Symptoms and causes

What is it?

A urethral diverticulum is a bulging urethra in the tissue around the urethra. The inner lining of the urethral diverticulum is the same as the inner lining of the urethra.

Most urethral diverticula occur in women. There is discussion about the origin of these diverticula, but it is assumed that they gradually grow from an existing tiny gland that flows into the urethra itself. Other, less frequent causes would be an injury to the urethra due to childbirth or bladder weakness. Some diverticles are likely congenital.

Symptoms

Many urethral diverticula are symptomless. Some women with a urethral diverticulum suffer from pain and urinary incontinence. A urethral diverticulum can be the cause of recurrent urinary tract infections.

Diagnosis and treatment

A urethral diverticulum is mainly recognised based on the symptoms and through physical examination: sometimes a swelling is visible on the front wall of the vagina during urination.

Tests such as an MRI scan of the bladder and urethra can also confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment consists of surgically removing the bulge (urethral plication).

Treatment centres and specialisations

Urology Centre

Latest publication date: 25/01/2021
Supervising author: Dr Ameye Filip