The University of California Los Angeles Health System (UCLA) defined urethral stricture as scarring in or around the urethra. The urethra’s primary job is to pass urine from the body. This scarring can occur anywhere between the bladder and the tip of the penis.
University of Michigan Health System (U-M Health System) said the stricture eventually reduces or obstructs urine flow out of the bladder, making urination difficult. The bladder therefore must work harder to push the urine through the narrowed area of the urethra. This condition is much more common in men than in women.
The Center for Reconstructive Urology Causes of Urethral Strictures said a common urethral stricture cause is trauma to the urethra from impact to the scrotal area. Another may be pelvic bone fracture which include vehicle accidents and crush injuries.
According to UCLA, trauma resulting from placement of a catheter, endoscope, or other foreign body into the area can result in urethral stricture, or occur after prostate surgery or removal of kidney stones. Other potential causes are sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.
AUA Foundation (AUA) said in children, urethral strictures most often follow reconstructive surgery for congenital abnormalities of the penis and urethra, cystoscopy and urethral catheter drainage.
U-M Health System listed signs and symptoms of urethral stricture to include weak or slow urine stream, trouble starting urination and emptying the bladder, dribbling, urgency, irritation or burning during urination, urinary retention or frequency and urinary incontinence.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said other symptoms include blood in the semen, bloody or dark urine, urethral discharge and swelling of the penis.
If urethral stricture isn’t treated appropriately, U-M Health System said it can lead to urinary retention, urinary incontinence, inflammation or infection of the urinary tract, reflux (when urine backs up into the kidneys) and kidney failure.
NIH reported that currently there are no drug treatments for this condition.