The urethra is a tube which carries urine from the bladder so it can be expelled out of the body. Usually, the urethra is wide enough for the urine to flow freely through it. When the urethra narrows down, it can restrict urinary flow. This is known as a Urethral Stricture. Urethral stricture is a medical condition which mainly affects men.
Urethral stricture is usually caused due to tissue inflammation or the presence of scar tissue. Scar tissue can be a result of many factors. A straddle injury is a common type of trauma that can lead to urethral stricture. Straddle injuries include falling on a bicycle bar or getting hit in the area close to the scrotum. Other possible causes of urethral stricture include:
- Pelvic fractures.
- Catheter insertion.
- Harmful radiations.
- Surgery performed on the prostate.
- A tumour located in close proximity to the urethra.
- Untreated or repetitive urinary tract infections.
- The sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia.
- Weak urine flow or reduction in the volume of urine.
- Sudden, frequent urge to urinate.
- Pain and burning sensation during urination.
- Inability to control urination.
- Pain in the pelvic or lower abdominal area.
- Presence of blood in the semen or urine.
- Darkening of the urine.
- Inability to urinate.
Nonsurgical: The first mode of treatment is to make the urethra wider using a medical instrument called a dilator. A doctor will begin by passing a small wire through the urethra and into the bladder to dilate it gradually. Another nonsurgical option is permanent urinary catheter placement. This procedure carries risks such as bladder irritation and urinary tract infections.
Surgery: Surgery is one of the options. This procedure involves the removing of affected tissue and reconstructing the urethra. The results vary based on the stricture size.
Urine Flow Diversion: A catheter in the abdomen will need to divert and drain urine flow. This is very rare and considered a last-resort method when all other methods have failed.
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