6 Steps to Self-Catheterization for Women

Intermittent Catheterization is an effective method to drain the urine from the bladder by using a flexible tube called a catheter. The catheter is inserted through the urethra and goes in up to the bladder until urine is released.

Let’s Get Started!

ICStep1.5Step 1

Always wash your hands with soap and water. Antiseptic wipes may be used when water and soap are unavailable. With water and soap, clean the opening to the urethra and its surroundings.


Step 2

Open the catheter’s packaging.


Step 3

With the help of a mirror (or by feel), identify your clitoris, urinary opening, and vaginal opening.  


Step 4

¬†Lubricate the tip and the first 2″ of the catheter using a water soluble lubricant (Optional for women).


Step 5

With the opposite hand, gently spread the inner labia with the other hand, hold the catheter like a pencil and insert tip of catheter into the urethra. Release the inner labia and slowly insert the catheter to the urethra for approximately 1-1.5″ deep until the urine begins to flow.


Step 6

Once bladder is completely empty, gently and slowly remove catheter from the bladder. Wipe yourself and throw away the used catheter.

Contact your primary care physician if you present any of the following symptoms: Pain or discomfort when cathing, blood in urine, nausea or vomiting, fever, an absence of urine for more then 6 hours, feeling an urgency or a frequency of urination, or inability to insert catheter through to your bladder.

Other Links:


PLEASE NOTE: Information on this website is a summary and should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information. The summary information is intended to provide a general understanding of healthcare topics. We encourage you to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. If you have any questions related to a healthcare topic discussed, please contact or visit your physician or other healthcare provider.