Should I Have Suprapubic Catheter

Should I Have Suprapubic Catheter

Drawing of a suprapubic catheter

A friend has been urging me to stop intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC) and use a suprapubic catheter. Her argument being that it is not a good idea to be inserting a catheter into your bladder several times a day. She is worried about infections and damage to the bladder. She says everything is more stable and less liable to infection with a suprapubic catheter. The question to my mind is’Should I have a suprapubic catheter’

This is my response

I do not want a suprapubic catheter; I want to continue with ISC because I find it both easy and convenient. Using a suprapubic catheter there is a bag attached to one of my legs, it fills up with urine as it drains from my bladder, ughhh.

Should I have a suprapubic catheter

Would you want a bag attached to your leg that slowly fills up with urine? I could have a ‘flip flop’ switch on a suprapubic catheter that I use to drain my bladder when I go to the loo. I do not see that as a step forward in any way. My bladder could still have a spasm and urine come out of my urethra. No this is not my idea of fun.

I have had serious urinary tract infections (UTI’s)

I have had two UTI’s that were very unpleasant. One occurred in June 2014 when an indwelling catheter was inserted and it had a’flip-flop’ switch. I was then discharged from hospital. A nrse who is a friend told that an infection inevitably occurs when an indwelling catheter is managed outside of a hospital. No one told me this piece of news when I had the catheter inserted.

The other was in February 2013, I was an emergency admission to Stoke Mandeville hospital. On both occasions the last type of catheter I used was a Compact Speedicath catheter. They are very convenient but I have never been totally happy using them. I think both infections were kicked off by the compact catheter.


Recently I was speaking to a colleague who sells catheters and he volunteered the information that compact catheters are not fit for purpose.

Over 6 years of ISC

I started ISC in spring 2008. Exclude the two serious infections then I cannot remember the dates when I had a UTI, it was that long ago. It is fair to exclude the six month period after I started ISC, everyone picks up some sort of an infection then. I know I have had a couple but they cleared up using Trimethoprim, this antibiotic is on my prescription and I always keep a course at home.

If it works don’t fix it

I have been told to self-catheterise until I am unable to continue because I have a tremor or some other medical condition that prevents me inserting the catheter. Also a suprapubic catheter does not mean that you will never have another infection, it can happen. Damaging the lining of the bladder because of ISC; this will only occur if I push the catheter into the bladder with some considerable force. I always insert it gently and carefully.

No brainer

At the moment I can see no justifiable reason to switch from ISC to a suprapubic catheter. ISC is a very convenient way for me to empty my bladder. Much rather I didn’t have to use catheters, like I much rather I didn’t have MS. Incidentally I don’t think I will ever use another compact catheter, I do not believe they either safe or reliable.

suprapubic catheter, urinary tract infection, self catheterise, intermittent self catheterisation, insert a catheter, compact catheter

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