Fear of a catheter putting me off having an epidural - am I being ridiculous?

(56 Posts)
Pinkflipflop Tue 11-Dec-12 20:38:38

I don't really know what a catheter is but it sounds horrific. I feel that it must surely sting and weigh you down, plus wont everyone be able to see my wee? blush

Anyway I'm terrified of having a catheter put in, so that means I can't have an epidural, doesn't it?

Am I being ridiculous? Should it be enough to put me off?

I due early in February so need to start thinking seriously about my option.

Any advice greatly appreciated!

mrscrimbobash Tue 11-Dec-12 20:42:17

I think people seeing you wee will be the least of your worries.

You don't feel anything with a catheter being put in, I'm no nurse but if I remember correctly it was put in post-epidural anyway so you'd be mostly numb anyway.

If you're happy enough to have a needle stuck in your spine for the epidural then the catheter is nothing to worry about at all.

girliefriend Tue 11-Dec-12 20:42:41

I had a catheter put in but that was because I had an emcs, not sure if you have an epidural you have one automatically? Infact I wouldn't have thought so as they would rather get in the way of pushing a baby out wouldn't they?! confused

sorry not helpful!!

However I can say that the catheter was not a big deal for me, obv didn't feel it going in (as had a spinal block) and it came out pretty quickly the following day.

I don't know about the epidural side of it but having a catheter is fine and nowhere near as horrific as you are imagining.

Mine din't sting or weigh me down, in fact I barely even noticed it. I slept comfortably (although that may have been the morphine grin), and it wasn't uncomfortable when they took it out either.

TheOldestCat Tue 11-Dec-12 20:44:38

I didn't have an epidural, but I did have a catheter put in as I was unable to pass urine. It really wasn't bad - I hardly remember it - it certainly wasn't painful - and I was 'only' on gas and air.

tasmaniandevilchaser Tue 11-Dec-12 20:44:58

Hi, I was never very keen on the idea of a catheter, so I can understand where you're coming from. But, I had a catheter and really they just popped it in, I didn't feel it as The epidural numbed that area. Tbh, it was the least of my thoughts at the time! I was induced wih the drip and I couldn't have coped without an epidural. Don't know if a catheter is compulsory with an epidural, I didn't have one for ages, I remember going back and forth to the loo. My only advice would be to be flexible, you can't always control what happens unfortunately, otherwise I would have ordered a labour where you sneeze and the baby pops out!

MerryMarigold Tue 11-Dec-12 20:45:16

I loved having a catheter. After getting up to go to the loo every 2 minutes (it felt like) when heavily pregnant, I could laze in bed just gazing at my baby and not worrying about heaving myself off to the loo. Loved it. And no, it didn't hurt.

Pleasenomorepeppa Tue 11-Dec-12 20:45:53

I had an epidural but no catheter smile.

PMMummy Tue 11-Dec-12 20:47:05

I had a catheter after an epidural due to also have an episiotomy - think this is the reason you're given them. I didn't feel anything when they put it in and yes it was a bit of a pest when walking around to take it with you. BUT when sat in pain it did its job and once they removed it I soooo wanted it back - weeing over stitches is far far worse !!!

AfterEightMintyy Tue 11-Dec-12 20:47:19

You will not feel a thing. NOT a THING. Honestly, not one tiny little iota of a jot of a nanosphere of a thing.

goralka Tue 11-Dec-12 20:47:19

I had an epidural and have no memory of a catheter.....I don't think you would feel it anyway.

OddBoots Tue 11-Dec-12 20:47:46

I had an epidural but no catheter, I did need to use a bedpan though.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Tue 11-Dec-12 20:50:08

I really am phobic of all things attached to me (the epidural, the drip, everything else that happened..) and to be honest the catheter was least of my worries simply as you can't really see it (canula though freaked me so I hid that under a sheet!).

They put it in when the epidural is already in so you honestly don't feel a thing. When its in and you're awake you are aware of the tube touching your leg if you move your leg. I desperately wanted it out as I don't like being attached to things but I wasn't actually aware of it. I was terrified of it coming out and it wasn't at all painful. Sort of aware of the sensation (bit like you're aware of doing a poo, but it doesn't hurt. Not the feeling but a simple awareness of movement.)

