What happens if I have inserted the catheter but nothing is coming out?

If you've inserted your intermittent catheter and urine does not come out there are a few possibilities as to why.

  • Make sure you've inserted the intermittent catheter far enough to reach your bladder. At least one of the eyelet holes at the end of the catheter should be inside the bladder. Slowly and smoothly push the catheter in a little further, an inch or 2-3 centimetres at a time, until you see urine flowing out.
  • You may be using the incorrect catheter length. Talk with your doctor to make sure you're using the right size catheter for you and your body to properly empty your bladder. Here are some tips to help with knowing what size catheter may be right for you.
    Male catheter users should feel an increase in pressure required as the catheter passes the prostate and sphincter.
  • In rare cases there may be a blockage of the catheter eyelets. Remove the catheter and check there is nothing to prevent urine flowing through the catheter. Then take a new catheter and start the process again to prevent infection.

If you continue to experience difficulty draining your bladder while using an intermittent catheter, please contact your healthcare provider immediately.

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