Urethral stricture disease is a medical condition that affects the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body. It is caused by the narrowing of the urethra, which can result in difficulty urinating, pain, and other complications. In this blog post, we will discuss what urethral stricture disease is, its symptoms, how it is diagnosed, and the treatment options available.

What is Urethral Stricture Disease?

Urethral stricture disease occurs when the urethra narrows due to scarring, inflammation, or injury. The narrowing can occur in any part of the urethra, but it is most commonly found in the area where the penis and the urethra meet. Urethral strictures can be caused by a variety of factors, including urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, trauma to the urethra, or previous surgery in the area.

Symptoms of Urethral Stricture Disease

The symptoms of urethral stricture disease vary depending on the severity of the narrowing. Sometimes there may be no symptoms. When symptoms do materialize, they may include, though:

  • Difficulty starting to urinate>
  • Weak urine flow.
  • Urine spraying or dribbling
  • Painful urination.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Inability to urinate.
  • Swelling of the penis or urethra.

Diagnosis of Urethral Stricture Disease

Diagnosing urethral stricture disease requires a physical examination and various tests. During the physical examination, a healthcare provider may check the patient's abdomen and genitals for signs of swelling or tenderness. To examine the prostate gland, they could also perform a digital rectal examination.

  • The tests used to diagnose urethral stricture disease may include:
  • A urination test checks for illness or blood in the urine.
  • Imaging tests, such as ultrasound, to examine the urethra and bladder.
  • Uroflowmetry to measure the rate of urine flow.
  • Cystoscopy to look inside the urethra and bladder using a small camera.

Treatment Options for Urethral Stricture Disease

The treatment options for urethral stricture disease depend on the severity of the narrowing and the patient's overall health. In some cases, the condition can be managed with medications or lifestyle changes. Surgery, however, might be required in more severe situations.

Retrograde Urethrogram (RGU)

A retrograde urethrogram is a diagnostic imaging procedure that involves the use of contrast dye to evaluate the urethra. It is typically performed to assess the structure and function of the urethra and diagnose any abnormalities or injuries.

During a retrograde urethrogram, a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into the urethra. A contrast dye is then injected through the catheter, and X-ray images are taken as the dye flows backward through the urethra. This allows the radiologist to visualize the urethra and detect any blockages, strictures (narrowing), or abnormalities in its structure.

The procedure is commonly used to evaluate conditions such as urethral strictures, urethral trauma or injuries, congenital abnormalities, and urinary incontinence. It can provide valuable information for treatment planning and guiding interventions or surgeries if necessary.


Medications may be prescribed to manage the symptoms of urethral stricture disease, such as pain, inflammation, or infection. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the patient has a urinary tract infection. Alpha-blockers may also be prescribed to relax the muscles in the urethra, allowing urine to flow more freely.

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes may also be recommended to manage the symptoms of urethral stricture disease. Patients may be advised to drink plenty of water, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and urinate frequently to reduce pressure on the urethra.


Dilation involves inserting a small, flexible tube into the urethra to widen the narrowing. This procedure is typically done under local anesthesia and may need to be repeated over time.


Urethroplasty is a surgical procedure that involves removing the narrow portion of the urethra and reconnecting the healthy parts. A hospital stay may be necessary for this treatment, which is often performed under general anesthesia.

Prevention of Urethral Stricture Disease

While not all cases of urethral stricture disease can be prevented, there are some steps that you can take to reduce your risk of developing the condition. These include:

  • Utilizing healthy sexual practices can lower your risk of sexually transmitted infections.
  • Seeking prompt treatment for any urinary tract infections or other urinary tract conditions.
  • Avoiding the use of catheters or other medical devices in the urethra whenever possible.
  • Seeking prompt medical attention if you experience any symptoms of urethral stricture disease.


Urethral stricture disease is a medical condition that can cause significant discomfort and complications. The symptoms of urethral stricture disease can vary depending on the severity of the narrowing. You should see a doctor if you suffer from any symptoms.

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