Skene gland cysts are very rare.
Many people with Skene gland cysts have no symptoms or only minor irritation.
Large cysts may cause pain during sexual activity or sometimes during urination.
Doctors can usually diagnose these cysts during a pelvic examination, but sometimes ultrasonography or cystoscopy is done to confirm the diagnosis.
Cysts that cause symptoms can be removed.
Very rarely, abscesses develop and are treated with antibiotics, then removal of the cyst or creation of a permanent opening in the cyst.
Skene glands, also called periurethral or paraurethral glands, are located around the opening of the urethra.
External Female Genital Anatomy
At the center of this image is the vagina, a canal composed of smooth muscle. The small opening directly above it is the urethra, which is the opening from the bladder. Below the vagina is the anus. Above the urethra is the clitoris, a body of erectile tissue that is homologous to the penis. The vagina is surrounded by the labia minora, which are surrounded by the labia majora. The pubic bone is at top. The purple tissue is a continuation of the clitoris, the crus of clitoris. The bulb of the vestibule (blue) also consists of erectile tissue. Below the bulb is a Bartholin gland, which secretes mucus to lubricate the vagina.
BO VEISLAND/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Skene gland cysts are rare. They form if the duct to the gland is blocked, usually because the gland is infected. If these cysts become infected, urinary tract infections may develop.
Symptoms of Skene Gland Cyst
Most Skene gland cysts are less than 1/2 inch (about 1 centimeter) in diameter and do not cause any symptoms. Some cysts are larger and cause pain during sexual activity. Sometimes cysts cause pain during urination. If large enough, a cyst may block the flow of urine through the urethra. In such cases, the first symptoms may be a hesitant start when urinating, dribbling at the end of urination, and retention of urine. If a urinary tract infection develops, women may have a frequent, urgent need to urinate, and urination may be painful.
Very rarely, Skene gland cysts become infected and form an abscess. Abscesses are tender, painful, and swollen. The skin over the ducts appears red. Most women do not have a fever.
Diagnosis of Skene Gland Cyst
A pelvic examination
Sometimes ultrasonography or cystoscopy
During a pelvic examination Pelvic Examination For gynecologic care, a woman should choose a health care practitioner with whom she can comfortably discuss sensitive topics, such as sex, birth control, pregnancy, and problems related to... read more , doctors can usually feel Skene gland cysts or abscesses if they are large enough to cause symptoms. However, ultrasonography Ultrasonography Sometimes doctors recommend screening tests, which are tests that are done to look for disorders in people who have no symptoms. If women have symptoms related to the reproductive system (gynecologic... read more or a flexible viewing tube to view the bladder (cystoscopy Cystoscopy A doctor can diagnose some disorders of the bladder and urethra (for example, bladder tumors, stones in the bladder, benign prostatic enlargement) by looking through a flexible viewing tube... read more ) may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of Skene Gland Cyst
Removal of the cyst
For abscesses, antibiotics, then removal of the cyst or creation of a permanent opening in it
If Skene gland cysts cause symptoms, they are removed, usually in a doctor’s office or in an operating room. In the office, a local anesthetic is usually used. Or marsupialization may be done. For this procedure, doctors make a small cut in the cyst and stitch the inside edges of the cyst to the surface of the vulva. Marsupialization creates a permanent opening in the cyst so that the cyst can drain as needed. This procedure is done in an outpatient operating room. Sometimes general anesthesia is needed.
For abscesses, antibiotics are given by mouth for 7 to 10 days. Then, the cyst is removed. Or marsupialization is done.