Urethral strictures can be a cause of great discomfort.

Urethral strictures can be difficult to diagnose due to the symptoms resembling other problems, such as a bladder infection.

  • Urethral strictures can occur at any time in life. Sometimes they are due to trauma, and sometimes people are naturally born with a narrow urethra.
  • The strictures can also be caused by infection or urethritis. It is also possible to have a urethral stricture due to surgery or injury.

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Some of the symptoms of urethral strictures can include:

  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Feeling like you need to urinate constantly
  • Straining to urinate
  • Spraying stream
  • Decreased stream


The treatment for a urethral stricture is usually dilation. The first treatment will be catheterization to relieve the stricture. Dilation is achieved by gradually opening the urethra with the use of tiny wires. Another treatment is urethroplasty, where the narrow part of the urethra is replaced or widened. There is also the option of an endoscopic urethrotomy, where the doctor will vaporize the stricture with a laser. Another treatment option is a stent or permanent catheter if the patient opts out of surgery.

What to Expect

Most of the stricture treatments mean that patients will never have urethral stricture problems again. Different patients will be able to choose the treatment that is right for them after the doctor has briefed them about what they should expect when receiving treatment. Doctors will use several tests to diagnose whether a patient's symptoms are due to urethral stricture. Some of the tests include the following:

Who is a Candidate?

Some patients may find that certain treatment options are preferable to others. For example, some of the surgeries might not be the best for young children or the elderly. There are always new treatments being developed and the future of medicine may have even more options to deal with this problem. For the moment, there are only a few ways to deal with it. Every patient will need to decide what is the best for them with the help of their doctor.

Regardless of what treatment is suggested by the doctor or chosen by the patient, it's important to seek help for this issue as soon as possible. Life can be very uncomfortable and difficult when dealing with a urethral stricture, and there are many treatments available to help put things right again. If you are concerned that you may have a urethral stricture, make an appointment to discuss it with a doctor.

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Joel Gelman, M.D.
Male Urology
HS Clinical Professor-VCF
Faysal A. Yafi, M.D., F.R.C.S.C.
Male Urology
Associate Professor of Urology, Director of Newport Beach Urology, Director of Men's Health, Chief, Division of Men's Health and Reconstructive Urology

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