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How is Urethral Trauma Diagnosed?

If you have blood at the end of the penis or in the urine or can’t pass urine after an injury to the urethral area, you should see a health care provider right away.

Your health care provider may try to pass a tube ("catheter") through your urethra. Not being able to pass a tube into the urethra is the first sign of urethral injury. An x-ray is done after squirting a special dye into the urethra. The dye is used to be seen on an x-ray. X-rays are taken to see if any of the dye leaks out of the urethra inside your body. This would mean there’s an injury. An x-ray of the urethra is often done after a pelvic fracture, because urethral injury is common in these cases (about 1 in 10 cases).