There is an acclamation period when first initiating an intermittent self-catheterization, or “cathing” protocol. This time frame can vary for each person from a few days to a few weeks or possibly longer.
The average time it takes for a person with full urethral sensitivity to “desensitize” to cathing is approximately 3-5 days. 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.
A child can most often experience burning, stinging, or acute irritation as the urethra becomes used to the friction and movement of the catheter.
To minimize this risk, always use plenty of lubrication or a pre-lubricated, hydrophilic catheter to reduce friction and side effects of self-cathing.
It is also important to speak with your doctor about a self-catheterization routine that best meets your needs and approach to cathing should be determined. This routine should include knowing on average, how many times a day you’ll need to self-cath and what products are right for you. Don’t ignore symptoms and always speak with your healthcare professional if you are having complications or think you have an infection.