When the tube that carries urine out of your body narrows due to scarring, a urethral stricture occurs. Urine flow can then slow down or even become blocked. This condition can cause a variety of problems within the urinary tract. Because males have a longer urethra than females, is it more common for them to experience an urethral stricture.
- Damaged tissue from a urologic procedure where medical instruments were inserted into the urethra
- Long-term use of a catheter which is a tube that is inserted through the urethra to empty the bladder
- Trauma or direct injury to the pelvis or urethra
- Enlarged prostate or previous surgery to remove or reduce an enlarged prostate gland
- Urethra or prostate cancer
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Slowing of your urine stream, which can happen suddenly or gradually
- Urine leakage or dribbling after urination
- Spraying of the urine stream
- Difficulty, straining, or pain when urinating
- Increased urge to urinate or more frequent urination
- Blood or discharge from the penis
- Pain in the pelvis or lower abdomen
- Has had one or more STI
- Had a recent catheter placement
- Had urethritis
- Having an enlarged prostate
- Catheterization: Having a small tube (catheter) inserted into your bladder so that the urine can be drained. This is usually the first step for treating urine blockage. This is a treatment option if you're diagnosed with a short stricture.
- Dilation: This procedure consists of a tiny wire being inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. Dilators pass over the wire to gradually increase the size of the urethral opening. This outpatient procedure is suitable for patients who have recurrent urethral strictures.
- Urethroplasty: This is a surgery that involves removing the narrowed section of your urethra or enlarging it. The procedure may also involve reconstruction of the surrounding tissues. It is unlikely for strictures to recur after urethroplasty.
- Implanted stent or permanent catheter: If you choose not to have surgery, a permanent artificial tube (stent) can be used to keep the urethra open, or a permanent catheter to drain the bladder. Unfortunately, these procedures have several disadvantages such as risk of bladder irritation, discomfort, and urinary tract infections. Close monitoring is required. This treatment option is rarely used and more of a last resort.
- Avoid injury to the urethra and pelvis.
- Be careful when using a catheter. Always use lubricating jelly and the smallest possible size for the shortest amount of time.
- Avoid sexually transmitted infections. You can prevent this by using a condom or not having sex with an infected partner.