Urethral Stricture

  • Medical Author:
    Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH

    Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

View Urinary Incontinence in Women Slideshow Pictures

What are the causes of urethral stricture?

The following are common causes of scarring or narrowing of the urethra:

  • Trauma from injury or accidents with damage to the urethra or bladder (for example, falling on a frame of a bicycle between the legs, or a car accident)
  • Pelvic injury or trauma
  • Previous procedures involving the urethra (urinary catheters, surgeries, cystoscopy)
  • Previous prostate surgery (TURP or transurethral resection of the prostate for prostate enlargement)
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Cancer of the urethra (rare)
  • Infections of the urethra (sexually transmitted diseases or STDs, urethritis, gonorrhea, chlamydia)
  • Prostate infection or inflammation (prostatitis)
  • Previous hypospadias surgery (a congenital birth defect in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of the tip)
  • Congenital malformations of the urethra, which rarely can cause urethral stricture in children

According one study, about one-half of causes of urethral stricture are from medical procedures and manipulation of the urethra or nearby structures (surgeries, catheter insertion, etc.). In about one-third of cases, no identifiable cause was found.

What are the symptoms and signs of urethral stricture?

Symptoms of urethral stricture can range from no symptoms at all (asymptomatic), to mild discomfort, to complete urinary retention (inability to urinate).

Some of the possible symptoms and complications of urethral stricture include the following:

  • Difficulty starting urine flow
  • Painful urination (dysuria)
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Urinary retention
  • Incomplete emptying of bladder
  • Decreased urine stream
  • Dribbling of urine
  • Spraying or double streaming urine
  • Blood in the urine (bloody or dark-appearing urine) known as hematuria
  • Blood in the semen
  • Urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Discharge from the urethra
  • Reduced ejaculation force
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/15/2015

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Women's Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Urethral Stricture - Symptoms

    Please describe the symptoms associated with and complications of your urethral stricture.

    Post View 3 Comments
  • Urethral Stricture - Diagnosis

    Describe the events that led to a diagnosis of a urethral stricture.

    Post View 4 Comments
  • Urethral Stricture - Treatment

    What kinds of treatment (medications or surgery) did you receive for your urethral stricture?

    Post View 5 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors