Urethral Catheterization in Women Medication

Updated: Nov 14, 2021
  • Author: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and prevent complications.


Local Anesthetics, Amides

Class Summary

The use of a urethral anesthetic in female patients is controversial. The decision to anesthetize the urethra should be made in conjunction with the patient. Local anesthetics block the initiation and conduction of nerve impulses.Anesthetics used for the urethra include lidocaine.

Lidocaine (Xylocaine)

Lidocaine inhibits depolarization of type C sensory neurons by blocking sodium channels. Use the commercial applicator or a syringe with no needle to instill 5 mL of 2% lidocaine gel into the urethra. Place a finger on the meatus to help prevent spillage of the anesthetic lubricant. Allow 2-3 minutes for the anesthetic to take effect before proceeding with the urethral catheterization.

Hold the catheter with the sterile hand, or leave it in the sterile field. Remove the cover to expose the tip. Apply a generous amount of either a nonanesthetic lubricant or the remaining lidocaine gel.