PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to identify the factors associated with acquisition of urinary continence following introduction of intermittent catheterization (IC). STUDY DESIGN Cross-sectional study. SUBJECTS AND SETTING The study sample comprised 104 females and 84 males. Their median age was 11 years (interquartile range = 6.0-22.0 years). Data were collected in 2 settings, the Rehabilitation Hospital in Belo Horizonte Brazil and Dortmund University North-Rhine, Westphalia, Germany. METHODS Ninety-four Brazilian and 94 German individuals who had experienced IC participated in the study. Data were collected using printed (Brazil) and online (Germany) questionnaires and analyzed using multivariate logistical regression and analysis of variance. RESULTS Out of the 188 participants, 62.2% (117) achieved complete or partial continence. We found that increasing the frequency of IC increases the likelihood that the patient will acquire continence with IC. Using self-catheterization can increase the likelihood of acquiring continence (partial or complete) up to 2.9 times, in relation to someone who uses no self-catheterization. CONCLUSIONS Among patients with spina bifida and neurogenic bladder dysfunction, acquisition of urinary continence after initiating IC was influenced by the use of self-catheterization and daily frequency of IC.