Are there any ladies out there with uretheral strictures?

I've found that this condition is rather rare in ladies, I'm 36 and found out recently that I have one.

I've had symptoms on and off for about 5 yrs, since my daughter was born, though it was never bad enough for me to think there may be a real problem until June 2013.

I mentioned to my pain specialist nurse after a particularly painful and frightening experience a few days earlier when I was in Glasgow for a gig, she initially thought it was a rare reaction to the amitriptyline that I take for my back problems and weaned me off.

As I continued to have 'episodes' of not being able to urinate, feeling a lot of pressure while going and it taking a bloody long time to go with stopping and starting and after negative blood and urine tests I was eventually referred to a urologist. He is a rock star, that's for sure, after a year of my gp and the pain clinic passing responsibility of ordering an mri (of my lower back) back and forth the urologist listened to my symptoms and referred me for an urgent mri!! He then arranged a referral to a neuro surgeon despite the mri confirming my back problems were not affecting urination.

I've since had a bladder pressure test and at the start of this procedure, the nurse had difficulty passing the catheter and identifying the likelihood of a stricture. The test results showed high pressure with interupted slow flow. I'm waiting for a cystoscopy to investigate further and a dilation which I believe is unfortunately a temporary relief. I'm also waiting to be taught self catheterisation :-(

I'd really like to hear from any ladies out there who are also suffering with this, to hear about your experiences and treatments

1 Reply

  • I don't have a stricture, but I do have a neurogenic bladder that requires self catheterisation. I've found a lot of help from spinal cord injury forums, as bladder problems go along with SCIs. In most NHS areas there will be continence nurses too, that can be really excellent. Unfortunately we don't have them in our area. Some areas you can self refer to continence nurses as well.

    To be honest, I don't think urinary problems after childbirth are actually that rare - just that they don't seem to get picked up particularly well and too many women just put up with it. It is really important to deal with though, as it could end up damaging your kidneys if you don't. I hope the dilatation goes well and lasts a reasonable length of time, though I guess it is something that you will have to repeat.

    I am a bit surprised that they didn't get you started on self-cathing right away though - if you have high bladder pressure now, then you need to be dealing with it and making sure you empty your bladder properly at least once a day. I was selfcathing the day after my urodynamic studies. With the self cathing, ask if you can try a variety of different catheters - they are all different and you need to find one that you feel comfortable with. Speedicath compacts are great for a lot of women, but there are other compact caths as well. I ended up ordering my own samples from the catheter companies in the end, as my community nurse was hopeless with it. Also, it can be really difficult trying to "hit the spot" at first. Ask the nurse who teaches you if they have a special cathing mirror available - you can get ones specially designed to either be held between your legs, on the catheter, or on your wrist, and it does make a huge difference at first, though you quickly get used to it all.

    PM me if you want to talk more. It can get to be a bit "too much information" for these message boards.

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