Urethrocele is a condition that causes the urethra to descent from its normal anatomical position and bulges into the vagina.
When the pelvic floor, tissues and muscles fibers become weakened there is not enough strength to hold the urethra in place which causes the tube-like structure (urethra) to curve and bulge.
The bladder can be one cause of this, if the bladder descends (cystocele) then the urethra does not have the strength to support the weight of the bladder.
Urethrocele can sometimes be asymptomatic, and women can live a normal life. The support of the use of a pessary can help a lot.
Symptoms of a urethrocele
These are a few of the symptoms recorded by patients who have been diagnosed with a urethrocele.
Urinary Incontinence – The inability to control the involuntary loss of urine upon activities such as laughing, sneezing, jumping, lifting objects, coughing or doing exercise. It is also good to note that if the urethra is kinked, the loss of urine may not occur due to the kink, and patients then find when they use a pessary that straightens the urethra, they leak.
Cystitis – Some experience bladder/urine infections and emptying the bladder difficult becomes difficult leaving residue in the bladder. They also may experience an increased frequency of urinating.
UTI - Urinary Tract Infection - The weakness of the urethra leaving chance that the sphincter muscle can not hold the urethra watertight closed and this, in turn, leaves room for bacteria to enter into the urethra.
Dyspareunia – Some women complain of pain during sexual intercourse. Also a heavy bloated abdominal feeling.
It is also common for women to have urethrocele and a cystocele at the same time as the bladder descends so will the shift of the urethra. This is termed as a cystourethrocele.
Pelvic organ prolapse is measured in degrees or grades.
1st degree – The urethra descends against the upper vagina
2nd degree – The urethra descends up to the introitus
3rd degree – The urethra protrudes from the vaginal opening