Socialising with a Catheter

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You may think that being fitted with a catheter or being told you need to perform intermittent catheterisation (ISC) will mean an end to your ability to socialise.

This is not the case. It might take a little more preparation and planning but there is no reason why you can’t continue to do the things you love, regardless of your catheter. This article will hopefully give you the confidence with your catheter when out and about.

Do your Research

Wedding with a catheter

If you are going for a meal, a wedding or some other event where you know the venue, then do a bit of research before you go. Have a look at their website to see what facilities they offer, and scroll through their online image gallery to help visualise the surroundings. If you can, it might be worth doing a trip to the venue beforehand; find out where the toilets are, what access there is for wheelchair users and how many disabled parking spaces there are. Taking away the fear of the unknown will help you feel in control and confident.

Take a “Catheter Kit”

catheter kit


Ensure you have the necessary supplies to make performing ISC or draining your catheter bag or valve as easy as possible whilst out and about. What you have in your kit will come down to personal preference but could include a few of your preferred catheters, a spare catheter bag or valve, hand gel, surface wipes, disposal bags and a change of underwear.

Be Inspired

Whatever your situation, with the increasing presence of online communities, you are bound to find someone in a similar situation to draw upon their experiences. For example, @BisforBladder is an Instagram community that shares posts and reels about living with a suprapubic catheter; from road trips in Ireland to draining a catheter valve at a gig. Proof that a catheter does not need to hold you back!

Don’t Forget your Radar Key

Radar Key

A genuine Radar Key is a must have for going out and about with your catheter as they allow for access to locked disabled toilets across the UK. Disabled toilets tend to be bigger which will allow you more space to catheterise or drain your catheter bag. You won’t need to ask a staff member to unlock the door for you either which will allow you quicker and more discreet access.

Have Fun!

socialising with a catheter

Whether it be a pub trip, the gym, a shopping trip or a gig….life is too  short to let your catheter hold you back from doing what you love to do. All the pre-planning and organisation may mean things are less sporadic than going without a catheter but it doesn’t mean they have to be any less fun. With time, you will adjust and going out with your catheter will become second nature.


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