My experience with Intermittent Self-Catheterisation (ISC)

As an addition to Andrews post I usually put my catheter in my sock covered by my trousers and as an additional support to keep the catheter secure I wear a sock suspender.

#2730 by Anonymous

I felt inspired through these messages to deal with my 50 year old issue and went to a private urologist who agreed I should learn ISC intermittent self catheterisation.

The process from start to finish took around 4 weeks, two weeks waiting to see the Urologost, one week to see the nurse and one week to try out the process at home. I received my box of catheters yesterday and it has made a tremendous difference to my lifestyle already and given me huge confidence knowing I can go out, take the train or a flight.

Thank you very much to the guys running this site and all the contributors.

#2811 by ShyRob

Hi everyone, it’s the original poster and thought I’d update anyone in case they read this potentially far into the future.

I’m still extremely happy with my choice to start intermittent catheterisation and still to this day I have not had one UTI which is crazy as Paruresis meant I got frequent UTIs through holding urine inside too long.

The amount of confidence these pen sized packages have given me is the main benefit. I’ve kept a log of daily usage at home, at work, on nights out and on flights/trains etc and I’ve essentially gone from a near 0% success rate urinating outside of my home, to a 100% success rate using catheters, and now I’m at around a 90% success rate outside my home not using catheters. We all know that Paruresis is essentially a mental condition as opposed to physical and it appears the catheters have given my mind the break it needed to let my muscles be able to relax and allow me to urinate normally.

I always have the pen types with me as I can fit one in my Jean pocket without anyone seeing anything, I would then replace that one discretely from my rucksack when nobody was watching - it’s as easy as reaching into my rucksack for a drink or any other item, the catheter sits nicely in my sleeve and I can slip it into my pocket.

When I’ve had to use them at home (if I have guests over it may trigger a lock up) I will use the Coloplast pocket size catheter which is a much larger package (hidden in my bathroom cabinets) but much easier to use, are slightly cleaner (although I’ve had no issue with either) and helps keep my stock of my preferred caths from dwindling.

I am fully on an NHS long term prescription where I can log onto the NHS app and reorder 90 of each cath without contacting anyone, I then get a link sent to me from Coloplast to pay my £10 odd prescription charge for the 180 catheters (God bless the NHS, these would cost £100s if bought privately)!

I’ve managed to keep everything discreet and nobody knows about my situation unless I’ve told them.

I’ve essentially gone from rock bottom with frequent suicidal thoughts to absolutely loving my life and doing everything I couldn’t do before - I’m going to zoos, flying most weekends, taking trains all over the place, going on walking tours, theme park trips, hikes (I can even use them outside hiding behind a bush like any other man would!) and much more.

I would recommend to anyone the method I’ve used to live with and get close to beating this condition. Again, should you wish to contact me directly I’m happy for you to post here and via the UKPT staff we can get our email addresses swapped.

#3251 by ISC99


Andrew here from the UKPT. I have been contacted by someone who would like to take you up on your offer to be contacted. I have his email address. If you could email me on the support email address, I can then give you each others. That way it is private to you two.



#3465 by andrew

Hi ,
I've decided to "relearn" using a cath for various reasons. I used one 20 years ago due to an impending long haul flight and found the process ok and in fact never had to use one in extremis as it gave me confidence.

But having revisited this, this time I found the catheter stings quite a bit on the way in, and so far I've given up going further down. I wondered if anyone had thoughts on this? My theory is that its the saline solution plus my age, but it certainly doesnt encourage me to relearn this technique again.

Thoughts welcome folks

#3596 by ricky230

Hi, your post here has really inspired me to go private. I had a similar experience to you, where by GP laughed and said that he has never heard of paruresis before. I would love to speak to you further, if you could contact me or in some way receive my email address? Thanks so much!

#3673 by rielle2000
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