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Living Life to the Full with an Indwelling Catheter.

For various reasons, some people are unable to empty their bladder by passing urine naturally. This could be due to an underlying health condition or as a result of surgery. Use of catheters allows for an independent lifestyle and can allow you to live a more active life. If used incorrectly, catheters can introduce bacteria from outside the body into the bladder, leading to urinary tract infections.

Whilst it might take some getting used to, there is no reason why you can’t do many of the things you were doing before being fitted with a catheter. If you are having issues with your catheter you should contact your healthcare professional as soon as possible. 


There is no reason why you can’t lead an active life with a urinary catheter. However some activities, such as running or walking long distances, may cause friction or discomfort. If you experience these issues, refrain from the activity until speaking to your healthcare professional about other suitable alternatives to support an active lifestyle.

Travel & Holidays.

Travel with a catheter

Whilst current Covid-19 restrictions mean the prospect of sunnier climes are out of reach. Under normal circumstances, having a catheter should not hinder your travel plans. The main consideration is to ensure you pack enough products to last you the duration of your trip. It’s also advisable to pack some supplies in your hand luggage for access throughout your journey. To help you at customs, you can obtain a certificate that explains you are carrying medical equipment for personal use. If you would like one of these, just send an email to marketing@gbhl.co.uk or contact the Nightingale Home Delivery Service on 0800 304 7434


Shower with a catheter

You can shower while having a catheter in place. It is better to have a shower rather than a bath as a bath may leave you more susceptible to infections.1  If you are using your urine bag, it must be below your bladder at all times. When washing, try using the gentlest soap you can to minimise the risk of aggravating the sensitive skin around the catheter.

Sexual Activity.

Have sex with a catheter

It is usually possible to have sex with a catheter in place.

If you are male, place the external length of the catheter along the penis and apply a condom. If your a female, use surgical tape to hold the catheter out of the way by attaching it to your abdomen.

Fluid Intake.

fluid intake with a catheter

Unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare professional, you should drink a minimum of 1.5 litres a day to keep hydrated.


For more information on caring for your catheter, including changing your drainage bag and reducing your risk of infections, you can download a foley catheter user guide here. Please note however that for any problems with your catheter we advise that you seek the help of your healthcare professional.

1 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-catheters/living-with/

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Living Life to the Full with an Indwelling Catheter.