Clean Intermittent Catheterization (CIC) - NU Hospitals


What is CIC?

Clean Intermittent Catheterization (CIC)

It is the periodic insertion of a hollow tube (catheter) through the urethra into the urinary bladder, because the catheter is hollow, urine will flow through it and the bladder will empty.

Why is CIC done?

  • It prevents the bladder from over distension & exerting back pressure on the kidneys and thereby protects your kidney
  • It prevents the bladder from becoming overfilled and losing its muscle tone
  • When the bladder is overfilled, self-catheterization keeps the bladder from leaking
  • It eliminates the residual urine that remains when the bladder does not empty completely. Residual urine allows bacteria to grow, multiply sometimes leading to bacterial infections
  • Self-catheterization reduces the number of wetting incidents, freeing you for a more active, confident and healthy lifestyle

What items are required?

  • Catheter
  • Lubricant jelly (Caligno 2%)
  • Soap


  • Hand sanitizer/ cup of water, in case of unavailability of clean water and running water respectively

Genital Hygiene

  • Keep the pubic hair cut short
  • Separate labia and clean with soap and water

Hand Hygiene

  • Keep the nails cut short
  • Wash with soap and water by following all six steps of hand wash
  • Also, wash the handle of the tap so that you can close it later with your washed hands
  • After washing hands do not touch other areas like basin, clothes, wall etc

Cleaning and Care of catheter

  • The catheter should be washed immediately after use whenever feasible.
  • Wash the catheter with soap and water, and rinse thoroughly with water to remove all soap residues. Make sure that you run water through the lumen of the catheter to remove any residue of the jelly
  • Hang in a clean ventilated room or in the sun to dry
  • After drying, keep in a plastic pencil box
  • Wash the pencil box once in three days and dry
  • Make sure the catheter does not come in contact with other areas before catheterization. The catheter should be kept dry. If the catheter is dry, there is no need to repeat the washing procedure before use. Ensure that your the hands are clean.
  • A catheter can be used for continuous 15 days unless any breakage or discoloration found

Position and procedure

  • Take the most comfortable position (sitting /squatting/standing/ supine if done by others)
  • Hold the tip of the catheter in your dominant hand like a pen. The catheter can be cut short to 15cm as the urethra is shorter
  • Apply jelly with nondominant hand over a length of 2 cm from the insertion end of the catheter and wash the hands
  • Separate the labia with the nondominant hand
  • Insert the lubricated catheter into the metal opening and advance it to urine drains. If unable to identify the urethral meatus, feel with a finger and insert the catheter
  • Retain catheter in the bladder till urine empties
  • Remove the catheter intermittently till urine stops draining. Then remove gently

Additional instructions

  • Out of home or during travel, it may be difficult to get clean running water and soap during travel or in places outside the house. Under such circumstances, make sure you have adequate fresh, dry catheters, depending upon your CIC intervals.
  • Carry the catheter in different colored and labeled boxes and serially label plastic boxes, so you know the difference between fresh and used catheters.
  • After each use, put the catheter into a plastic cover and later after reaching your destination, wash and dry the catheter as instructed. If genital hygiene is clean, there is no need to wash the genital area with soap and water at each insertion.
  • If performed by the caretaker: One of the attendants, to whom the procedure is taught, should always be present with the patient to perform CIC
  • Wash your hands/gloved hands with soap and water.


  • Do not wipe your catheter with cloth/tissue to dry it
  • Do not apply hand sanitizer to clean the genital area
  • Do not postpone/ give up your CIC
  • Do not keep the wet catheter in the plastic box


your doctor in case of following reasons;

  • Unable to pass a catheter
  • Blood/pus in urine
  • High-grade fever


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