how helpful health care clinics can be

Understanding Urethral Stricture: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment Options

by Bonnie Gordon

The urethra plays a crucial role in the urinary system by transporting urine from the bladder to the body's exterior. Yet, at times, this passage may constrict due to multiple factors, resulting in a condition termed urethral stricture. This condition can cause discomfort and difficulty in passing urine, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications.

What Is Urethral Structure?

Urethral stricture is a condition where the urethra becomes narrowed or blocked due to scar tissue or inflammation. This narrowing can occur at any point along the length of the urethra and can affect both men and women. In men, it most commonly occurs in the section of the urethra that passes through the penis.

Causes of Urethral Stricture

Urethral strictures can be caused by various factors such as injury or trauma to the pelvic area, previous surgeries involving the urethra, infections like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or radiation therapy for prostate cancer. In some cases, it may also be caused by congenital abnormalities present at birth.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptom of a urethral stricture is difficulty urinating. This may include a weak urine stream or a feeling like you cannot fully empty your bladder. Other symptoms may include frequent urination, pain during urination or ejaculation, blood in urine or semen, and urinary tract infections (UTIs). In severe cases where there is a complete blockage of urine flow, individuals may experience abdominal pain and swelling.


If you experience any symptoms of a possible urethral stricture, it is important to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. The doctor will perform a physical examination and may also recommend tests such as a urine flow test, cystoscopy (using a thin tube with a camera to examine the urethra), or imaging tests like an ultrasound or X-ray.

Treatment Options

The treatment for urethral stricture depends on the severity of the condition and its underlying cause. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and improve urine flow. However, in most cases, surgery is required to remove the blockage and widen the narrowed area of the urethra. This can be done through various procedures such as dilation (stretching the urethra with special tools), urethroplasty (surgical reconstruction of the urethra), or using stents or catheters to keep the urethra open.

Urethral strictures can cause discomfort and inconvenience but can be effectively treated with proper medical care. Contact a medical center like the Center For Reconstructive Urology to learn more.