A urethral (u-REE-thrul) stricture involves scarring that narrows the tube that carries urine out of the body, called the urethra. As a result of a stricture, less urine comes out of the bladder. This can cause problems in the urinary tract, such as infection.


Symptoms of urethral stricture can include:

  • Weak urine stream.
  • Bladder not emptying all the way.
  • Spraying urine.
  • Finding it hard or painful to pass urine.
  • Passing urine more often or feeling the need to pass urine more often.
  • Urinary tract infection.


Scar tissue, which can narrow the urethra, can be due to:

  • A medical procedure that involves putting a tool, such as an endoscope, into the urethra.
  • A tube that's put into the urethra to drain the bladder, called a catheter.
  • Trauma or injury to the urethra or pelvis.
  • An enlarged prostate or having had surgery to remove or reduce an enlarged prostate gland.
  • Cancer of the urethra or prostate.
  • Sexually transmitted infections.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • A skin condition that causes patchy, discolored, thin skin that often affects the genital area, called lichen sclerosus.

Urethral stricture is much more common in males than in females. Often the cause is unknown.

Oct. 14, 2023
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  2. Kellerman RD, et al. Urethral stricture. In: Conn's Current Therapy 2023. Elsevier, 2023. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 7, 2023,
  3. Lumen N, et al. European Association of Urology guidelines on urethral stricture disease (part 1): Management of male urethral stricture disease. European Urology. 2021; doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2021.05.022.
  4. Hughes M, et al. Advancements in transurethral management of urethral stricture disease. Current Opinion in Urology. 2021; doi:10.1097/MOU.0000000000000913.
  5. Verla W, et al. A comprehensive review emphasizing anatomy, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of male urethral stricture disease. 2019; doi:10.1155/2019/9046430.
  6. Gelman J, et al. Urethral stricture disease: Evaluation of the male urethra. Journal of Endourology. 2020; doi:10.1089/end.2018.0316.
  7. Ami TR. AllScripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 3, 2023.


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