What is Urethral Stricture?
The urethra is a tube that connects the urinary bladder to the urethral meatus. The urethral meatus is the opening of the penis that assists in the flow of urine outside the body. Because of various reasons such as infective urethritis, non-infective urethritis, instrumentation, prostate enlargement, and injury, this tube gets constricted. The symptoms experienced by the patient depends upon the severity of stricture. Some patients may not have any symptoms while others have symptoms of varying severity. Men are more affected by urethral strictures as compared to women. In fact, the urethral stricture is rare in women and girls. Pathophysiology of the disease indicates fibrosis of spongiosum as a reason for urethral strictures.
Causes of Urethral Stricture
In developed countries, most urethral strictures occur without any known cause while in developing countries, trauma is most common cause. In developed countries, people may also develop urethral strictures due to iatrogenic effect. Following are some of the causes of urethral strictures:
Trauma: Trauma is a common cause for urethral strictures. Trauma may be caused due to injury on the area near scrotum or falling on the perineum. Urethral stricture may also occur due to falling on bicycle bar.
Medical Procedure: Various medical procedures such as prostatectomy, prostate brachytherapy, hypospadias correction surgery, and catheterization may lead to urethral strictures.
Prostate disorders: Prostate gland disorders also cause urethral strictures. It includes prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer.
Infections: Urethral strictures may also be caused due to infections such as sexually transmitted diseases.
Cancer treatment: Radiation therapy may also lead to urethral strictures.