Vicki: My routine for catheterization at home is quite simple because I always keep all my products together in my own bathroom and I know my exact steps. I go through each of those, and it doesn't take too long at all. When I go out, I do take a little handy bag with me. I can do it when I'm out. I just have to plan my day.
Where can I do IC?
A place suitable for doing intermittent catheterization is somewhere where you feel comfortable, such as your home. It might help to map out your neighborhood and other places that you often go in order to be able to plan where you can do intermittent catheterization comfortably. There are three things that determine whether a place is suitable for doing intermittent catheterization:
To have privacy when doing intermittent catheterization is really important. Find out where the bathrooms are that give you the privacy you need. And plan your day so you can visit them as needed.
When IC is performed, there is always a risk of infection, but your own bacteria are rarely the main reason for getting urinary tract infection – the risk actually increases when other people like your nurse or helper do it on you.
Whatever the location or circumstance, do not forget to wash your hands immediately before touching the catheter. If you need to touch anything (wheelchair rims, crutches, a bathroom door handle) after you’ve washed your hands, use hand sanitizing gel or an antiseptic wipe before touching the catheter.
If you often suffer from urinary tract infections (UTIs) you might be concerned about doing catheterization outside your home. Nevertheless, is important that you empty your bladder regularly, as urine left in the bladder is one of the main reasons for getting UTIs. So when you are out and about it is not a good idea to skip catheterization – even though it can be difficult to find a clean bathroom.
The layout in a bathroom also affects how easy it is to use. How much space do you have, is the sink placed separately from the toilet room or – if you’re in a wheelchair – is there a ramp (and how steep is it) or how wide is the door?
You can use the smartphone app 'WheelMate' to find the bathrooms that suit you the best.