Honestly - I'm a complete phobe so would be honest with you. That bit is fine!

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Tue 11-Dec-12 20:50:16

I had an epidural and no catheter.

MoaningMingeWhimpersAgain Tue 11-Dec-12 20:50:26

If it helps, OP, I hated the idea of a catheter. I'm a nurse and have put in and removed a million of them and didn't fancy one much TBH.

But, they generally put it in after you had the epidural, so you feel nothing at all. Plus they use a lubricant with local anaesthetic in it generally.

I had one twice, during/after sections - and it was fine . Doesn't hurt coming out either, although it does very very odd indeed.

And you won't usually be able to walk in the first few hours after an epidural, so getting up for a wee isn't needed, you can stay resting and sniffing staring at your lovely new baby.

Yika Tue 11-Dec-12 20:51:22

I didn't have a catheter when I had my epidural, never heard of anyone who has. My epidural was put in some time in the wee hours (no pun intended); I then had a nice little snooze, was woken at around 6 I think to get ready to pop the baby out, had baby at 7:50, ceased epidural top up, recovered feeling. Wouldn't have needed a catheter during that time. The anaesthetists at my hospital give regular talks about epidurals to expectant parents; I never heard catheters mentioned.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 11-Dec-12 20:53:25

If that's policy at your hospital just tell them you decline consent for one and will use a bed pan instead. I'd be surprised if they do use one for epidurals due to the risk of introducing infection. A bed pan is far less risky in that respect. Most hospitals are now making staff think about whether a catheter is really needed or not to try and minimise use.

GoldenGreen Tue 11-Dec-12 20:56:01

I was terrified of having one (and scared of having a canula, too!) and gave birth without an epidural both times.

In the event, I had to have a catheter when I haemorrhaged after giving birth to dd and it did sting a little going in but nothing too bad. Didn't hurt at all coming out.

fishcalledwonder Tue 11-Dec-12 20:57:46

I had an epidural and no catheter too. smile

Pinkflipflop Tue 11-Dec-12 21:00:18

I'm so glad I posted this question! Tbh I felt a bit silly even admitting this on here, so you lot have made me feel lots better.

emsyj Tue 11-Dec-12 21:01:32

I had crash emcs with general anaesthetic and they put a catheter in with no anaesthetic etc whilst they were prepping me - I didn't have any pain relief other than gas & air before they wheeled me into theatre. Like you, I was terrified of the idea of a catheter but it was fine, didn't hurt going in and didn't hurt coming out.

I was actually more relieved about the super emergency-ness resulting in no epidural/spinal block! grin Nothing would scare me more than the prospect of a needle in the spine!

MrsApplepants Tue 11-Dec-12 21:04:38

I had an epidural, no catheter though

Giddypants Tue 11-Dec-12 21:05:21

Honestly it's not a big deal, I had a GA and they put a catheter in when I was asleep, so no idea about it going in, but was fine when it came out, I'm prone to water infections and I didn't get one with that, which I was very impressed with.
Just don't do what I did, just getting mobile again, forgot I had it in, and left it attached to the bed and walked off! Not far I may add!
Having a planned c section this time (if all goes to plan) and I'm honestly more worried about the 10cm needled poking around my spine than anything else!

iwillsleepagainsomeday Tue 11-Dec-12 21:09:04

sorry to disappoint but after birth I had to have a catether because my DD1 's head was so huge she messed up my bladder on passing through. (no epidural). I basically couldn't wee, or better, FEEL THE URGE to wee for at least a week so I had to have a catether. they had to put it in and out for a couple of times to see if things were getting better, which they didn't, and I have to say that the pain of putting the thing in depended largely on who did it. I had a great (male) midwife who was very delicate, I had also a terrible midwife who made me scream from pain and stinging.

cheekyginger Tue 11-Dec-12 21:09:45

I had an episiotomy so ended up with a catheter.

They put it in when i was awake didnt feel a thing.

I have to say it was brilliant. Didint have to get up to pee!!!! Although i did do what giddypants done and walked away without picking my bag up!!

Have to say you wont give a flying feck that people can see your pee after you've had your baby!!!

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