Treatment: Bladder instillation

Bladder instillation is an outpatient treatment that uses a medicated solution to treat inflammation, pain in the bladder as well as to prevent urinary tract infections.

To book offline, call our Womens Health centre directly on: 02036532008


What is bladder instillation?

Bladder instillation, also called a bladder bath or wash, is an outpatient treatment that’s performed by a doctor. The treatment involves filling the bladder with a medicated solution to reduce pain caused by inflammatory bladder conditions as well as to reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections also called cystitis.

Why is bladder instillation done?

The aim of bladder instillation is to reduce inflammation and discomfort in the bladder in patients affected by:

  • Interstitial cystitis (IC)
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Limited bladder capacity
  • Frequent or urgent urination

What does bladder instillation involve?

Bladder instillation is a straightforward procedure that takes around 20 minutes to complete.

Before inserting a catheter (soft, thin plastic tube), your doctor will use an anaesthetic antiseptic gel to numb your urethra. Once the gel has taken effect, your doctor will pass a catheter through your urethra and into your bladder to drain any residual of urine prior to instill (inject) a medicated solution into your bladder. The catheter will then be removed and you will be able to go home straight away. The doctor will ask you to hold passing urine for at least 30-40 minutes.

You may need a course of weekly treatments over at least 6 to 8 weeks.

Preparing for bladder instillation

Before the procedure, your doctor will explain each step of bladder instillation, answer any questions you have and suggest how many rounds of treatment you’ll need.

You don’t need to fast before bladder instillation, but you should limit your fluid intake so that your bladder is as empty as possible.

When you arrive for your treatment you’ll be asked to take a urine test to check for infection. If there’s no infection present the procedure can go ahead.

Recovering from bladder instillation

You’ll be asked to stay in the outpatient clinic for around 15 minutes after your treatment so you can be monitored for any side effects. All being well, you can return to your normal daily activities and will then be able to go home straight away after any following treatments.

Risks of bladder instillation

Only a few people will experience side effects from bladder instillation treatment. These won’t be dissimilar from your original symptoms of frequent or urgent urination, urine leakage and pain when passing urine.

Treatment Programme
Bladder instillation


Consultation Required

For this treatment you will need to have a 1-to-1 consultation at OneWelbeck first. To book in with our team of expert clinicians or to find out more about the process contact the relevant centre team.


Self Referral

No doctor referral needed in order to book this service, although health insurers may require a referral in order for your treatment to be covered.


Same Day Availability

We usually have same-day appointments available for this service. Please call us to book.


Next Day Availability

We usually have next day availability for this service, please call us to check availability.


Direct Booking

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Bladder instillation Specialists

We have brought together a group of leading gynaecologists and breast specialists to form our Women’s Health team. With over 200 years of combined experience, these expert clinicians are the best in their field and are all focused on delivering the very best patient care.