If you are suffering from discomfort from a urethral polyp, this overview discusses the causes of a urethral polyp and how to treat it. The urethra is part of the body’s urinary system. Its primary purpose, in both men and women, is to pass urine from the body. In men, the urethra also serves as a channel for ejaculating semen from the reproductive tract. The urethra extends from the bladder to the prostate gland through the perineum (between the scrotum and anus) and along the penis.
Problems with the urethra are uncommon, but some men experience pain, discomfort and dysfunction due to urethral lesions. There are many types of urethral lesions and most of them are benign. Some common types include urethral strictures, Lichen Sclerosus (a skin condition that affects the penis), urethral polyps and non-cancerous growths linked to genital warts.
Causes of a Urethral Polyp
The American Urological Association Foundation says benign urethral lesions, such as polyps, can have many causes. These include urinary tract infections, abscesses (often linked to gonococcal urethritis), pelvic fractures, accidents and straddle injuries and injuries caused by surgical instruments, such as catheters.
Urethral polyps are more rare than other forms of benign urethral lesions. More common in females than in males, a urethral polyp is usually present at birth. The irregular growth usually consists of fibrous tissue, although some polyps are composed of smooth muscle, small cysts or nerve tissue. A thin protective layer of tissue covers the growth.
Men who have a urethral polyp may experience painful, frequent and urgent urination. He may notice cloudy urine, bloody urine or a blockage that causes a weak urine stream. Urologists use a procedure called cystoscopy to diagnose a urethral polyp. The procedure allows doctors to easily view a polyp inside the urethra.
Treatments for a Urethral Polyp
Urologists use a variety of medications and procedures to treat benign urethral lesions, including polyps. Treating non-cancerous urethral growths can be difficult, however. The nature of the growth and its location will influence treatment.
Urethral polyps are usually treated by surgical removal, using a minimally-invasive procedure. A cystourethroscopy enables the urologist to look into the urethra with a small camera to locate the polyp. A voiding cystourethrogram is also used, combining an X-ray with dye to better view the polyp. The doctor then removes the growth with minute surgical instruments.
Other treatments include antibacterial medications and analgesics. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection. Anti-inflammatory medications are sometimes recommended to treat the pain and discomfort associated with urethral polyps.