104 chapter 5: Taking care of your body
7. If you put the catheter in by yourself, use
a mirror to help you see where the urinary
opening is, and use your pointing (index) finger
and third finger to hold the skin around the
vagina open. The urinary opening is below the
clitoris almost at the opening to the vagina
(see page 78). After you have done this a few
times, you will know where the opening is and
you will not need to use a mirror.
8. Then, with your middle finger, touch below
your clitoris. You will feel a sort of small
dent or dimple, and right below that is
the urinary opening. Keep your middle
finger just above that spot, and with your
other hand, hold the clean catheter 4 to 5
inches from the end, touch the tip to just
below the end of your middle finger, and
gently guide the catheter into the opening
Make sure the catheter is in a
downward position so that the
urine can come out.
until urine starts to come out. Be very careful
not to touch the tip of the catheter with your fingers or hands.
You will know if the catheter goes into the vagina instead of the urinary
opening because it will go in easily, but no urine will come out. Also,
when you remove it, the catheter will have discharge (mucus from the
vagina) in it. Rinse the catheter in clean water, and try again. If you do get
a bladder or kidney infection, talk with a health worker. You may have an
infection in your vagina.
IMPORTANT To avoid infection when using a catheter, it is important
for you to be very clean, and to use only a catheter that is sterile. If it is not
possible to use a sterile catheter each time, make sure it is very clean.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007