Intermittent Clean Self Catheterisation for Men

Intermittent Catheterisation means periodic insertion of a hollow plastic tube (a catheter) into the bladder to drain urine.

Intermittent Catheterisation must be done when the bladder is full if you are unable to pass urine, after incomplete voiding to drain residual urine in the bladder or to help keep the urethra open (to help prevent strictures).

The advantages:

  • It prevents the bladder from becoming overfilled
  • It eliminates residual urine
  • It helps to prevent bacterial growth and bladder infections
  • It gives you independence
  • It may help to prevent strictures


  • The catheter
  • Baby wipes or a wash cloth
  • Water soluble lubricant (unless you are using pre-lubricated catheters)

How to catheterise yourself, using a clean technique:

  • Assemble all the equipment needed
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Position yourself comfortably
  • Hold the penis up with one hand and wash the tip of the penis to the base with soap and water or a baby wipe. Ensure the foreskin is pulled back if you are not circumcised
  • Wash your hands again
  • Remove the catheter from its packet and lubricate the tip with lubricant
  • Use your non-dominant hand to hold your penis at an angle so the urethra is positioned in a “J” (see below diagram)
  • Use your dominant hand to insert the catheter into the tip of the penis until the urine flows (this will be approximately 15-20cm). when this happens, let your penis return to its normal position
  • Some resistance may be felt when inserting the catheter. If this happens wait momentarily, take a few deep breaths until the sphincter muscle relaxes
  • Never force the catheter
  • When the urine has stopped flowing, slowly begin to withdraw the catheter. If flow restarts, stop removing the catheter until the urine stops flowing
  • It is important that the bladder is completely empty
  • Check the colour, smell and clarity of urine and report any changes to your Doctor or Nurse.

Where to buy your equipment:

  • Lubricant can be purchased from any supermarket or chemist. You can either purchase this in a tube for multiple uses or single use sachets
  • Catheters can be purchased from the following places

In person at:

  • White Cross at 51 West Fyans Street Newtown, Phone: 5222 6666
  • Geelong Medical Supplies at 1/11 Hepner Place, North Geelong, Phone: 5272 1414

Online or over the phone:

NB depending on the type of Catheter you purchase the cost will be between $1.10 (non lubricated) $4.65 – $5.95 for pre- lubricated.