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Urethral Diverticula

Practice Essentials

Urethral diverticulum (UD) in females is a localized outpouching of the urethra into the anterior vaginal wall. Most often present in the mid or distal urethra, urethral diverticula result from enlargement of obstructed periurethral glands. Although urethral diverticulum is often difficult to diagnose, it has been identified with increasing frequency over the past several decades because of increased physician awareness of the condition.

The most common symptoms associated with urethral diverticula include urinary frequency, urgency, and dysuria. In some cases, urethral carcinoma and calculi are also present. Despite the increased awareness in recent years, this entity continues to be overlooked during routine evaluation of women with voiding problems. Accurate diagnosis and treatment of urethral diverticula require a high index of suspicion and appropriate radiologic and endoscopic evaluations.

Treatment options for UD can range from conservative management to extensive surgery, most commonly diverticulectomy.
 Patients with pre-existing stress incontinence may receive concomitant autologous pubovaginal sling (APVS) placement at the time of diverticulectomy.

For patient education resources, see the Kidneys and Urinary System Center, as well as Bladder Control Problems.

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