Catheters...how to endure insertion?

Hi SD,

I am going to the urologist soon for a urodynamics test. They insert a catheter through your penis and into your bladder, whereupon they fill you up with saline and measure your bladder function as you urinate. I am not looking forward to the catheter insertion. Can anyone give me any advice on how to endure it? I know it is more uncomfortable than painful, per se, but I wonder if anyone with experience in such procedures has any helpful hints. I don’t have a high pain tolerance, and people have told me that even the big burly tough guys scream upon insertion of the catheter. I mean, unless you’re into sounding (is that the term?) nobody puts things up there that often!

Thanks,

Dave

I don’t know if it’s possible for your procedure, but you can ask for numbing medicine (lidocaine jelly) to be squirted up there first.

I’ve had a couple post-surgery, when my bladder wasn’t working properly and they needed to drain the snake manually, so to speak. In my experience it wasn’t painful. It was, however, wildly uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Honestly, it’s very much a “lie back and think of England” situation.

The good news is that once it’s in, you’re golden.

Heh.

It doesn’t really hurt so much as feel weird. I’ve never seen anyone scream or even try to involuntarily move away from the discomfort. Try to not watch and count backwards by 3 and you probably won’t even notice.

I found removal a lot worse than insertion. Make sure they use lots of lube.

I had the pleasure of catheter insertion last year, for a process similar to yours. It was extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable, but was not painful, and not nearly as bad as I’d been led to believe it would be. Since I have an extremely low pain threshold (my position on the manly toughness scale is “Sissy”), I wonder if a man who screams during insertion might have already-inflamed urethra.

What a pisser.

I’ve done dozens of catheter insertions, male and female, and no one has ever screamed. No one has ever screamed on removal, either. I’ve had a catheter or two inserted myself related to hospitalizations and surgery, it’s a bit undignified and an unusual sensation more than anything.

My advice: take a few deep breaths and relax.

It’s been a little while but I think I can approximate the sound I made when they inserted the thing. I went like this:

“Nngggghhhhawwwthhphhhppppththppbththhppnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooothankyou.”

I’d say “be in unmedicated transitional back labor with a stuck baby; you won’t care WHAT they do to you”, but since you’re a guy, I guess I can’t help.

The times I’ve had it done, it was done while I was unconscious. Removal I was so eager to get the damn thing out that I didn’t really care.

Hubby has had the procedure you’re describing among others involving kidney stones. Based on his experience lube, or the numbing gel help. Based on his expression, I’d say the whole thing feels “weird” and not in a good way.

So very endurable, but definitely strange.

Came back to add this: some time after my catheter experience, I was talking with one of the nurses about how unpleasant but not painful it was, and she agreed (apparently it’s “the same, only different” for women); I cracked up when she said “It doesn’t really hurt, but it’s so wrong on so many levels.”

I was recently treated for a kidney stone, and as part of the procedure had a catheter inserted while under a general anesthetic. So I felt no pain when it was inserted, but it was somewhat painful for the day or so that it remained in my urethra – I had to be very careful while moving around in bed, including while I was trying to sleep.

On the other hand, when it was removed I felt no pain, and only relief that it had been removed.

Um, I hate to tell you this but a urodynamics test involves more than one catheter. :eek:

I’ve had a couple of catheters inserted (surgery and kidney stones).

Ask the nurse to let you know when she is starting, take a deep breath, and exhale slowly.

It’s not that bad. As others have said, undignified and uncomfortable, but not bad.

Also, don’t be alarmed if you see brownish stains. That’s Betadine, not blood.

Meh. I’m not nearly as scared of the other one. Thanks for the advice, everyone.

Don’t let them use whale bone:

:confused: Two catheters at the same time? :eek: Where does the other one go?

There are worse medical procedures. Take it like a man.

As an 8y/o boy with health issues caused by an enlarged bladder I was inserting a catheter myself twice a day. It’s hardly the end of the world and certainly not my worst medical experience.