What is it?
Intermittent self-catheterisation or ISC (also called clean intermittent self-catheterisation) is used to treat bladders that don’t empty fully and works by passing a catheter (a small, soft, lubricated tube) through your urethra (the ‘straw like’ tube from which urine flows out of the body) to help completely empty your bladder.
By emptying your bladder completely, you stop a build-up of old urine which is a major cause of urine infections. For some people this could also result in high pressure to the kidneys which can cause problems.
ISC can be an option on a long-term basis in patients with neurological conditions such as MS that affect bladder nerve supply. If ISC isn’t an option for you, there are other types of catheters used to drain your bladder which are permanently attached to your body. These are known as indwelling and supra-pubic catheters.
Benefits of intermittent catheterisation over permanent catheters
- Less likely to get urine infections1
Less barriers to intimacy2
Less likely to cause trauma to your bladder, urethra, penis, or vagina3
Not permanently attached to your body