The urethra’s job is to transport urine from the bladder out of the body. Sometimes, this small tube becomes even more narrow than usual. This condition is called a urethral stricture. Urethral strictures can cause uncomfortable symptoms and may lead to additional medical complications if left untreated. Because of this, it’s recommended that patients seek a referral to a urologist for specialized treatment.
Do women ever get urethral strictures?
It’s possible but rare. They almost always affect men because men have a longer urethra. This means there are more opportunities for the urethra to be affected by injuries or disease.
What causes urethral strictures?
Occasionally, urologists are unable to determine the cause. Some of the most common causes include:
- Trauma to the urethra (such as from a fall)
- Infection in the area (including sexually transmitted diseases)
- Surgery to remove kidney stones
- Use of a urinary catheter
- Radiation therapy to the area
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Surgery for an enlarged prostate
Any condition or injury that can cause swelling and scarring of the urethra may cause it to narrow. This is why the doctor will ask about your prior history of surgeries. If you’ve ever had an endoscope or other instrument inserted into the urethra, there’s always a possibility that it can cause scarring.
What are the symptoms of urethral strictures?
Initially, patients will primarily notice problems with urinary flow, including the following:
- Incomplete bladder emptying
- Decreased urine stream
- Spraying or sputtering of the urine stream
Some patients may also experience pain during urination. If the urethral stricture isn’t treated and it causes additional damage, such as damage to the kidneys, patients may experience bloody or dark urine, bloody semen, urethral leaking, and abdominal pain. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) may occur frequently, along with urinary incontinence and swelling of the penis.
Have you been diagnosed with urethral strictures? Find the expert care you need at Urology Associates, P.C. Call us today at 888-656-0667 to request our next available appointment with a urologist in Tennessee.