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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!

Karoleann Mon 17-Dec-12 21:11:38

I've had three epidurals and no catherer.

Saccrofolium Thu 13-Dec-12 15:11:05

I asked for my catheter to be left in as I couldn't be arsed to get up for a wee! They said no...
Catheters are great. Wish I'd had one whilst I was pregnant, is have got more sleep instead of being up every 90 mins with my thimble bladder!

sparklekitty Thu 13-Dec-12 10:51:53

I ended up having a catheter during labour as my dd got stuck and I couldn't wee (no idea why, I normally have a tiny bladder) so they stuck a temporary catheter in. At that point I really didn't care, the MW and doc had seen worse. I was worried about it hurting, it did sting a little bit (on G&A) but only about as much as having an injection. I really wouldnt let that be the reason you dont have an epidural

CatchingMockingbirds Thu 13-Dec-12 08:14:47

Can you ask specifically for a walking epidural or is it just what it's called when it only has an effect on your waist but not your legs?

SneezySnatcher Thu 13-Dec-12 07:45:39

I had one, although I didn't have an epidural - I just wasn't passing urine.

Well, I say I had one. I didn't realise until DH mentioned it after the birth. And this was 'just' on G&A! So I didn't feel it going in, out it during!

MaMattoo Wed 12-Dec-12 23:55:15

They don't hurt at all. They don't even feel uncomfortable. You will feel nothing but a 'slipping' sensation when it comes off.
Epidural needle vs Catheter tube hmm no, no comparisons!

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.

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.

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

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

What is a walking epidural?

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

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

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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.

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'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?

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)

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

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

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

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!

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.

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