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Hi Jude,1/. I have never found it a problem of getting past the sphincter muscles as you will find when you try it.2/ Catheters in this country usually come self lubricated in a saline solution,you just press the lubricant pouch in the top of the catheter to break the seal which then drops down to surround the catheter and lubricate it ,leave it for a minute while you cleanse yourself as cleanliness is very important in this process ,you then take the catheter out of the plastic holder and you are ready to insert it.Afterwards having withdrawn it ,replace the catheter in the sheath and dispose of it