Do you have or want to know what is a urethral stricture? A Urethral stricture is a narrowing of the urethra, often caused by scarring. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of your body. A urethral structure restricts the flow of urine out of the body and can cause inflammation or infection in the urinary tract.
Men are more likely to experience urethral stricture than women are, as men have longer urethras. Urethral strictures are not common in women and infants.
What causes urethral stricture?
Urethral stricture is caused by the development of scar tissue or tissue inflammation that narrows the urethra. It can happen at any point in the urethra, from the bladder to the tip of the penis. Medical procedures that involve inserting an instrument like an endoscope into the urethra or use of a catheter or tube to drain urine from the bladder can create scar tissue. Injury to the urethra or pelvis, such as from bike riding or getting hit near the scrotum, can also create scar tissue. Scar tissue also may form from other medical conditions like an enlarged prostate, prostate gland removal surgery, urethral cancer, prostate cancer, or sexually transmitted infections.
To prevent urethral stricture, it is important to avoid injury to the urethra and pelvis and to be careful with self-catheterization and avoid sexually transmitted infections. If a sexually transmitted infection like Gonorrhea or Chlamydia is contracted, take antibiotics early to treat the infection and prevent urethral stricture. Although urethral strictures are not contagious, sexually transmitted infections are. Treating a sexually transmitted infection can help you prevent urethral stricture, and also can help prevent them in future sexual partners.
Urethral stricture signs and symptoms
Several urinary problems may indicate urethral stricture. A low or spraying urine stream, incomplete bladder emptying, and difficulty or pain when urinating are common signs. Bloody or dark urine or blood in semen may also indicate urinary stricture. Many with urinary stricture experience more frequent urination or a more frequent urge to urinate. Men with urethral strictures also may experience urinary tract infections.
What happens if I have a urethral stricture
It is important to seek treatment for a urethral stricture. Without appropriate treatment, urinary problems may continue. If a urethral blockage lasts a long time, it can damage the kidneys and lead to an enlarged bladder.
Appropriate treatments for urethral strictures depend on the size of the urethral blockage and the amount of scar tissue present. A urologist can help you determine the best treatment route for you. Treatment options include dilation of the structure with gradual stretching with an instrument called a dilator, urethrotomy (cutting the stricture through a scope), or open surgery to remove the stricture.
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