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Causes, symptoms and treatment of urethral cyst

urethral cyst

Urethra is a tubular duct that connects the bladder with the genitals and removes fluids (urine and semen) out of the body. Urethra may be affected by numerous diseases, among which are such common disorders like stricture, urethritis, diverticulum, and cysts. In this article we will consider the latter disorder.

A cyst is an abnormal sac filled with fluid, semifluid or air. It may occur in almost any part of the body, including internal organs, mammary glands, joints and tendons. Urethra is also often affected by cysts.

Causes and symptoms

Urethral cysts are usually caused by other abnormal medical conditions such as different urethral infections, tumors, inflammation, and genetic predisposition. However, it may also develop due to other unclear reasons.

Urethral cysts may be asymptomatic in some cases, but it may cause severe problems as well. It depends on its size, location and nature. The most common signs of the disease are discomfort or pain while movements, walking, sitting or having sexual intercourse. A lump may be noticed at the opening of the urethra if a cyst is located near the opening.

Diagnosis and treatment

The cysts are diagnosed by physical examination and by imaging studies, usually by ultrasound.
There are several approaches towards cysts treatment. If it causes no symptoms, no measures may be taken for its cure, but regular observation is required. In some cases a cyst can go away after a while, especially after taking sitz baths. However, if a woman is over 40, it is not recommended to leave the disease untreated even if it causes no problems.

If a cyst causes discomfort, then its treatment requires surgical intervention. Medications (antibiotics and analgesics) are used only for curing accompanied infection or to manage symptoms. There are three ways of surgical treatment of the cyst:

- Draining, marsupializing, and surgical removal.

- Draining is the removal or aspiration of the fluid from a cyst. It is performed by inserting a needle into a cyst that leads to its collapse. These type of treatment is the least efficient, as cysts are likely to refill with fluids. That’s why a catheter may be inserted to the incision left there for several weeks, until the opening forms. Catheters cause no discomfort and patient may do normal activities with it. It is only recommended to avoid sexual intercourses.

- Marsupialization involves making an incision in a cyst and stitching of its edges to the vulva surface. Thus the cyst remains open and cannot refill with fluids. Marsupialization is performed either using local or general anaesthesia.

- Removal is the most difficult and at the same time the most effective type of treatment that involves complete removal of the cyst. It is usually done using general anaesthesia, however normally the patients may go home the same day.

All the types of surgical intervention are rather simple and usually have no complications. Discharges usually occur within several weeks after the procedure. However, regardless of the chosen type of treatment, cysts may recur.
Cysts treatment also involves treatment of underlying conditions if any; otherwise all the treatment would be done in vain.


Cysts can hardly be prevented, as its causes are not always clear. It is only possible to prevent underlying conditions associated with urethral disorders. Regular visits to the doctor are essential for revealing the disease at its early stages.

These articles can be used for informational purposes only. To get an accurate diagnosis consult your doctor!

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