Urethral caruncle: Is it related to urethral cancer?

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Urethral caruncle: An uncommon cause of painful urination?

Question

I have been experiencing mild pain and burning when I urinate. I thought maybe I had a bladder infection, but my doctor tells me I have a urethral caruncle. What causes this?

Deena
Kentucky

Answer

A urethral caruncle is a soft, fleshy protrusion of the urethral lining from the urethral opening. It is most often found in young girls before puberty and in postmenopausal women.

Typically, a urethral caruncle causes no symptoms. But sometimes it can cause painful urination (dysuria), blood in the urine, and tenderness or irritation around the opening of the urethra. Although the exact cause of urethral caruncles isn't known, they may be associated with low estrogen levels.

If a urethral caruncle is causing pain or irritation, treatment may include:

  • Soaking in a warm bath
  • Topical estrogen creams or anti-inflammatory creams applied directly to the caruncle
  • Removal of the caruncle

Although urethral caruncles are usually noncancerous (benign), a final diagnosis should be made by a urologist.

Urethral caruncle

Image of urethral caruncle

A urethral caruncle is a fleshy protrusion of the lining of the urethra from the urethral opening.

Last Updated: 07/17/2007
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