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Urology/bleeding from penis after catherization


I have to straight cath my 66 yr old husband once/day due to urinary retention complicated by age and MS. It has gone fine up to the last few days. 3 days ago I had a little difficulty getting the cath in, & afterwards my spouse noticed a small amt of blood when urinating , which stopped w/in a day.  However, 2 days later I could not get the cath inserted. After the 3rd attempt, bright red blood started gushing from his penis. It was enough to soak 2 tissues, and went thru the blanket & both sheets. It stopped quite quickly, in a couple of minutes. Today my husband says it seems to be completely stopped, & he feels no need to contact his urologist. Shouldn't we contact his doctor?

I am not really sure why the catheterization is once a day unless it is to dilate the urethra as management of a stricture.  If urination is adequate, then no catheterization is needed. However, if cathterization is needed to empty the bladder, then this is generally needed more than once a day.   Difficulty getting the cath in means that force was used, which can injure the urethra.  When the urethra is injured, it is not unexpected for it to bleed.  I think your doctor should be aware of this and should review with you the effectiveness of the cathterization, the size and types of catheters used, if there is any indication for any bladder function tests (called urodynamics) or a look inside the urethra (urethroscopy), or if there are possible better alternatives to the once per day catheterization plan.  This is a complicated situation that can not be adequately addressed with a simple question-answer on the internet.  Best of luck!


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Joel Gelman, M.D.


Urethral Stricture Disease, Peyronie's Disease and disorders of penile curvature, Erectile Dysfunction with a focus on penile implant surgery, Male Incontinence, Hypospadias


Dr. Gelman is a Board Certified Fellowship Trained expert in Male Reconstructive Urology and the Director of the Center for Reconstructive Urology in the Department of Urology at UC, Irvine Medical Center.

American Urologic Association Society of GU Reconstructive Surgeons (Board of Directors) International Sexual Medicine Society Western Section, Americal Urological Association

Journal of Urology Urology Journal of Endourology

Residency in Urology, UCLA, completed 1995 Fellowship in GU Reconstruction, Devine Center, completed 1997

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The Center for Reconstructive Urology is a regional, national, and international Tertiary Referral Center for urethral stricture disease, penile curvature, erectile dysfunction, male incontinence, and other surgical disorders of the male urethra and penis. Patients have travelled from 24 different states and other countries to receive care at the Center for Reconstructive Urology. More information can be found at

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