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Catheter choices

Posted 21 Apr 2021 at 14:59


I've been living with prostate cancer for two years. As a result of the cancer I ended up having to have an in dwelling Foley catheter which is reasonably comfortable but does have its issues including difficulty with sex life.

I’ve recently been given the option of switching to a Suprapubic catheter and am interested in any advice or experience someone could share with me.



Posted 21 Apr 2021 at 17:35

Hi stozza, can't help you with your question. Just wondering if Intermittent Self Catheterisation is suitable. It might already have been ruled out, but if you want to know anything about it, post again and I can help. 


Posted 21 Apr 2021 at 19:55


Have you had your prostate removed or had RT and why do you need the catheter ? Are you on free drainage and how often do you get you Catheter changed. How are the changes. 

I have had a SPC for four years and had a uretheral catheter on about 12 separate occasions. They both have issues and SPC changes can vary from painless to quite painful, the pain soon goes. Bladder spasms can be uncomfortable but the right preventative meds can help. I have a very shrunken bladder and sometimes the catheter can take a few days to settle in a comfortable position. 

I don't bypass in the true sense of the word, but I do leak on occasions and always wear a pad. Some days the pad is completely dry other days only a few mls. If I get an infection the leaking can be quite bad. 

I don't think there is much difference in the frequency of infections. Clearing a blocked catheter on the odd occasion can be easier, you squeeze the bottle into the catheter and it comes out of the penis.

I have done a bit of intermittent self dilatation. I will leave Dave to go into ISC.

Thanks Chris






Edited by member 21 Apr 2021 at 22:13  | Reason: Missing word

Posted 21 Apr 2021 at 21:30


have already tried ISC but it just didn’t work for me. I was first catheterised when my prostate was so swollen and I retained urine. Unfortunately my bladder stretched as a result of the blockage and can’t fully empty by myself.


Posted 21 Apr 2021 at 21:38

Hi Chris

i was catheterised after my prostate became so swollen that it caused a blockage. I had chemo which shrunk my prostate back to its usual size and was then catheter free for about three months. I then started to get infections and it was found that the initial blockage had caused my bladder to stretch and then not empty fully, hence the infections. So I was then catheterised again. I have trialled ISC but found it just didn’t work for me.

Ive recently developed Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome and my urologist has suggested going Suprapubic may give me some relief.

Posted 21 Apr 2021 at 23:34


Given the choice between uretheral or SPC I personally prefer the SPC.  If it doesn't work out you can always go back to the uretheral catheter. I manage about 8 weeks between changes. I now have a routine that helps make the  changes pain free. I was fitted with a flipflo and leg bag at first  in an attempt to keep some bladder function, unfortunately it didn't work. It is useful to still have the flipflo , I was advised to keep the flipflo shut for an hour a day, when the valve is opened it helps push the sediment out. 

I belong to a urology and Catheter support face book site.  Alot of the posts are about uncomfortable changes.

You didn't say how often your changes are or how they go. I was asleep for all but one of my uretheral catheter insertions. The one I was awake for also included a full dilatation without any pain relief. Not in my top ten of favourite activities, but I would do it again if required. I also had my Urethra punctured by a guide wire. I woke up in recovery and had my first SPC fitted.

Any questions, just ask.

Thanks Chris



Posted 22 Apr 2021 at 10:12

Hi Chris

thanks for the info. I have my catheter changed every twelve weeks and have always been on flip flo, which has worked fine in that respect. My bladder still has some function and I still get the urge when I need to go. I usually empty my bladder about six times a day. I’m guessing with a SP I would be able to bypass and empty a lot naturally and use the SP as a means to drain off what I can’t manage myself. 

To be fair I’ve always found the catheter changes straight forward with a urethral type and I’m usually recovered quite quickly and can drive myself home.  But I do think a SP would offer me more freedom.


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