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Step by Step Procedure for CISC in Females

Step 1
  • Prepare equipment
  • Urinate if you can and measure the amount of urine
  • Empty the measuring container and rinse with water

Step 2

  • Wash hands with soap and water
  • Remove catheter from clean container.
  • Lubricate about 5 centimeters or 2 inches at the tip of the catheter
  • Place the catheter on a clean cloth or paper towel within reach

Step 3

  • Wash the perineum with soap and water
  • While cleaning, spread labia and lift up. Cleanse the urethral opening using downward strokes, front to back
  • Use non-scented soap or throw away wipes

Step 4

  • Stand, sit or lie down, whichever position that is best for you

  • Separate your labia
  • Gently insert the catheter in your urethra until urine begins to flow. This will be about 8 centimeters or 3 inches
  • When the urine flow, push the catheter in about 2 centimeters or 1 inch more
  • Relax and let all the urine drain from the bladder
  • When urine flow stops, gently and slowly remove the catheter. If the urine begins to flow again as you are taking out the catheter, stop and wait for the urine to flow till it stops. Then slowly pull the catheter out

Step 5

  • Use toilet paper or wipes from front to back only
  • Measure the amount of urine in the container and rinse it with water

Step 6

  • Wash your catheter with soap and water and let it air dry
  • Wash your hands


  • Catheterize regularly, every 3 to 8 hours to keep urine volumes low.
  • Do not skip a catheterization for any reason.
  • Always wash your hands before and after the procedure.
  • Fluid intake is directly related to urine output and the frequency of catheterization. Normal intake is six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day. 
  • If the catheter is accidentally dropped and cannot be washed properly, it may be wiped off to remove any possible grit and then used to catheterize.
  • It is more important to empty your bladder. 
  • You are more likely to get an infection from a full bladder than an unwashed catheter.
  • Check for any unusual odor and/or cloudy hazy urine. Be aware of any changes that need to be reported to your physician.

Call your physician if you have any of the following:
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the back
  • Cloudy urine
  • Urine with a foul odor
  • Blood in urine
  • Sudden pain or bleeding when inserting the catheter 
  • Inability to keep urine volume within recommended amount
  • Inability to urinate of presence of abdominal distention
  • Absence of urine for 6 to 8 hours
  • People with spinal cord injuries should call their doctor if they have a severe pounding headache (this may indicate unresolved autonomic dysreflexia) and immediately catheterize themselves to empty their bladder
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