A-Z

Alex - Living with a urinary catheter

Age at interview: 51
Brief Outline: Alex has multiple sclerosis (MS), which has caused urinary incontinence. She has a suprapubic catheter, which she says is liberating and has improved her life. She prevents infections by drinking a great deal of water and having a daily low dose of antibiotics.
Background: Alex is a disability consultant. She is married. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

More about me...

For more clips from this interview click here.
 

Alex was shocked when she saw the catheter because it was so close to her vagina. She wondered if she'd be able to have sex again. She had it re-sited.

Alex was shocked when she saw the catheter because it was so close to her vagina. She wondered if she'd be able to have sex again. She had it re-sited.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I went for the operation which was done under sedation, very simple, for me anyway, it was, I just fell asleep and woke up and it was all done and very neatly. But when I woke up and I looked at where it was put, I was really alarmed because it was very low down on my kind of pubic bone, really near my vagina and really near my clitoris.
 
And I thought, “Oh my God”, and I didn’t say this to anyone, not my husband, nobody. But I thought, “Oh my God, am I going to be able to have sex again, will it get in the way?” and then I thought, “Am I even going to be able to have an orgasm again?” Because I had like this plastic tube right near a very sensitive place but I didn’t say anything about this.
 
It took me two years to decide to have it re-sited because I hate hospitals, but I did have it done and it’s great because now it’s much more out of the way for sex so it isn’t quite as annoying as it was before.
 
It’s a little bit higher up is it now?
 
Yes, it’s higher up.
 
So almost at the level of the belly button?
 
No, it’s to one side, because I wanted it slightly to one side because the good thing this time was the siting was done in consultation with me and my consultant and that is brilliant. Because then you can both have a discussion about, well I said I’d like it here and then he could say well actually here might not be so good because of this, then me and my husband could decide again where we wanted it.
 
That’s good.
 
So that was really good but that took quite a few
 
Six years.
 

Yes, of talking, and the fact I would say to anybody who is going to have a suprapubic catheter, ask about siting. Decide where you would like it and then have a conversation about that because it’s really important to do that. 

Previous Page
Next Page