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Gittes RF, Nakamura RM,

Female Urethral Syndrome: A Female Prostatitis?

West Journal of Medicine ,
May 1996 - Vol 164, No. 5, p. 435 - 438
Here is my personal abstract of the paper:
Females suffer two syndromes that have symptoms that are very much like prostatitis in men, these syndromes are called female urethral syndrome and interstitial cystitis (IC) . Females do not have a fully developed prostate gland, although they have some glandular tissue around their urethras which comes from the same embryonic tissue.
Females with these disorders suffer the same symptoms of urinary frequency, pain with urination, and pelvic pain, that men with prostatitis have.
Gittes and Nakamura describe the glands that surround the distal female urethra. These are the Skene glands and the paraurethral glands.
Gittes and Nakamura report that these glands are the homologues of the prostate. What this means is that they come from the same embryonic tissue that the prostate gland comes from. So while in men this tissue develops into the prostate, in women it develops into the Skenes and paraurethral glands.
The authors show that these glands in women stain for prostate-specific antigen just like the prostate gland does in men.
The authors present the idea that female urethral syndrome is caused by obstruction and infection of the glands surrounding the urethra, suggest antibiotic therapy, and conclude: "The finding and treatment of female prostatitis may eliminate a large portion of the cases of urethral syndrome and abrogate the condescending management of such women with either dilations or anxiolytic drugs."
Brad H, MD

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