A urethral stricture occurs when scarring narrows the water pipe that carries urine out of your body. A stricture restricts the flow of urine from the bladder and can cause a variety of medical problems in the urinary tract, including reduced urine stream, urine infections and inability to urinate.
Symptoms include slowing of the urine stream, spraying of the urine stream, dribbling after urination, pain during urination, blood in the urine, urethral discharge or urine infections.
Causes of urethral strictures include:
Urethral stricture is rare in women because the female urethra is much shorter.
Your doctor will recommend a number of tests to assess for urethral stricture. These may include:
Treatment initially involves dilatation/stretching of the scar tissue or cutting the scar tissue with a knife or laser with cystoscopy. This will increase the lumen of the urethra to the original normal size. Sometimes this will fix the problem permanently, but frequently scarring and urethral stricture will recur because of recurrent scarring of the urethra tube.
Subsequent treatment options include:
Self Catheterisation – a catheter is passed in and out of the urethra by the patient on a regular basis to keep the urethral scarring from progressing
Urethroplasty – this involves surgical reconstruction the urethra. The scarred and diseased section of your urethra is removed and normal urethra is joined together. Sometimes, tissue from the inside of the mouth is required to be grafted on to the narrowed urethra to enlarge it. The recurrence of strictures after urethroplasty is low.