A urinary catheter is usually used when people have difficulty peeing (urinating) naturally. It can also be used to empty the bladder before or after surgery and to help perform certain tests.
Specific reasons a urinary catheter may be used include:
- to allow urine to drain if you have an obstruction in the tube that carries urine out of your bladder (urethra). For example, because of scarring or prostate enlargement
- to allow you to urinate if you have bladder weakness or nerve damage that affects your ability to pee
- to drain your bladder during childbirth if you have an epidural anaesthetic
- to drain your bladder before, during or after some types of surgery
- to deliver medicine directly into the bladder, such as during chemotherapy for bladder cancer
- as a last resort treatment for urinary incontinence when other types of treatment have been unsuccessful
Read more at Urinary catheters – NHS (www.nhs.uk).