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Bladder training with a suprapubic catheter


Your child’s bladder will need to be trained to work as it did before your child had a catheter. It takes time to learn to feel the urge to urinate. The goal of bladder training is to increase the amount of urine that come through the urethra and decrease the amount that drains through the catheter. You will only do bladder training while your child is awake.

How to do bladder training at home

The tips below will help you train your child to urinate as they did before.

  • Have your child try to urinate in the toilet, with a container to catch the urine. Do this at least every 3 hours. Keep the catheter clamped at other times when your child is awake.
  • Measure the amount of urine your child was able to pass. Write the amount on your child’s urine log. Then do the following:
    • Unclamp the catheter and drain the urine left in your child’s bladder into the leg bag.
    • Clamp the bag. Measure the amount in the bag, and write the amount on the urine log.
    • Add the amount your child urinated by themselves and the amount from the catheter together. This is your child’s total urine amount.

When will the doctor remove the catheter?

The doctor might want to remove the catheter when less than 50–75 ml of urine is coming through the catheter each day. This is a little less than 3 ounces. Let your child’s doctor know when your child is only draining this amount through the catheter. The hole in your child’s belly, or stoma, should close within 48 hours after the doctor removes the catheter. If urine leaks out before it closes, you may put gauze over the hole. Replace the gauze when it gets wet or dirty.

Your child should not take a bath or go swimming for 48 hours after the catheter is removed. A shower is OK.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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