What is urethral diverticulum？
Urethral diverticulum (UD) is a rare condition where a pocket takes shape in the urethra. It includes two types: congenital and acquired. And it is almost always found in women. The common age of people suffering from UD is 30 to 60.
Patients who have this condition may have no obvious symptoms which even vary from people to people. But common symptoms include:
- Urinary frequency and urgency
- Pain during sex and urination
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Frequent urinary tract or bladder infections
- Vaginal discharge
If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your doctor, for they may also be signs of other conditions.
The exact causes of urethral diverticulum are still under research. The following factors may be associated with UD:
- Multiple infections that weaken the uterine wall
- Urethral glands that become blocked
- Birth defect
- Trauma that occurred during childbirth
As mentioned before, many other medical conditions have the same or similar symptoms. Therefore, doctors need to do additional testing and imaging to get a correct diagnosis after asking for your health history and giving you a physical exam.
The specific exams include:
- Physical exam
- Examination of your health history
- Urine tests
- Endoscopic exam of the bladder and urethra, which involves placing a thin tube with a camera on the end, called an endoscope, into your bladder and urethra
- MRI scan
- Ultrasound scan
Surgery is primary but not immediately necessary unless urethral diverticulum keeps getting worse. There are three options as follows.
- Cutting open the neck of the UD
- Opening the sac permanently into the vagina
- Completely removing the UD — most common option, also called diverticulectomy
Additionally, some other procedures should be done to make sure UD will not return:
- Closing the diverticular neck
- Completely removing the lining of the sac
- Performing a multilayered closure to keep a new opening from forming later
Early diagnosis is very important. Please do not hesitate to see your doctor, if you have any questions.
Keywords: urethral diverticulum; symptoms; causes; diagnosis; treatment