As we’ve established, Paruresis is a form of social anxiety disorder and therefore the actual cure lies in the mind. This is why we’re questioning if self-catheterization should actually be a cure or simply an option to resolve extreme symptoms. So, let’s look at exactly what it is and how it can help.
What Are Catheters
Catheters are thin tubes made of highly flexible plastic or rubber which can be inserted into the urethra and pushed up to the bladder. Sounds horrible I know but actually, when you get the hang of it and with a little practice, it’s not actually that uncomfortable.
Why Catheters For Shy Bladder
Quite simply they are a virtually guaranteed way to empty the bladder if you find it impossible to pee. They are discrete, temporary, can be inserted quickly and can be used by both men and women.
What Type Of Catheter Is Used
Paruretic tend to use catheters which perform clean-intermittent-catheterization – known as CIC for short. As opposed to the Foley type catheters which have an inflatable balloon to hold them in place for a longer period of time, a CIC catheter is just a straightforward thin tube that’s intended to be inserted when needed, held in place whilst the bladder empty’s and then immediately removed.
There are different size catheters but the default diameter is 12 Fr for plastic catheters and 14 Fr for rubber. There are a few that don’t need lubrication but most will require a sterile water soluble lubricating jelly. You can buy this in small sterile sachets. Follow the instructions provided with each brand of catheter.
There are many different brands and types. They all do the same job and it’s going to be trial and error to find what you like the best. We suggest you talk to your doctor, read the reviews and some of the forums to gauge opinion before trying a few out.
Buying A Catheter For Shy Bladder
When you’ve decided on the one to go for you may find that your doctor is prepared to give you a prescription but, mostly you’ll be buying from a medical supplies store or online. They’re not difficult to find as an internet search will prove.
As for price … we’re talking about a plastic or rubber tube so they’re not expensive at all! Disposable catheters are just a few cents or pence but if you go for a reusable option it’s going to cost you more upfront but you’ll be able to use it again and again.
How To Use A Catheter
Note: Always have a doctor or nurse instruct you on catheter use before trying it yourself. If you encounter any difficulty or problems with using a catheter, see your doctor for help, as there may be a physical problem that requires medical attention.
Using a catheter should not be painful and can provide a discrete, fast and simple way of emptying the bladder whenever needed. For that reason it can be a useful back-up for anyone suffering from Shy Bladder Syndrome.
We suggest that you practice at home before starting to carry one with you. But just how much practice you need depends on how confident you are and how sensitive you are internally.
To insert a catheter:
- Wash/wipe your hands and genital area to reduce the chance of infection
- Put a large blob of sterile water soluble lubricating jelly on the end of the catheter
- Sit on or stand over the toilet (whichever you find most comfortable) and insert the catheter into the opening of the urethra (where the urine comes out) and gently push it up until it reaches the bladder
- When urine starts to flow you’ll know you’ve reached the bladder, push in a further couple of centimetres and hold it in place whilst the urine empties.
- When the urine stops flowing (it will take anywhere between a few seconds and up to a minute usually) gently remove the catheter.
- The catheter can then be washed and stored to be used again.
- Wash/wipe your hands.
And that’s all there is to it! After removal and certainly as you get used to the process, you may feel a slight burning sensation but after time you won’t notice this at all.
Catheters are easy to carry with you discretely. They’ll easily fit into a purse or pocket. Also keep a sachet of sterile lubricating jelly and a disposable hand wipe and that’s all you’ll need.
Paruresis Self-Catheterization Infection Risk
Obviously there is an infection risk but you can keep it to a minimum by following a sensible process:
- Use disinfectant wipes before insertion
- Use sterile lubricating jelly.
- Clean the catheter thoroughly between uses.
- Wear disposable sterile gloves.
- Drink plenty of fluids after using the catheter – cranberry juice is especially good.
Frequency Of Use
If you’re thinking about Paruresis self-catheterization for shy bladder we suggest you use the process as an emergency back-up and for peace of mind. Sure, you can use them more often but it’s best not to rely on them.
Does Paruresis Self-Catheterization Work
It can help with confidence because you’ll know that you have a simple and discrete way of emptying your bladder wherever you are and whoever you’re with. So you have peace of mind and a little more confidence and that can help reduce anxiety.
Is it going to cure your Paruresis though … not really we suggest. The benefit is in managing the condition rather than treating it.
IMPORTANT: Always seek medical advice before you consider self-catheterization as a treatment for Paruresis.
Read more about Paruresis Self Catheterization at the IPA website >>>.