A urethral diverticulum is a small pocket or outpouching off the urethra.
These may be congenital or result from blocked or infected glands in the urethra.
What are the symptoms of a urethral diverticulum?
Urine can collect in these and cause dribbling urine leakage after voiding, (post void dribble). They can be a source of recurrent urine infections or cause discomfort when passing urine or during intercourse. Pressure on the urethra can cause difficulty passing urine, a weak urinary stream, pain, pressure or spasms in the urethra, a frequent and urgent need to pass urine and even an inability to empty the bladder completely. When infected, pus may discharge from the urethral opening. Stones can form within them in some patients but cancers are rare.
How are they diagnosed?
Sometimes a mass can be felt in the front wall of the vagina.
They can be difficult to diagnose. A cystoscopy or voiding urethrogram or fluoroscopic urodynamic studies will diagnose most. Sometimes an MRI scan is required.
What treatment is required?
Usually surgical excision is recommended especially if they are symptomatic.
If they are not excised, patients should undergo monitoring and regular examination by a doctor as although rare, cancers can arise in a diverticulum.