” It causes a blocked or reduced flow of urine which can lead to complications”

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Urethral Stricture

A urethral stricture is scarring in or around the urethra that narrows or blocks the passageway through which urine flows from the bladder. A urethral stricture is a narrowing of a section of your urethra. It causes a blocked or reduced flow of urine which can lead to complications.

The stricture results from inflammation, infection or injury, and is much more common in men than in women. The scarring can occur anywhere between the bladder and the tip of the penis. In addition to uncomfortable urinary symptoms such as reduced flow rate and more frequent urination, a urethral stricture can lead to complications that include urinary tract infections, prostatitis, urinary retention and kidney damage.

Causes of Urethral Strictures

Injury associated with a pelvic fracture, such as from an automobile or industrial accident. 

Sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, and other inflammatory conditions. Urethral strictures sometimes occur after

Post prostate surgery or removal of kidney stones

Catheter insertion

Radiation

Surgery performed on the prostate

Symptoms of Urethral Stricture

Its symptoms are mostly urinary:

Painful and burning urination

Bloody urine and in the volume of urine 

Slow urine stream, spraying of the stream, incomplete emptying of the bladder, and inability to void. 

Urinary tract infections are also common, and 

Sudden and frequent urges to urinate

Inability to control urination (incontinence)

Pain in the pelvic or lower abdominal area

Urethral discharge

Penile swelling and pain

Darkening of the urine

 Diagnosis 

Urinalysis 

Urine cultures

Treatment

Treatment is usually advised to improve the flow rate of urine, to ease symptoms and to prevent possible complications. An Urologist advises on treatment. The treatments however depend on factors such as the site and length of your stricture and also your age and general well-being.

Widening (dilatation) of the stricture: it is usually done by passing a thin plastic rod (boogie) into the urethra. This procedure may be done either under a local or a general anaesthetic. The aim is to stretch and widen the stricture without causing additional scarring. One needs to know that, the shorter the stricture, the greater the chance of a cure with dilation. It is a relatively easy procedure to do and so may be tried first.

Urethrotomy: a thin telescope is passed into the urethra to see exactly where the stricture is. This is done during a general anaesthetic. A tiny knife is then passed down the telescope to cut along the stricture. This widens the narrowed stricture. 

Surgery: corrective operation which is called a urethroplasty is performed if the above procedures do not work. Various techniques are used. For example, a short stricture can be cut out and the two ends of the healthy urethra stitched together. There is a high success rate in curing symptoms with these operations.

Antibiotics: a long course of antibiotics may be advised to prevent urine infections until a stricture has been widened.

Prevention

It is not always possible to prevent urethral stricture. Since STIs are one cause, using protection during sexual contact can prevent some cases. However, injuries and other medical conditions associated with urethral stricture cannot always be avoided.

It is important to see a doctor right away if you are experiencing symptoms of urethral stricture. Treating the problem quickly is the best way to avoid serious complications.

 

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