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!

mamalovesmojitos Tue 11-Dec-12 21:10:37

God, I didn't even notice getting one! And I'm nervy at the best of times. Ive had a lot more pain plucking my eyebrows. Dont worry smile.

MoomieAndFreddie Tue 11-Dec-12 21:13:34

no, i was the same OP when i had my first dc (planned cs) - the thought of a catheter terrified me more than being cut open

but to echo others, you WONT feel anything

it doesn't even hurt coming out

promise.

SeedyM Tue 11-Dec-12 21:15:44

I had catheter after spinal block for a section. Didn't feel it going in or while it was in or coming out. They had the collection bag v discreetly under the bed clothes. Couldn't have got up for a wee and bed pan seems worse. Besides I don't think you can feel if you need one for a while after a block. Only down side was got a bladder infection which I'm sure was from that though hospital said not.

aprilrain Tue 11-Dec-12 21:16:19

I had a catheter popped in to drain my bladder before I could push the placenta out. Felt slightly odd but not in the slightest bit painful. I had not had any pain relief other than gas and air.

LynetteScavo England Tue 11-Dec-12 21:18:35

I did't know about caheters - had never heard of them, didn't know they existed.

I had an epidural after 12 hours of painful labour. I had a catherter fitted, but had no idea that it had been fitted.

The epidural was brilliant.

If you need an epidural, you wont give a fuck about the catheter.

MrsHoarder Tue 11-Dec-12 21:40:23

I had several: they didn't leave one in whilst in labour, but when I got to pushing they put one in to empty my bladder (couldn't feel it, couldn't feel to pee). I then had to have them for 24 hours afterwards (they took it out so I could try to pee), bit irritating but nowhere near as bad as the general state of my undercarriage.

bellechristmas Tue 11-Dec-12 21:43:43

Honestly it doesn't hurt, do try and notice if they forget to empty it though, or you'll end up with wee going back up (which isn't good). Only happened once and nurse was terribly apologetic.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Tue 11-Dec-12 21:46:11

Ah yes - I was goiing to mentio nthat. It can lead to an infection, so its very important to empty it/have it emptied. I got obsessive about checking it!

QTPie Tue 11-Dec-12 22:17:41

Loved my catheter.... (ELCS). Was quite sad when they removed it (and the epidural - had a mobile epidural in for post-op pain relief). Rather nice not worrying about going to the toilet. Felt a bit odd coming out, but not painful

Off for laparoscopic surgery tomorrow (endometriosis and endometriomas and a D&C to clean-up my uterus I think) - another catheter then smile

miarosemum Tue 11-Dec-12 22:26:33

I had a mobile epidural so no need for catheter, would have again tomorrow smile

BuntysFestiveCollocks Tue 11-Dec-12 22:37:00

I LOVED my catheter. DS bruised my bladder in his attempts to escape, and so I couldn't pee for 2 days. They removed the catheter the night of the day I had my emcs, and had to re-catheterise me the following morning. Didn't feel a thing except sheer relief. Also quite handy not to need to pee all the time --would quite like one now at 37+ weeks)

duletty Tue 11-Dec-12 22:41:40

When (if) your catheterised they use something called instagel which is part lidocaine (to numb), lubricant, and I think it could have something antibacterial in it. I have had three...cause I'm unable to get past 4cm without being on the ceiling, much to my annoyance and have had epidurals with my three...amazing stuff.

Okay you do have a bag of wee....but it won't be bursting to the max....it's being monitored the amount you pass and will be emptied, anyone else on the ward will not give you a second glance as you manoeuvre around.

The catheter itself is a plastic tube which is inserted up the urethra and a small balloon is inflated with some fluid so that it is positioned in your bladder to continually drain your urine.

I think the catheterisation is actually done after the epidural so you shouldnt feel a thing anyway.

What's the main thing that's putting you off though?
Have you had a though about internal examinations when you are in labour to assess the cervix and dilation? How do you feel about this?

rainrainandmorerain Tue 11-Dec-12 23:33:34

I had a catheter with the spinal I had for my elcs - but requested it was put in after I had my spinal, so I never felt/saw anything (it was all behind a screen at that point!). Had it in for I think 12 hours afterwards - loved not having to get up to pee, to be honest, after a month of 2 hourly night wees.

Having it out was just like someone sliding a tube out. Which is what it is. No pain.

I don't want to be alarmist, but some women are catheterised during 'normal' labour and vb, or after it. Something to do with a full bladder holding things up, or a bruised bladder not functioning properly afterwards for a while.

LadyWidmerpool Tue 11-Dec-12 23:44:32

I barely noticed mine, definitely the least of my problems post EMCS! Good luck.

duletty Tue 11-Dec-12 23:47:05

Yep...You can have an 'in/out' catheter mid labour if a full bladder is in the way of baby's descent and Your not up for getting on a bedpan

Honestly..the things you sweat over now...lady garden, screaming, people seeing your bits, baby's first photo..will be far far away in your list when our bearing down..good luck!

CatchingMockingbirds Tue 11-Dec-12 23:50:50

You're being a bit silly. I had a catheter when I had an epidural, I didn't realise when they put it in or took it out. Even thinking back now I honestly can't really remember them doing it.

MyLastDuchess Tue 11-Dec-12 23:55:10

Yes I had DD 2 weeks ago, no pain relief (we don't even have gas and air where I live) and got a catheter during labour as my bladder was full and in her way. I felt nothing, not a thing. They took it out the next day and it didn't hurt at all.

Startail Wed 12-Dec-12 00:03:27

I had one briefly to empty my bladder during DD1's birth.

Until I read this thread I had forgotten.

I didn't even notice them doing it.

DD had plonked herself on the nerves so firmly that I couldn't move, let alone get up to go to the loo it hurt so much.

DD2 was born at home because I was determined not to lie still and let her do the same thing.

Startail Wed 12-Dec-12 00:04:38

nerves to my legs
like siatica on speed, very nasty.

tasmaniandevilchaser Wed 12-Dec-12 16:28:28

You have a bag of wee?!?! How did I not notice that?! Just goes to show you will most likely hardly notice it!

Jakeyblueblue Wed 12-Dec-12 23:01:53

I had a walking epidural and did not need a catheter smile

CatchingMockingbirds Wed 12-Dec-12 23:02:27

What is a walking epidural?

Jakeyblueblue Wed 12-Dec-12 23:05:53

One that doesn't affect the use of your legs. I could still feel them and could have walked around if I wasn't attached to so many tubes. smile

elizaregina Wed 12-Dec-12 23:08:14

I was really worried about this too!!

I asked about it and got a lot of useless replies saying " its the least of your worries"

I did alot of research about my section and this was one of the main worries actually.
In the end it was fine - it didnt hurt or sting or anything, some people told me the first wee would sting - mine didnt - it was ever so slighlty weird feeling when it came out - but it lasted a second and didnt hurt.

catkind Wed 12-Dec-12 23:21:41

Now I'm feeling cross that I was told I had to have a catheter when I had my epidural. I would have been able to walk to the bathroom with one less thing to take with. And it hurt being put in. And sore for a while after taken out. Tho that may have been more to do with doctor having poked me viciously in that general area in earlier VE.
So my advice is see if you can move/control urine first, if you can you don't need the catheter, if you can't you prob won't feel it going in.

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