What happens if I don’t catheterize?


Self-catheterizing is very dependent on your condition and your reason for using an intermittent catheter. There are several reasons why a healthcare professional may recommend self-catheterization. Sometimes it’s due to a physical problem. Sometimes it’s because of a problem related to brain signals, known as ‘neurogenic bladder’. Intermittent catheters are recommended to help take back control from urinary incontinence. Fundamentally, if there is something affecting how the bladder sphincter or detrusor muscle (the bladder wall) functions, your body may need a little help to drain urine.

You may find that you start to leak urine when your bladder becomes too full, or there may be more complex challenges, which require physician intervention. Choosing to not self catheterize could mean you're leaving urine in your bladder for a period of long time, which can lead to a distended bladder or a urinary tract infection.

Speak to your healthcare professional to understand the implications for you and why intermittent cathing may be the best solution. 

Learn more about some of the most common conditions that can lead to using an intermittent catheter (IC).


Adjusting to cathing can be tough. You might find yourself dealing 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. Call 1-800-422-8811 (M-F, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM ET).


catheter support




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