How to Safely Catheterize in a Public Restroom | Ask Aaron

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
02/23/17  12:34 PM PST
self-catheterization travel kits

In this question, John wants to know about how to use a self-catheter kit in a public restroom.

I have been using intermittent catheterization at home for about two months. It seems to be going well since I can wash hands and genitals each time in a place that I control. I will be traveling, and am concerned about how to manage this if the only available place is a public facility. At home, I have ample soap and water, towels, stools, benches, and counters, so two hands are enough. But I am having trouble envisioning how this can be managed with two hands in a typical men’s restroom stall. If anyone has applicable experience, please send suggestions. I am ambulatory and have no major motion limitations.




Hello John!

Travel can be intimidating with all the unknown variables, especially when it comes to using bathroom facilities that may be less accessible, unkempt and under-equipped. My best defense against this is a strong offense, meaning preparation! Urology supplies are priority when packing my bags. I pack extra everything; rubber gloves, tape, catheters, condoms, leg bags, tubing, sanitizer, wipes and deodorizer. I typically travel using an external condom catheter and leg bag to avoid bathrooms altogether. But if intermittent catheterization is mandatory, then using a self contained product like the JAW Hydrophilic Catheter works well. As for functionality in the bathroom stall, again preparation is key. I shop for multifunctional travel luggage and backpack that can serve as a make-shift table/bench to set supplies on, or hang things from. This keeps me self-contained and not dependent on anyone or anything for my self-care.

Happy travels!


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1 comment

  1. I have been paralyzed for 13 years… I am a quadriplegic paralyze C3 C4 Paralyzed form a motorcycle accident … I really see a big change Since I’ve been paralyzed in 2003 ,people never had respect it was very hard to drive on sidewalks because there was a lot of chips and cracks… that the wheelchair cannot handle without me getting hurt… now the sidewalk are assessable every stop sign and corner they have a offramp that you can actually get down without no hassle. Now I was reading something about public restrooms they have a lot of accessible stalls for disable people when you go to the restroom right on the left-hand side where it says men’s restroom, there is a wheelchair symbol letting you know there is access. If anybody needs to know anything please contact me Jay Alonzo Ford is my Facebook take care happy wheeling

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