Review of Intermittent Catheterization and Current Best Practices

Diane K. Newman, MSN, ANP-BC, CRNP, FAAN, BCIA-PMDB; Margaret M. Willson, MSN, RN CWOCN


Urol Nurs. 2011;31(1) 

In This Article

Management of Neurogenic Bladder

Some form of bladder management program is necessary to initiate voiding or ensure complete emptying of the bladder. Bladder management programs may include interventions such as medications, timed voiding, indwelling urinary catheter, manual expression, urinary diversion, and intermittent catheterization.

Intermittent catheterization is one of the most effective and commonly used methods of bladder management in patients with a neurogenic bladder. Regular bladder emptying reduces intravesical bladder pressure and improves blood circulation in the bladder wall, making the bladder mucous membrane more resistant to infectious bacteria (Lapides, Diokno, Silber, & Lowe, 1972). By inserting the catheter several times during the day, episodes of bladder over distention are avoided.