Any advice on catheterization?

I am seeing my neuro on the 16th. I will probably have to change meds, as Tecfidera is not agreeing with me. I am having LOTS of trouble emptying my bladder, as in sitting there for fifteen minutes trying. 😰 I am thinking a catheter may be in my future. Anyone out there experienced this? How bad is using a cath? Or maybe it is no big deal. Thank you all for any advice. Love to all.

18 Replies

  • Amore55

    Identifying the cause (neurogenic bladder, pelvic floor dysfunction vs anatomical obstruction etc even from constipation or a prolapse) is important.

    Assuring you aren't taking meds that cause u-retention too.

    There are meds, Interstim, intermittent self cath that all can help depending on cause but should be addressed as can cause UTIs

    Hope you can get some answers/relief.

  • Thanks Liz! I always appreciate your comments. You are truly a wealth of knowledge.

  • I pray your neuro is able to address your bladder issues on Tuesday, Amore55. Please let us know how it goes. 💕

  • I'm sorry you're having this problem. That must be so uncomfortable.

    I'll be praying for a clear direction when you see your doctor. Keep us in the loop.


  • I am a male 59 years young [as my grandfather used to say]. I just started intermittent self-cathing about 2 weeks ago for the same reasons as you describe. However, as erash mentions above there can be many reasons why your bladder is not emptying properly [this bold just started happening, please ignore]. Men and women are much different when it comes to cathing. For me it was my worse fears. I took a rather unorthodox approach to diminish those fears. I will tell you, it most definitely was not as bad as I thought. If you do need to use one, I can give you some tips, so please feel free to pm me. Some simple points first, your neurologist should refer you to a Urologist. Even then it was almost a year after that my Urologist recommended me to use a catheter. I was first put on meds that initially worked. As many men who are my age, I too have an enlarged prostate. Don't let the fear take hold of you. Things have always seemed to work out for my best, as they can for your as well.

  • It was hard for me to learn it. Finally, nurse told me to try it lying down. My aide holds mirror and a bright light for me. Then I can do it. Catheter attaches to collection bag.

  • If intermittent cathing does end up being in the future, try Coloplast speed cath's. They are small and easy to carry with you. At least it's what I would use if it was me. They make them for men and women, various sizes.

    Crossing my fingers and saying a prayer it's something minor that maybe a pill can help with!🙏🏼

  • Amore55 Sorry to hear about this latest problem you are experiencing. Hard to know for sure if it is the tecfidera or your ms causing new issues? Please ask for a referral to a urologist. I saw one when felt like having bladder spasms and other issues. Had a thorough assessment, uro dynamic testing, etc and then did a round of Pelvic floor PT. I was surprised at how much that helped. Hope your neuro appt goes well.

  • I had this problem and my doctor referred me to a urologist. The urologist put me on flowmax. It's worked wonders! Now, flowmax is supposed to be for males. However, I am female and promise it works!

  • It's good to hear it works for some, my Urologist put me on it and it didn't work at all. I now cath and feel so much better. Elle61

  • Amore55 It's not so bad , I've been doing it for a couple of years now. A Urologist needs to do the uro-dynamics first to rule out other issues. I wish I had started earlier, but the Doc put me on Flomax , it didn't work at all , I got a new Urologist when I moved and now I feel so much better catheterizing. Elle61

  • My husband uses cath and we go to dr monthly to have it changed. UTI s are our only problem

  • This might be useful. I hope it is.


    From: Multiple Sclerosis News Today <>


    Subject: [New post] New Urinary Catheter, Designed by Quadriplegic, Approved by FDA

    Post : New Urinary Catheter, Designed by Quadriplegic, Approved by FDA

    URL : multiplesclerosisnewstoday....

    Posted : October 11, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Author : Carolina Henriques

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for marketing Adapta Medical ( ) ?s PerfIC Cath ( ) , an intermittent and easy-to-use urinary catheter that was designed for patients with limited dexterity by a doctor who is also a quadriplegic.

