The urethra is one of the organs of the urinary tract that carries urine from the bladder so that it can be released from the body. The urethra tube is usually wide enough for the urine to flow easily through it. However, when the urethra tube gets contracted, it deliberately blocks down or restricts the urinary flow. This condition is known as the urethral stricture.
Causes of Urethral Stricture
Urethral stricture generally occurs due to the presence of a scar tissue or tissue inflammation. There are many possible factors for scar tissue.
For example; teens who have undergone hypospadias surgery to correct an underdeveloped urethra or men who have penile implants are prone to developing urethral stricture. Other possible causes include:
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP)
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Risk Factors for Urethral Stricture
Some men are prone to develop a urethral stricture, especially those who have;
One or more STIs
An enlarged prostate
A recent catheter replacement
Symptoms of Urethral Stricture
Urethral stricture is not considered a serious issue but it can cause several symptoms, ranging from moderate to severe. It is recommended to undergo urethral stricture treatment before it gets too late.
Frequent and sudden urge to urinate
Reduction in urine volume or weak urine flow
Feeling the bladder is still full after urination
Frequent stopping and starting of urine stream
Burning sensation or pain while urinating
Incontinence (lack of control over urination)
Pain in the lower abdominal area or pelvic
Penile pain and swelling
Presence of blood in urine or semen
Darker urine color
Diagnosis of Urethral Stricture
Doctors at RG Stone follow neat procedures and several approaches for diagnosing urethral stricture.
Reviewing your medical history and symptoms
Physical examination of the penis area. Possibly looking for urethral discharge (redness)
Conducting several tests including measuring the urine rate of flow
Blood and urine test
Tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia
Urethral Stricture Treatment
The doctors at RG Stone will only prescribe the treatment option considering the severity of the condition.
The doctor will use a medical instrument known as the dilator for making the urethra wider. It is done by inserting a wire into the urethra to the bladder and dilates it.
Another nonsurgical treatment option is permanent urinary catheter placement. But it has side effects as it causes urinary tract infections and bladder irritation.
Open urethroplasty is a preferred surgical option for the doctors for urethral strictures. This process involves removing the contracted tissue and reconstructing the urethra.
Urine Flow Diversion:
In some cases, the doctors follow urinary diversion procedures to treat the strictures. This surgery leads to the flow of urine permanently rerouted towards a small opening in the abdomen.
Complications of Urethral Stricture
If not diagnosed and treated at an early stage, it could lead to severe complications which include;
The formation of a malignant tumor (cancer)
Urinary tract infections and bladder stones
Complete blockage of urine flow
How can you Prevent Urethral Stricture?
It is not always possible to prevent the strictures but there are certain measures you could take to mitigate the risks.
Using protection during intercourse as STIs are one of its causes
Immediately consult a doctor the moment you experience the symptoms of urethral strictures