Urethral diverticulum (UD) is a condition in which a pocket, sac, or pouch forms in the urethra. The urethra is a small tube through which urine passes to exit your body. Because this sac is in the urethra, it can fill with urine and sometimes pus. The urine or pus that is trapped in the UD can become infected and cause issues or symptoms.
UD occurs almost always in women between the ages of 30 to 60.
Symptoms of Urethral Diverticula
The symptoms of UD can vary from person to person. However, the most common symptoms of UD may include:
- Frequent urinary tract or bladder infections
- Bloody urine
- Painful sex
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Overactive bladder
- Urinary incontinence, or leaking urine when you laugh, sneeze, or cough
- Leaking urine after you empty your bladder
- Pain when you urinate
- Vaginal discharge
- Urinate multiple times at night
- Blockage in the urinary tract
- Difficulty emptying your bladder
- Tenderness in the vaginal wall
- Mass in the front of the vaginal wall that you can feel
Causes of UD
The exact cause of a UD is unknown. However, several conditions may be linked to UD which include
- Multiple infections that weaken the uterine wall
- Urethral glands that become blocked
- Birth defect
- Trauma that occurred during childbirth
Since many of the symptoms associated with UD are non-specific, patients may often be misdiagnosed and treated for years for a number of unrelated conditions before the diagnosis of UD is made. This may include therapies for interstitial cystitis, recurrent cystitis, vulvodynia, endometriosis, vulvovestibulitis and other conditions.
The diagnosis and complete evaluation of UD can be made through a combination of thorough history, physical examination, appropriate urine studies, endoscopic examination of the bladder and urethra and selected radiologic imaging.
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