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Urinary symptoms

Urinary symptoms

Urinary symptoms vary depending of whether you suffer from urinary incontinence or retention. Learn more about urinary symptoms

Urinary symptoms

Your urinary symptoms will vary depending on the underlying cause. The basic function of your urinary system is to store urine in your bladder and empty it through your urethra.

Typical symptoms of urinary incontinence

  • Urinary leakage
  • Small or large amounts of urine leaking without warning or without feeling the urge to go to the toilet
  • Involuntarily leakage when sneezing, coughing, laughing or exercising
  • A sudden urge to rush to the toilet to urinate
  • The need to get up to pass urine two or more times a night (nocturia)

Typical symptoms of urinary retention

  • Discomfort 
  • Urgent sense to urinate but inability to start the urine flow
  • Frequent visits to toilet
  • Dribble due to overflow incontinence
  • Weak flow
  • Bloated lower abdomen

When to get in contact with your healthcare professional

Many people who experience bladder issues are hesitant to see their healthcare professional, because they find it embarrassing. In order to clarify what is causing the symptoms and to rule out anything potentially serious, it is important to consult a healthcare professional.

Causes of urinary problems are many and can be related to a number of medical conditions including both neurogenic and non-neurogenic disorders. Read more about causes of bladder problems and how to take care of your bladder.

Finding the right catheter

Finding the right catheter

If you need to use a catheter to empty your bladder, you will find there are a lot to choose from. Find the right catheter

Find the right catheter


  1. Only for SpeediCath Compact female
  2. Only for SpeediCath Compact male

Finding the right catheter is very important in order to make sure that your bladder is emptied in a safe and efficient way with as little hassle as possible.

When talking product choice with the nurse or doctor, make sure you also explain about your lifestyle, concerns, special needs etc.

What to look for when choosing a catheter

When choosing a catheter you should look for: 

  • Safety
  • Ease of use
  • How it fits you and your lifestyle

Coloplast offers a range of catheters. Here is a short introduction to the most popular ones.

SpeediCath® is:

  • Instantly ready to use – straight from the packaging
  • Intuitive handling – with no preparation required
  • Minimised risk of urethral damage due to hydrophilic coating of both catheter and eyelets

SpeediCath® Compact has all the benefits of the regular SpeediCath plus:

  • Discreet – the most compact catheter for women and men
  • Non-medical design – so you can keep it your personal matter regardless where you are
  • More hygienic catheterisation – with the easy-grip handle (1)
  • Hard casing ensuring protection of the catheter and coating at any time (2)

SpeediCath® Flex has a range of features to make catheterisation easier:

  • The flexible tip enables gentle guidance through the curves and bends of the male urethra
  • The dry-sleeve means the catheter can be inserted without having to touch the tube
  • SpeediCath Flex is reclosable and features non-medical, practical and discreet packaging


Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to the most common questions about urinary problems and bladder management. FAQ's about urinary problems

Frequently asked questions

This FAQ is intended as a guide to commonly asked questions. Please always consult your healthcare professional regarding urinary problems. 

What is incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the medical term for being unable to control the release of urine. 

What is neurogenic bladder? 

Neurogenic bladder refers to a condition where neurological damage has led to bladder dysfunction.

What are the signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence?

Some typical signs and symptoms include:

  • Involuntary leakage of urine without warning or without feeling the need to go to the toilet
  • Involuntary leakage of urine when sneezing, coughing, laughing or exercising
  • A sudden urge to rush to the toilet either before or when leaking urine
  • The need to get up to pass urine two or more times a night (nocturia)

What causes incontinence?

Potential causes include:

  • Damage or weakness to the muscles in the pelvic floor (most commonly due to pregnancy and childbirth)
  • Problems with the control of the bladder muscle (bladder overactivity and bladder underactivity)
  • Neurogenic conditions that affect the voluntary release of urine (e.g. spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis or  spina bifida)
  • Enlarged prostate gland 
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Type 2 diabetes

Is incontinence a natural part of aging?

Although incontinence becomes more common with advancing age, it is not just older people who are affected. Effective solutions are available, so it should not stop you from living a full and active life, whatever your age. 

Can I still have a social life with incontinence?

It is possible to manage incontinence effectively. A doctor or nurse should be able to help find a solution that makes it possible to continue a social life and everyday activities. 

Can incontinence be treated?

Most types of incontinence can be treated or improved through lifestyle changes, pelvic floor exercises, bladder training, medication or surgery. If a cure is not possible,or a temporary solution is required, products such as catheters, urisheaths (for men) or absorbent products can be very helpful. 

What is a catheter?

A catheter can be used to ensure the bladder is completely emptied. It is a slim, flexible tube that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra enabling the urine to drain.

Why is it important to empty my bladder?

If your bladder is not emptied regularly, it can cause urinary tract infections. These start in the bladder but can move back to the kidneys and cause serious renal damage. Even small amounts of urine left in the bladder can cause infections. 

Can I drink less so that I do not have to empty my bladder so often?

No. It is very important that you drink enough to keep the urinary system healthy. An adult should drink approximately 1500ml per day unless you are advised otherwise by your healthcare professional.

How can I tell if I have an urinary tract infection?

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection vary and may be subtle. They include:

  • Dark-coloured and strong-smelling urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Fever/sweating
  • Bladder spasms
  • Increased muscle contractions in your leg

If you have any of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor or nurse. 

What if I get frequent urinary tract infections?

Using an intermittent catheter increases the risk of urinary tract infections. However, compared to other catheter types such as permanent (indwelling) catheters, intermittent catheters are less likely to cause urinary tract infections.

How can I prevent catheter related urinary tract infections?

There are ways to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections from catheters:

  • Ensure you have clean hands and equipment when catheterising
  • Drink sufficient amount of fluid during the day to wash out the urinary tract
  • Make sure that the bladder is fully emptied every time you catheterise
  • Speak to your healthcare professional about your catheterisation frequency and technique

Find out more

View a guide of how to catheterise


Tips, tools and guides

How catheterisation works

Watch videos to see how catheterisation is carried out.

Recommended products

SpeediCath Compact male catheter

SpeediCath Flex

SpeediCath Flex is a new soft catheter with a dry sleeve and flexible tip. It has a range of features that aim to make every step of catheterisation easier for you.

Learn about SpeediCath Flex 

SpeediCath Compact male catheter

SpeediCath Compact male catheter

SpeediCath Compact catheters are developed to offer safety and discretion. Like all other SpeediCath catheters they are also instantly ready to use.

Learn about SpeediCath Compact male 

SpeediCath Compact female catheter

SpeediCath Compact female catheter

SpeediCath Compact catheters are developed to offer safety and discretion. Like all other SpeediCath catheters they are also instantly ready to use.

Try SpeediCath Compact female catheter

SpeediCath Compact Set catheter

SpeediCath Compact Set catheter

SpeediCath Compact Set – for simpler everyday catheterisation and comes in variants for both men and women.

Try SpeediCath Compact Set catheter 


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