, it may be easier to urinate
while you are still in the bath.
You may have some burning the
first few times you urinate. If the burning lasts longer, it may be a sign of
Drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is
light yellow or clear like water. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease
and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount
of fluids you drink.
Wear loose cotton underwear if you have
irritation or a rash from your catheter.
Also, it is important to know when you are having a
problem and when to call your doctor. After catheter removal, call your doctor
You do not urinate within 8 hours after the
catheter is taken out.
You have a feeling of fullness or pain in
your bladder or belly.
You have signs of a urinary infection. For
You have blood or pus in your
You have pain in your back just below your rib cage. This
is called flank pain.
You have a fever, chills, or body aches.
It hurts to urinate.
You have groin or belly
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology
March 5, 2012
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this