Is Urethral Stricture Encountered in Women?
Urethra is shorter in women compared to men. While the male urethra is approximately 30 cm long, it is 4-5 cm in women. Therefore, urethral stricture is not as prevalent as in males.
Urethral stricture usually appears in women due to traumatic causes. Inappropriate urethral dilations performed on women due to complaints concerning urination are among the most significant causes of urethral strictures.
In order to identify urethral strictures in women, suspicion and examination are of vital importance. Difficulty in advancing a catheter through the urinary canal and findings such as high urine pressure and low urine flow rate in the urodynamic examination of a woman with complaints of difficulty when urinating, frequent urges to urinate, and weak urine flow must bring urethral stricture to mind.
Although urethral dilations are commonly preferred as the first line treatment of female urethral stricture, treatment success is very low as strictures have a high rate of recurrence and repeated dilations result in the formation of progressive fibrosis around the urinary canal.
Similar to the treatment of male urethral strictures, urethroplasty has become the most commonly preferred treatment for women due to high treatment success rates following a single session. The urethroplasty operation offers surgery success rates above 90% with grafts obtained from the vaginal lips or the oral mucosa. Meanwhile, the risk of urinary incontinence following urethroplasty is extremely low in females.