The urethra is a tube that moves urine within the bladder to outside the body. When the muscles supporting the urethra weaken or stretch, the urethra can move from its place and press on the wall in the vagina. This prolapse of the pelvic organ is called a urethrocele.
Pelvic surgery, childbirth, labor, or pregnancy can damage the muscles in the pelvis, causing a urethrocele. The natural aging process can also cause a weakening in the muscles. Although it is rare, there are instances of a congenital urethrocele.
A urethrocele might cause incontinence (urine leakage), usually during activities such as coughing, laughing, and jumping. It can also lead to cystitis, an infection in bladder, because it might become difficult to empty the bladder.
For most women that have a urethrocele, symptoms are not present and treatment is not necessary. For those who do have symptoms, Kegel exercises, which improve the strength of the muscles in the pelvic floor, might help. These exercises require a repetitive contraction and release of the muscles controlling urination. In some cases, surgery is necessary.