Stiffness of the Urinary Tract

What is Urinary Tract Stiffness?

Urinary tract stiffness is a condition that occurs when the walls of the urinary tract harden, making it difficult for urine to pass through. This can cause urinary symptoms, such as frequent or painful urination. It’s also known as ureteral stricture or bladder wall thickening. It can result from a range of illnesses and medical conditions and can develop at any age.

Causes of Urinary Tract Stiffness

Possible causes of urinary tract stiffness can include:

  • Injury or trauma to the urinary tract
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Inflammatories Diseases (IBD)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Kidney stones
  • Bladder cancer
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Cystocele (herniated bladder)

Diagnosing Urinary Tract Stiffness

A doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about the person’s medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle choices. They may also perform the following tests to diagnose urinary tract stiffness:

  • Urine analysis: To detect if there is infection, inflammation, or blood in the urine.
  • Urine culture: To determine the type of bacteria, if any, present in the urine.
  • Urodynamic study: To measure bladder pressure, urine flow, and bladder storage capacity.
  • CT scan: To generate images of the urinary tract and show any abnormalities.
  • Ultrasound: To assess the size of the bladder and other urinary tract structures.
  • Retrograde pyelogram: To look at the structure of the urinary tract and detect any obstruction.
  • Ureteroscope: To examine the ureters for signs of narrowing or blockage.

Treatment for Urinary Tract Stiffness

The treatment for urinary tract stiffness depends on the underlying cause. Possible approaches include the following:

  • Antibiotics: To treat a urinary tract infection.
  • Medication: To reduce the inflammation associated with IBD.
  • Surgery: To remove kidney stones or correct a herniated bladder.
  • Radiation therapy: To treat bladder cancer.
  • Urethral dilation: To stretch the urethra if it has become too narrow.
  • Ureteral stent placement: To keep the ureter open and prevent obstruction.
  • Bladder augmentation: To surgically create a larger bladder for individuals with a small bladder capacity.