So I just made an account on this website, apologies if I am using it wrong.
About 3 years ago, I was 18, after an accident where I spilled cooking oil all over my body, I began to notice the feeling of a small lump within my penis. It, at the time, felt to me as if there was urine stuck in my penis. I, perhaps foolishly, tried to force it out resulting in no success. This lump feeling stayed within my penis for a couple of days before fading away. The following weeks after this event weird things started to happen; I felt odd sensations within my penis such as itching and discomfort. It scared me quite a bit, I was developing a bad case of hypochondria at the time which made things worse. I was too embarrassed to say anything to anyone in my family that would result in me seeing a doctor. Eventually, these sensations faded away.
A couple of months later, however, the sensations came back in conjunction with the feeling of burning when I urinated, so I caved in and went to a doctor. Around this time the bumpy feeling was intermittent. The doctor found no signs of bacteria in my urethra but recommended that I go see a urologist.
I feel I should mention here that I have been incredibly fortunate throughout my life as I have never really had any health concerns before.
The wait for the urologist was tremendously long and my symptoms had cleared up by that time. I still, however, felt that I needed to get these weird sensations looked at. He examined me and concluded that everything was fine and that my symptoms weren't anything to be too concerned about but if things got worse that I must phone him and have a cystoscopy.
This slightly annoyed me as these symptoms were scaring me constantly but I was relieved that I did not need to do anything more. I feel that I should mention that I have never been put under anesthetic before and the thought of it terrifies me.
After this, I am 20 at this point, I ended up getting a girlfriend and we ended up engaging in sexual behavior. Around this point, something else very strange happens, for the first time in my life my sex drive started to drop and I stopped having erections in the morning when I woke up.
This concerned me so I went to see a regular doctor who examined me and checked my blood for testosterone levels as well as other things. Everything came back clear and eventually my sex drive returned by itself over the next few months. I, however, still did not wake up with erections anymore. I could achieve an erection naturally just fine it was just that I stopped waking up with them like I had been for years.
Fast forward to last year. The lump feeling is prevalent and while annoying, it did not stop me from peeing or ejaculating. It did, however, result in my penis hurting if I had an erection after already ejaculating in a given day. This all scared me but it was not getting worse and the urologist had said everything was ok so I did not panic too much.
Because I am a hypochondriac, I googled my symptoms like crazy through this whole ordeal. I had come to the conclusion that the cooking oil had caused my urethra to get inflamed and my constant force to pull out what I thought at the time was stuck urine caused me to develop a urethral stricture. This was my theory based on what I had googled and based on the fact that when I looked inside my urethra I could see what looked like a narrowing.
Later last year my testicles started feeling weird. My left testicle would feel very sensitive and hurt in places at times. This was a huge red flag so I immediately went to the doctor. The doctor took a urine and blood sample and was unable to find any evidence of infection nor did she feel and abnormalities. She gave me antibiotics anyway just in case but my problem did not go away. When this did not work she eventually gave up and suggested that I go back to the urologist.
I booked another appointment but the appointment was for 5 months later so I found another urologist that had a shorter waiting period while keeping my first appointment just in case.
I went to the new urologist, he did all the tests and found nothing. At this point, I am feeling incredibly anxious frustrated and helpless. I feel like nobody is taking me seriously and I am frustrated that everything comes back negative. I then decided to wait for the appointment with the old urologist in the hopes that I will finally find answers.
So I wait the 5 months, by which point my testicular symptoms had faded away and, after an examination, I again am told that nothing is really wrong, that my symptoms are "vague and non-specific" and if I am feeling intermittent testicle pain I should just, "adjust my position".
Then I felt like just giving up. All these things were happening to me and I never even got so much as a confirmation that something was wrong. Luckily the testicular pain was not really there anymore and I was able to have a semi-normal sexual relationship with my girlfriend.
That changed recently when in may this year it started to burn while I urinated, my urethra felt inflamed and it hurt when I got an erection. So again, I go to the doctor and as usual, everything comes back negative. I was given antibiotics for a UTI, for urethritis and antifungal medication. Nothing has worked. It sometimes goes away for a few days and comes back and I am feeling more permanent bumps where the swelling is. The testicle pain has also half-returned.
My only option now seems to be the cystoscopy. This terrifies me as I have never gone under anesthetic before and the concept scares me. Also, I have done lots of googling on urethral strictures and it all feels so hopeless. They talk about the dilation method having a terrible long-term success rate and the only method that reliably works involving cutting open the whole penis. I have been putting off phoning the urologist for weeks, instead going from doctor to doctor hoping desperately that they will give me something that works. Nothing has.
I feel now that I have no choice but to do the cystoscopy under general anesthetic. I am terrified of the anesthetic, I am terrified that the cystoscopy could make my situation worse by creating more scarring (as some websites suggest). It scares me to no end by how bleek the internet seems to be when talking about success rates of urethra stricture treatments.
I am only 23 and I just want to have a normal sexual life. I know I am making an anxiety black whole by constantly googling urethral stricture treatments and I just need to know that I will be okay and I will be able to have sex like a normal person my age. All was mostly okay before this last thing. Am I overreacting? I know googling your symptoms is a recipe for disaster and I would love to know that it is not as bad as the internet makes it seem.
Any help or advice would really make that call to the urologist easier and would help me sleep at night.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day for reading my mopy story!