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The urethra is a passageway that connects to the urinary bladder, which acts as an exit point. The inner lining of muscle surrounds the urethra. The lining is constantly protected by mucus, which is secreted by the urethral glands. In females, the sole function of the urethra is the excretion of urine. The male urethra, however, is involved with the reproductive system, enabling both urine and semen to pass. Urethral constriction is a condition wherein the urethral tube is narrowed, which inhibits the normal flow of urine. Its origin can be traced to previous trauma or infection or could be unknown. The condition may be asymptomatic or may show a variety of signs, including urinary retention, dribbling during urination, painful urination and frequent urinary tract infections.
Insert a cystoscope to drain the urine from the bladder. A cytoscope is a device used by the physician to view the urethral canal up to the urinary bladder. Aside from its viewing capabilities, it can also serve as a dilator for the urethral canal, enabling urine to pass. Your doctor will administer an anesthetic to reduce the pain during the procedure. The cystoscope is lubricated to provide a smoother entry through the delicate wall. It is considered an invasive procedure because a large tube is inserted into the urethra, which can potentially damage the urethral wall.
Perform intermittent catheterization to empty the bladder. A catheter is a rubber tube that is inserted in the urethra leading to the urinary bladder. Catheters are indicated to facilitate drainage of urine, especially in urinary retention. Catheterization is usually done a few times daily to avoid infections and trauma to the urethra. As with cystoscopy, a catheter is also lubricated to aid its entry. You can perform the procedure in your home if properly educated by your doctor.
Undergo a surgical procedure to permanently widen the urethra. There are a variety of surgical management options for urethral constriction. Implantation of a permanent urethral stent can be an option. It is placed in the urethra using a specialized device to maintain its potency. The main concern with stents is that they can migrate to other areas. If this happens, another surgery might be necessary to reposition the device. Another problem with stents is that they can cause pain and discomfort while sitting or during intercourse. Urethrotomy, or incision of the urethra, is also an option if the cause of the stricture is a scar. The goal of the procedure is to remove the scar tissue that causes the obstruction. The problem with the procedure is that it can cause erectile dysfunction and serious bleeding.