Before the bedroom, the bathroom…

It’s good to keep your partner loosely informed about your ‘medicalness’ in advance of any ‘bedroomness’. Then again, information and guesswork can cause uncertainty – so I’d be ready for a bit of handholding: being upfront, mature and reassuring. You don’t have a problem with it, so why should they? (Alright, maybe you do have a problem with it – but there’s a time and a place for problems.) Me? I make a joke of it. I’ve got the odd scar. Yeah, I took on both sharks at once, what of it? And I was in ‘Nam – did I mention that?

A bit of self-preparation is key too. If you’re not at your place, make sure you’ve got all that you need – any caths, any other bits and pieces you need for either the bathroom or the bedroom. Preparation might be the enemy of spontaneity… but you know that bit in films where the woman goes into the bathroom to ‘slip into something more comfortable’? Well what the movies never revealed is that that’s when all the preparation happens, for all couples. Films cover it up, but that’s the bit where last minute panicking, preening, pep talks and popping on/in of contraception takes place… and where catheter-users and regular urinators alike might need a pre-match pee.

Let’s be honest: catheters, stomas etc. do not make one feel sexy. ‘Apparatus’ is only in fashion when of the Fifty Shades variety. But sex and sexiness are two different things, so I wouldn’t let the latter dictate the former. No, catheters were not designed to be sexy. But they are now being designed to be discrete, to make cathing no more distracting than a standard regular bladder-empty.

For some of us, contraception might need alternates, or different positions are worth considering. Your condition might rule some out. And that’s fine. So what if you can’t manage The Yogic Jackdaw…go with whatever works for you.

The opinions expressed here are of a personal and anecdotal nature, and are in no way a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your doctor or nurse if you have any questions.

Adjusting to cathing can be tough, with a range of practical, physical and emotional challenges. You don’t have to figure it out alone. Call and talk to a member of the me+ support team today, on 1800-335-276 (AU) or 0-800-441-763(NZ).