When You Have Problems Passing Stool or Urine 373
How to put in a catheter
1. Wash the catheter well with clean, warm water and
mild soap. Rinse well with clean, warm water.
2. Wash well with mild soap and clean water the skin around the
genitals. Take care to clean the area where urine (pee) comes out
and the folds of skin around it (the vulva). If you do not have mild
soap, use only clean water. Strong soap can harm your skin.
3. Wash your hands. After washing, only touch things that are sterile or very clean.
4. Sit where your genitals are not touching anything, like
on the front of a chair or on a clean toilet seat. If you sit
on the ground or another solid surface, put clean
cloths under and around the genitals.
5. Wash your hands again with alcohol or with mild
soap and clean water, or put on sterile gloves.
6. Cover the catheter with a sterile lubricant (slippery cream) that
dissolves in water (not oil or petroleum gel). It helps to protect
the soft skin of the genitals and urine tube (urethra). If you do
not have any lubricant, make sure the catheter is still wet from
the boiled water, and be extra gentle when you put it in.
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. After you have done this a few
times, you will be able to feel 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
on that spot, and with your other hand, hold the clean
catheter 4 to 5 inches from the end, touch the tip to the
end of your middle finger, and gently guide the catheter
into the opening until urine starts to come out.
Make sure the catheter is in
a downward position so that
the urine can come out.
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 very clean water, and try again.
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 very clean (see page 525). If you do get
a bladder or kidney infection, talk with a health worker.You may have an infection in
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012