    Urinary tract symptoms can trouble people with multiple sclerosis (MS) ( multiplesclerosisnewstoday.... ) . In fact, according to the National MS Society ( ) , bladder dysfunction affects at least 80% of people with MS, due to MS lesions that block or delay the transmission of nerve signals in areas of the central nervous system (CNS) that control the bladder and urinary sphincters.

    PerfIC Cath, designed by J. Glen House, MD, is a sterile catheter that:

    * Comes in a user-friendly package, with a gripping device and protective sheath that makes its use easy, even for patients with limitations in dexterity

    * A hydrophilic coating to ensure even and complete catheter lubrication, and easy passage into the bladder

    * An introducer tip that bypasses high levels of bacteria and reduces the risk of infection

    "The PerfIC Cath catheter represents a significant advancement in intermittent catheter technology and is extremely easy to use, even with limited dexterity," House, who is CEO of Adapta and president of Colorado Rehabilitation Physicians, said in a press release ( ) . "It is designed for those with a spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, stroke, spina bifida or other conditions that require a catheter, but can be used easily by those with normal hand dexterity too. It is created for users by users."

    Adapta?s product line includes both PerfIC Cath and the mPower Cath series, with hydrophilic and gel lubricants for straight and coude-tipped catheters. PerfIC Cath catheters have an attached urine collection bag, whereas the mPower Cath urine collection bag is not attached.

    According to House, as related on the company's website ( ) , "I?m a C7 quadriplegic with limited finger dexterity who cannot perform intermittent self-catheterization with the current products on the market. I?m also a practicing physician, with many patients who share my limitation and frustration. The design of the PerfIC Cath? was the result of over 10 years of research and development, along with an enormous amount of user feedback from patients and friends about what they most needed in a product we all depend on daily."

    A spastic (overactive) bladder that is unable to hold a normal urine flow or a bladder that can?t empty properly can lead to symptoms like frequency/urgency of urination, hesitancy in starting urination, frequent night urination, and incontinence.

  • Hi, I see you received very good advice, the right ones and it will be comfortable for you if the cause is neurogenic or related to MS. But I am wondering when you mentioned that you have been sitting for over 15 minutes and nothing happened. Do you know that our toilet is the most no anatomic position for empty either one front or back? the toilet closes all the muscles and makes more difficult. Would you try the ancient position being in a squad position in your bath tub or shower holding your knee only without sitting, without touching the ground? Like having a baby? or if you are in the wood and need to go pee. Besides that you should open some water flow and look the water going down. I learned years ago that this facilitated all your muscles relaxation and all your pelvis muscles will be open without obstruction from the regular sitting position. It is the most natural way to our body to eliminate waste. Would you try?

  • Amore55 Yes, as Miriade says above, they have something called the squatty potty you can purchase that puts you in the proper position which may help you go. I haven't tried it but my uro PT told me about it.

  • I hope perhaps there's another resolve for you. However, should it come to catheterization, it's not so bad.

    I have been using an in/out cath to empty 100% of the time for about 8 or 9 years now. It's difficult in the beginning, but like all things in life, we adjust and do what we have to do.

    I agree with those above. Get the proper testing to be sure of what you're dealing with. If Caths are in your future, good clean technique is the most important factor IMO.

  • Hi, I have been self cathing now for over 10 years. When I first started having problems, they put me on flomax, that didn't work. they they tried an interstem device - that didn't work either. Finally they told me I would have to start self cathing - I went to the car after that visit and cried and cried! But, once I started doing it, it wasn't bad at all. I hadn't realized until then that I hadn't really emptied my bladder in years. It is fast easy and I have had 1 UTI in the 10 years I have been doing it.

    Just work with a good Urologist, do what they say and make sure you go in annually for your urodynamics tests - which I thought was disgusting the first time I had one but isn't so bad once you get use to it. - and always use clean catheters.

    Good luck!!

  • I've been using catheters for around 10 years & it's really not too bad. Occasionally I struggle to get them in for a few minutes but mostly they go straight in & properly empty my bladder so I can stop running to the loo only part emptying my bladder. You get used to them very quickly. Just make sure you wash your hands before you use them etc to avoid infections.

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