There is an acclamation period when first initiating an intermittent self-catheterization, or “cathing” protocol. This timeframe can vary for each person from a few days to a few weeks or possibly longer. In my experience, the average time it takes for a person with full urethral sensitivity to “desensitize” to cathing is approximately 3-5 days. A child can most often experience burning, stinging, or acute irritation as the urethra becomes used to the friction and movement of the catheter. Sometimes there can be a little blood or even a lot of blood, if the urethra tears or a false pass is created, but this is rare. To minimize this risk, always use plenty of lubrication or a pre lubricated, hydrophilic catheter to reduce friction and side effects of self cathing.
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