Intermittent Clean Self Catheterisation (ICSC)- Male

Intermittent Clean Self Catheterisation (ICSC’s) is the insertion of a hollow tube into the urethra, past the external sphincter and into the bladder. There are a number of reasons ICSC’s are performed:

  • To completely empty the bladder at regular intervals through the day
  • To reduce the risk of infections from incomplete emptying
  • To reduce/stop problems with urethral strictures
  • To keep you continent or dry
  • Following urological surgery

Equipment required

  • 1 intermittent catheter
  • wet ones/wipes
  • Lubricant – water soluble (tube or sachets)
  • Microbial hand gel (optional)
  • Bluey or hand towel (optional)
  • Toilet, container (if you are required to measure the amount) or extension tube


  1. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Set up equipment on towel or bluey and lubricate your catheter (on the tip and along the length).
  3. Position yourself – either standing or sitting on toilet and adjust your clothing.
  4. If you have foreskin, retract and wash the penis using a wet one/wipe in a downward movement from tip. You may need to use 2-3 wipes.
  5. Squeeze some lubricant onto the tip of penis.
  6. Holding penis upright, gently insert the catheter into urethra all the way to the end connection. You will notice the urine will begin to flow once the catheter is inserted into the bladder (once this happens point the penis and catheter downwards into the toilet or container)
  7. When urine stops flowing begin to slowly withdraw the catheter and stop if urine drains again. Continue this slow removal until you are out of the bladder. This allows residual urine to drain.
  8. Wash gel from penis, pull foreskin forward and dry.
  9. Measure and record amount if you are required to do this.
  10. Dispose of equipment.
  11. Wash and dry hands.

If you have difficulties inserting the nelaton catheter DO NOT FORCE IT. Please call the rooms for further advice. Further information on trouble shooting skills can be obtained from the Practice Nurse

Points to note

  • It is important you maintain an adequate fluid intake.
  • If you are catheterizing 4-6 times per day, please ensure your catheterized volumes do not exceed 400-450 mls.
  • If you are catheterizing for dilation purposes, your doctor or Practice Nurse will inform you on frequency of dilations.
  • Dispose of your catheter following each use.
  • Your catheter size should be 14 or 16FG. Your nurse will advise you which catheter is suitable for your specific needs.
  • For eligible patients, there is funding available – please discuss this further with the Practice Nurse.
  • Please see your local doctor if you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection as treatment may be required. Also discuss this with your Practice Nurse.

Signs and Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection

  • Offensive/cloudy urine
  • Presence of sediment
  • Pain in suprapubic region
  • Burning/frequency/urgency
  • Presence of blood
  • Fever/aches
  • Feeling unwell
North Eastern Urology