Almost all people who have an SCI will have an indwelling catheter (IDC) as the first stage of looking after your bladder.
The IDC allows constant drainage of urine to make sure the bladder doesn’t overfill and cause damage. The catheter also helps healthcare staff monitor how much urine is being produced. This can give a lot of information about how your body is functioning.
As a first step, staff may discuss with you a plan to remove the IDC as early as possible to help prevent a urinary tract infections. As spinal shock begins to pass it will be possible to determine the most suitable bladder management for you.
After the IDC is removed staff will start looking after your bladder with intermittent catheters. Instead of draining constantly these catheters are put in when your bladder is full and then taken out once your bladder is empty.
If you’re able to, and feel comfortable, you can learn to use these catheters yourself.