Urethral stricture is scarring in the inner tube of the penis that allows the urine to flow out of the body. The scar tissue can sometimes block the flow of urine creating problems. Urethral strictures are relatively rare in women.
Trauma, chronic inflammation, STIs, repeated procedures/surgeries, and radiation therapy of that region of the body can all be direct causes of urethral stricture. It is also possible for some men to have a form of urethral stricture disease.
There are many common symptoms that occur with urethral stricture. The list of symptoms includes slow/weak urine flow, inability to urinate, pain while urinating, spraying of the urine stream, hematuria, urethral discharge, recurring UTI, and abdominal pain.
Urethral stricture is often diagnosed through a medical exam accompanied by tests that allow the urologist to view the inside of the urethra. Imaging, such as x-rays and ultrasound, could provide a view of the blockage, and urethroscopy, which uses a small flexible scope will further allow the urologist to examine for scar tissue.
Treatment is dependent on the location and severity of the problem. Surgical enlargement of the narrowing, cutting the stricture via small incisions viewed through urethroscopy, and removal of the damaged part of the urethra with reconstruction are all possible treatments for urethral strictures.