Why is intermittent self-meatal/urethral dilatation necessary for you?

Why is intermittent self-meatal/urethral dilatation necessary for you?
You have been diagnosed with a narrowing, known as a 'stricture,' in the meatus (the opening at the tip of the penis) and/or along the urethra (the tube carrying urine from the bladder). This narrowing may result from hypospadias surgery, circumcision, or a condition called BXO (Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans).

Symptoms of this narrowing include difficulty passing urine, prolonged urination, and a narrow urine stream. Additionally, incomplete bladder emptying can lead to urinary tract infections.

Intermittent self-dilatation involves using a specialized dilator to widen the narrowing, preventing the stricture from reforming and avoiding repeated procedures under general anesthesia.

What is the process of intermittent self meatal/urethral dilatation?

The procedure entails inserting a dilator into the meatus and a short distance into the urethra, followed by immediate removal. The dilator size is gradually increased, following a program outlined by your provider.

Dilations may be required twice daily or daily, and once a suitable dilator size is reached, the frequency can be gradually reduced. Various types of intermittent dilators are available, and you will be given a selection to choose from.

Meatal dilators Website

Effectiveness is monitored through urinary flow rate measurements, and compliance is crucial for success. While some initial discomfort may be experienced, intermittent self-dilatation is a long-term commitment. If compliance is high, success is likely, but occasionally, despite compliance, dilator sizes cannot be increased, requiring a dilatation under general anesthesia.

How to do intermitted self-meatal urethral dilation

Before starting, a doctor will conduct an examination under anesthesia to assess the location and severity of the narrowing. A Nurse Specialist will then provide teaching, dilator supplies, and ongoing reviews.

The technique involves washing hands, opening the dilator, washing the penis, inserting the dilator as advised, moving it up and down the urethra, and disposing of it properly.


Spots of blood on the dilator are normal, but continuous bleeding requires urgent medical advice. Infections may occur, and if symptoms like cloudy urine or pain during urination arise, a urine specimen should be tested.

Dilators should be stored in a cool, dry place and used before their expiry dates. When traveling, it's essential to take dilators with you, and obtaining additional supplies is typically possible for home delivery.

If you have pain, blood in the urine, or fever, please call your provider. 

The content on this website serves as a general summary for public information only. This information is not medical advice, nor does it act as a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For inquiries about a medical condition, it is essential to consult with a doctor or another qualified health professional.

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