Urethral stricture is the narrowing of the urethra. It can be caused by the build-up of scar tissues post urethral trauma. The scar tissue obstructs the pathway through which urine exits the body, which can lead to urinary retention, UTIs, pain, and inflammation. Chronic inflammation as the result of UTIs also causes urethral stricture.
Study finds that 45% of urethral stricture results from injuries relating to medical examination or treatment, 30% are due to unknown reasons, and 20% are due to bacterial urethritis (urethral inflammation caused by bacteria).
When the urethra is injured during medical procedures or by accident, scar tissue can form and obstruct the urethra.
Examples of medical procedures that can lead to urethral stricture are:
Other times, scar tissue forms as a result of accidental injuries to the urethra. In men, pelvic fractures injure the first one to two inches of the urethra, leading to posterior urethral stricture.
Anterior urethral stricture happens in the last nine to ten inches of the urethra due to traumas caused by straddling, catheterization and injury to the penis.
STI and UTIs cause inflammation of the urethra, leading to urethral stricture. Some common bacterial culprits are:
Urethral stricture can occur at any point in the urethra. The causes of urethral stricture are similar in men and women, but because men have longer urethras than women, it occurs more commonly in men.
Urethral stricture leads to urinary retention, which leads to an increased risk of UTIs. Symptoms of UTIs include:
There is no available drug that can treat urethral stricture, but there are other options available.
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