Why It’s Important to Have a Self-Catheterisation Daily Schedule

Following a daily schedule for your intermittent self-catheterisation is important for several reasons. Sticking to a routine can help you prevent accidents and avoid health risks.


Learn about the importance of a self-catheterisation schedule.

Once you can perform intermittent catheterisation on your own, you’ll be focused on getting the process down so you can perform it trouble-free at home. Your healthcare team likely guided you through the steps. One aspect that they probably covered was the importance of staying on a catheterisation daily schedule, and how this can have a positive impact on your quality of life.

Three reasons to stick to a catheterisation daily schedule

It may be challenging to stay on a strict regimen, especially if intermittent catheterisation is new to you. However, knowledge is power. Below are three reasons why staying on your self-catheterisation schedule every day is a good idea.

  1. Avoid accidents. You need to use an intermittent catheter for a medical reason — a spinal cord injury, neurogenic bladder, and/or other condition — that prevents you from fully emptying your bladder naturally. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the capacity of a healthy adult bladder is about 10 to 13 ounces or 300–400 mL of urine. To limit the possibility of urinary incontinence, increased bladder pressure, and leakage, you’ll need to you empty your bladder periodically before it reaches capacity.
  2. Prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI). Another good reason to stay on a strict self-catheterisation schedule is to minimize the risk of a UTI. The use of a catheter introduces a higher risk of UTIs. If you have a spinal cord injury, a UTI is the most common urological complication. However, proper bladder management, which includes draining your bladder regularly to avoid the accumulation of bacteria, can help prevent infection.
  3. Keep your kidneys healthy. Adhering to a consistent daily self-catheterisation routine is also good for your kidneys. According to the American Urological Association, bladder volume should be kept at less than 500 milliliters (or about 2 cups) to preserve kidney function.

The right catheterisation daily schedule for you

Your healthcare team probably provided you with a recommended frequency for self-catheterisation – perhaps between 4 and 6 times a day. Of course, everyone is different, and your specific medical condition, diet, fluid intake, lifestyle, and other factors come into play when determining the ideal routine for you.

As always, follow the advice of your healthcare team. If you develop complications, such as recurring incontinence or UTIs, consult with them. They may recommend changes to your routine, such as increasing the frequency of your self-catheterisations.