Urethral trauma can affect two different parts of the urethra. Trauma to the anterior urethra is usually the result of straddle-like injuries. This trauma occurs when a person sustains injury from a sharp blow to the perineum, since the urethra is located near the skin in this area. This injury can occur, for example, when a child forcefully straddles a bicycle seat or bar or a fence. Trauma to the anterior urethra can lead to scarring called a urethral stricture, scarring that can slow or block the flow of urine from the penis.
Trauma to the posterior urethra is almost always a result of severe injuries such as pelvic fractures following automobile accidents or falls from significant heights. In males, posterior urethral trauma may result in the urethra being completely torn just below the prostate. These severe injuries can also lead to scar tissue that slows or blocks the normal flow of urine. For females, urethral injuries are rare and almost always related to pelvic fractures or cuts, tears, or direct trauma to the vaginal area.