Urethral Stricture

The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body. In a woman, the urethra's opening is in front of the vagina. In a man, it is at the tip of the penis. Narrowing or blockage of the urethra is called a urethral stricture. This is more common in men than in women.


A blockage of the urethra is often caused by scar tissue. This may be due to surgery, sexually transmitted infections, or long-term catheter use. The cause can also be unknown.


The symptoms of urethral stricture include:

  • Slow urine flow or a urine stream that is split or a spray

  • Urine leakage or dribbling (incontinence)

  • Can't empty the bladder fully

  • Pain when urinating 

  • Pain in the pelvis or lower belly

  • Frequent urge to urinate

  • Blood in the urine

  • Urinary tract infection


If your stricture is severe, a tube (catheter) may be put into your urethra to drain your bladder. This should ease pain for a short time. Without treatment, strictures almost always come back. You will need to follow up with a doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract (urologist) to find the best treatment for your condition.

Home care

  • If you were given antibiotics, take them until they are used up, or until your healthcare provider tells you to stop. Finish the antibiotics even if you feel better. This is to make sure your infection has cleared.

  • If a catheter was inserted, follow the instructions provided for catheter care.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to get medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your provider

  • Bladder pain or fullness

  • Belly pain or swelling

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Back pain

  • Weakness, dizziness, or fainting

Was this helpful?

Yes No

Tell us more.

Check all that apply.

Last question: How confident are you filling out medical forms by yourself?

Not at all A little Somewhat Quite a bit Extremely

Thank You!

© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.