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- Patient Comments: Urethral Stricture - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Urethral Stricture - Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Urethral Stricture - Treatment
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- Urethral stricture facts
- What is the urethra?
- What is urethral stricture?
- What are the causes of urethral stricture?
- What are the symptoms and signs of urethral stricture?
- What type of doctor treats urethral obstruction?
- How is urethral stricture diagnosed?
- Are there any special tests for diagnosing urethral stricture?
- What is the treatment for urethral stricture?
- What surgical options are available for urethral stricture?
- Can urethral stricture be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for urethral stricture?
Urethral stricture facts
- Urethral stricture is much more common in men than in women. In fact, urethral stricture is rare in women.
- Congenital urethral strictures (present at birth) are also considered rare.
- Any inflammation of the urethra resulting from injury, trauma, previous surgery, or infection can cause urethral stricture.
- Symptoms of urethral stricture can range from no symptoms at all to complete urinary retention.
- Imaging studies and endoscopic evaluations are important tools in the diagnosis of urethral stricture.
- Medications generally play no role, and surgical procedures remain the mainstay of treatment for symptomatic urethral stricture.
- The overall prognosis for urethral stricture is good.
What is the urethra?
The urethra is the opening that allows urine to leave the bladder. In men, the urethra is a thin tube-like structure that starts from the lower opening of the bladder and traverses the entire length of the penis. In women, it is a shorter opening coming off the lower opening of bladder and is between 2.5 to 4 centimeters (cm) in length.
The urethra has a sphincter that is normally closed to keep urine inside the bladder. When the bladder fills with urine, there are both voluntary and involuntary controls to open the urethral sphincter to allow urine to come out.
What is urethral stricture?
Urethral stricture refers to any narrowing of the urethra for any reason whether or not it actually impacts the flow of urine out of the bladder.
Any inflammation of urethra can result in scarring, which then can lead to a stricture or a narrowing of the urethra. Trauma, infection, tumors, surgeries, or any other cause of scarring may lead to urethral narrowing or stricture. Mechanical narrowing of the urethra without scar formation (developmental causes or prostate enlargement) can also narrow the urethra.
Urethral stricture is significantly more common in men and boys compared to women and girls. This condition is considered rare in females.