How to remove an indwelling urinary catheter in female patients

This learning module has been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and was last updated in 2020.

All modules are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Duration: 01:00:00 Type: How to modules Level: Registered nurses, Nursing students


Alison Bardsley, Senior lecturer in primary care nursing, course director, non-medical prescribing, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, England.

Short description

Read this module and update your knowledge and skills on how to remove an indwelling urinary catheter in female patients.

Detailed description

This How to module aims to assist nurses to undertake the removal of an indwelling urinary catheter in female patients in a safe, timely, effective and patient-centred manner, while maintaining the patient’s privacy and dignity. It is important for the healthcare practitioner to be competent in undertaking this procedure, and to be aware of local and national policies on catheter removal. Indwelling urinary catheters should be changed only when clinically necessary, or according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Urinary catheters should be removed using sterile equipment. The balloon of the indwelling catheter must be deflated before removal, and the catheter should be removed slowly to minimise trauma.


Please note that information provided by RCNi Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to