Urology Educational Support

Learn more about urinary tract infections and what we can do to track them.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) are not uncommon in individuals who intermittently catheterize. However, it is important to try to prevent UTIs for optimal health. A UTI can lead to a more serious infection if it goes from the bladder up into the kidneys and into the bloodstream. That’s why it’s important to prevent UTI’s.

uti prevention

UTI Prevention

Use your catheters as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t reuse your catheters as it could increase the risk to UTI’s.

uti symptoms

UTI Symptoms

Fever, chills and nausea


Common Causes of UTI

Dehydration and introducing bacteria into the urethra.

urology prevent uti

How to prevent a UTI

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before starting the catheterization procedure
  • Wash your genitalia with soap and water (front to back for women)
  • Be careful that the tip of the catheter does not touch anything prior to use
  • Catheterize as often as your doctor instructed: usually 4-6 times a day
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
  • If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact your doctor

Symptoms of a UTI

  • Fever, Chills
  • Leakage between catheterizations
  • Increased bladder spasms
  • Feeling the need to catheterize more often or immediately
  • Burning sensation in the urethra
  • Nausea
  • Feeling fatigue or tired
  • Sediment (gritty particles) in your urine
  • Cloudy, bloody or foul smelling urine

urology - symptoms of uti
causes of uti

Common causes of UTIs related to Intermittent Catheterization

  • Inadequate frequency of emptying your bladder
  • Incomplete emptying of your bladder when you catheterize
  • Unwashed hands and/or equipment can harbor bacteria

Diagnosing a UTI

Your doctor can do a simple urine test to determine if there are bacteria in your urine. This test will also help to identify the correct antibiotic for you. If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic treatment, take your medication exactly as prescribed until it is finished. Be sure to call your doctor with any side effects from the medication.

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Spinal Cord Injury Resources

  • Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals
  • Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
  • Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Care & Cure
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America
  • American Spinal Injury Association
  • United Spinal Association




Other Organizations

  • Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA)
  • American Urological Association (AUA)
  • Association for Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN)
  • Spina Bifida Organization
  • Pediatric Urology Nurse Specialists (PUNS)
  • Societies for Pediatric Urology
  • Multiple Sclerosis Foundation



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