Intermittent catheterization means removing urine from the bladder by placing a tube into the bladder. This is done when a child or adult is unable to empty her bladder on her own, when a child's bladder leaks urine, or when very high pressures have developed in the bladder.
When performing catheterizations, it is important to prevent urinary tract infections. Extra urine in the bladder can grow germs. Chronic infections and high bladder pressures can over time damage the kidney.
Intermittent catheterization is not a difficult procedure. You cannot hurt the bladder if you follow the directions. Almost anyone can learn the technique, even a 7- or 8-year-old child.