A urethral (u-REE-thrul) stricture involves scarring that narrows the tube that carries urine out of your body (urethra). A stricture restricts the flow of urine from the bladder and can cause a variety of medical problems in the urinary tract, including inflammation or infection.


Signs and symptoms of urethral stricture include:

  • Decreased urine stream
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Spraying of the urine stream
  • Difficulty, straining or pain when urinating
  • Increased urge to urinate or more-frequent urination
  • Urinary tract infection


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

  • A medical procedure that involves inserting an instrument, such as an endoscope, into the urethra
  • Intermittent or long-term use of a tube inserted through the urethra to drain the bladder (catheter)
  • Trauma or injury to the urethra or pelvis
  • An enlarged prostate or previous surgery to remove or reduce an enlarged prostate gland
  • Cancer of the urethra or prostate
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Radiation therapy

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

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition.

Urethral stricture care at Mayo Clinic

Dec. 03, 2022
  1. Peterson A. Urethral strictures in men. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 14, 2017.
  2. Male urethral stricture: AUA guideline. American Urological Association. https://www.auanet.org/guidelines/male-urethral-stricture-(2016). Accessed June 14, 2017.
  3. Tritschler S, et al. Urethral stricture: Etiology, investigation and treatments. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. 2013;110:220.
  4. Riggin EA. AllScripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 10, 2017.
  5. Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 28, 2017.


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