Intermittent Self Meatal / Urethral Dilatation

You have been diagnosed with a narrowing, called a ‘stricture’ along the urethra (the tube which runs through the penis to carry urine from the bladder to the outside).

Symptoms of this narrowing include:

  • Difficulty in passing urine (straining).
  • Taking a long time to pass urine and/or passing urine with a narrow stream.
  • Urine may be incompletely emptied out of the bladder and this can lead to urinary tract infections.

Carrying out intermittent self-dilatation- dilates (widens) the narrowing. Continuing this can prevent the stricture reforming and thus prevents the need for repeated operations.


What does Intermittent Self - Dilatation involve?

Intermittent self- dilatation involves passing a special dilator down the urethra and removing it again. You need to be compliant with how often this is to be performed, as instructed by Mr Kearns.

How often will you need to insert the dilator?

Some men require twice-daily dilations but most men carry out self-dilatation daily.

How will you know if this is effective?

Urinary flow rate will be measured at regular follow up with Mr Kearns and always before the frequency of dilatation is decreased. This involves passing your urine in to a machine that measures how fast your urine is being passed and the amount.

How difficult is Self-Dilatation and will it hurt?

Most men find dilatation ‘fiddly’ at first but it is not difficult. Some men find it hurts a bit when you first start but generally it is not too painful.

Is it successful?

Success is mainly dependent on compliance.

Before commencing intermittent self - dilatation you will have had an examination under anaesthesia.

Mr Kearns will have made an assessment of the exact location and the severity of the narrowing.

Carrying out Self Dilatation

  • Assemble your equipment – dilator and lubricant
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Wash your penis with soap and water
  • Ensure the foreskin is pulled back if not circumcised
  • Position yourself in a comfortable position –sitting or standing
  • Lubricate your dilator with the lubricant
  • The penis should be held pointing upwards and close to the abdomen to ensure that the urethra is straight. It is important the penis is not squeezed as this can squash the urethra
  • Use your non- dominant hand to hold your penis
  • Use your dominant hand to insert the dilator into the tip of your penis and gently in as far as it comfortably goes, and then a tiny bit more
  • Gentle pressure may be needed to insert the dilator past the point of narrowing
  • Move the dilator up and down 3-4 times to ensure the stricture is dilated

Wash your dilator when finished in soapy water and dry. Store in a suitable clean container between uses.bIf you have difficulty inserting the catheter check:

  • Have I used enough lubricant?
  • Am I relaxed and comfortable?

It is important to remember to take your dilator with you if going on holidays.

Spots of blood are nothing to worry about and will probably disappear with time

The dilator is a foreign body being inserted in to your urethra – if you notice any of the following urinary symptoms:

  • Urine is cloudy or offensive
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Signs and symptoms of fever

If you have any concerns or questions please contact Geelong Urology Rooms – Phone. (03) 5229 9105