Meatal Stenosis: Overview

What is meatal stanosis?

Meatal stenosis is a narrowing of the urethral meatus, which is the opening at the tip of the penis. If the opening becomes too narrow, difficulty with urination may exist. 

What causes meatal stenosis?

Meatal stenosis is most commonly associated with circumcision. This is usually a result of the newly exposed skin of the penis rubbing against the diaper, causing chronic irritation and resulting in scarring and then narrowing of the meatus. 

Stenosis can also occur after a hypospadias repair, but this risk is low (approximately 4%). Injury to the tip of the penis, inflammatory conditions and prolonged use of urinary catheters can increase the risk of this condition as well.

Who gets meatal stenosis?

Male children who have been circumcised get meatal stenosis about 2% of the time.