WHAT IS URETHRAL DIVERTICULUM?
Urethral diverticulum is a rare condition where an unwanted pocket or sac forms along the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. It most often occurs in women and thought to be associated with previous multiple Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). Due to its location, it can become filled with urine or even pus.
SYMPTOMS OF URETHRAL DIVERTICULUM
Symptoms of urethral diverticulum are often associated with swelling of the urethra, discomfort, pain during intercourse, urinary dribbling after passing urine, blood in urine and/or recurrent Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
DIAGNOSING URETHRAL DIVERTICULUM
Besides a pelvic examination, a urinalysis and urine culture test are done to diagnose Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). It will look for white blood cells, red blood cells or bacteria. If a urethral diverticulum is suspected, then the doctor may obtain a detailed scan like an Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. It is a test that produces clear pictures of the human body without the use of X-rays. We would also perform a cystoscopy using a small and narrow tube (cystoscope) to see inside the urethra and bladder. It allows the identification of any openings in the urethra.
TREATMENTS FOR URETHRAL DIVERTICULUM
Treatment for urethral diverticulum is often Surgical removal and reconstruction. Although some women prefer to wait and see if their symptoms worsen over a period, before deciding on surgery. A specialized urologist most commonly performs this surgery because it is a very sensitive area. It is important to protect the urethra and muscles during this surgery to preserve continence. Any concurrent urine infections would also need to be treated with antibiotics.