Urethral stricture is a narrowing of the tube that carries urine out the body (the urethra). The stricture (narrowing) is a result of scar tissue and restricts the flow of urine out of the bladder which can lead to a variety of medical problems in the urinary tract such as inflammation and infection.

Symptoms of urethral stricture

  • Decreased urine stream
  • Spraying of the urine stream
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Difficulty or pain when urinating
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Increased urge and frequency of urination
  • Blood in the urine

Causes of urethral stricture

These are more common in men than women and sometimes the cause is unknown. However, the stricture is usually a result of scar tissue narrowing the urethra. This scar tissue can be caused by:

  • Medical procedure involving the urethra
  • Kidney stone surgery
  • Intermittent or long-term use of a catheter
  • Trauma or injury to the urethra and/or pelvis
  • Cancer of the urethra or prostate
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Radiation therapy
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Previous prostate surgery


There are several options depending on the severity of the stricture. Unfortunately, there are no medications to help with a stricture and without treatment the symptoms will not subside. Furthermore, without treatment further problems could arise such at kidney stones, urinary and/or testicular infections, urinary retention as well as bladder and kidney problems.

Treatments include:

  • Dilation – This may be suggested for a short stricture. The stricture is stretched using dilators or a balloon catheter. Unfortunately, this isn’t a cure and the procedure needs to be repeated to keep symptoms at bay.
  • Urethrotomy – This uses the cytoscope (long tube with a camera on it), to locate the stricture, then specialised instruments are used to cut the ring of scar tissue and open up the blocked area.
  • Open surgery called urethral reconstruction – if the other two options fail or are unsuitable this may be suggested. Either the sections of scar tissue is removed and the urethra is stitched back together, or the urethra is rebuild using skin graft from another area.

If you would like to speak to our team about a urethral stricture or other treatments, please call us on 0161 327 1269 or email us at info@urologyclinics.co.uk. We also offer treatment for other urological cancers.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.