The external male genitalia consists of the penis and testicles. Other structures such as the vas deferens and epididymis form part of the male genital tract.

The penis comprises of tissues, blood vessels and the urethra (tube for carrying urine and sperm). The head of the penis (glans) is usually covered by foreskin, unless this has been removed.

What is a urethral stricture?

The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder (and semen from the internal male genitalia) out along the penis. A urethral stricture is a narrowing in this tube, which in turn can affect the flow of urine.

What are the causes?

There are various causes for strictures including infection, injury or trauma, and procedures or treatments that may result in some scarring to the urethra.

What are the symptoms?

  • Poor stream. The urine flow is weaker, taking longer to empty the bladder.
  • Dribbling. This usually occurs at the end of the urinary flow or after you have finished.
  • Poor emptying. You may feel your bladder is not completely emptying.
  • Frequency. You may pass urine more than usual. This can be particularly annoying at night resulting in poor sleep.

Investigations may include:

  • Cystoscopy. Camera test of the waterpipe and bladder.
  • Urethrogram. X-ray with contrast instilled into the water pipe.

Treatment options include dilatation (stretching) of the stricture point, urethrotomy (surgical incision or ‘cut’ of the stricture point), and urethroplasty (surgery to remove or correct the strictured area).