Skenitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis

What is Skenitis?

An infection of the Skene’s glands is referred to as Skenitis. Anatomically speaking, the Skene’s Glands which is also referred to as the lesser vestibular or paraurethral glands are located on the upper wall of the vagina. They are not visible to the naked eye and they also cannot be felt, except in cases where there is an infection or inflammation. In such a scenario, when the physician closely inspects the area he or she will feel the Skene’s Glands.[1, 2, 3, 4]

The Skene’s glands are also termed as an equivalent to the male prostate gland and are responsible for female ejaculation. Similar to the male prostate glands, the Skene’s Glands are vulnerable to infection and inflammation causing Skenitis.[1, 2, 3, 4]

What Causes Skenitis?

The most common cause of Skenitis is gonorrhea. It is a sexually transmitted disease that affects the urethra causing the Skene’s glands to get infected and inflamed causing Skenitis. Another common cause for this condition is a urinary tract infection. Being common in females, a UTI causes infection and inflammation of the lower urinary tract including the urethra. This results in inflammation of the Skene’s Glands causing Skenitis. All the conditions affecting the urethra cause Skenitis due to the proximity of the Skene’s Glands to the urethra.[1, 2, 3]

What are the Symptoms of Skenitis?

The primary symptoms of Skenitis include a urinary tract infection that does not clear away with the normal course of antibiotics. There will also be pain around the vagina or urethral vaginal septum. Tight undergarments or touching around the vagina will cause pain. Sexual intercourse will also become difficult due to pain.[1, 2, 3]

Some females may also have pus like discharge from the vagina as a result of the inflammation of the Skene’s Glands. On close inspection of the vagina, there will be a red inflamed mass observed near the gland.[1, 2, 3]

How Is Skenitis Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of Skenitis begins with a careful examination of the vagina and the surrounding areas. A person with Skenitis will have tenderness around the urethral vaginal septum or urethral opening. The person will also complain of pus like discharge from the vagina. There will also be complaints of frequent bouts of urinary tract infection which does not go away with normal course of antibiotics and requires aggressive intervention. A combination of all these confirms the diagnosis of Skenitis.[1, 2, 3]

How is Skenitis Treated?

The treatment for Skenitis involves aggressive administration of strong antibiotics for a period of at least a month to six weeks. This is carried out in conjunction with other supportive treatments to calm down other symptoms caused by this condition. It generally takes about a month to month and a half for Skenitis to completely go away, quite similar to prostatitis seen in males.[1, 2, 3]

The supportive measures for treatment of Skenitis include sitz baths and warm compresses. There are some cases in which Skenitis has not responded favorably to supportive measures and antibiotics. In such a scenario a surgical route is taken to treat Skenitis. The surgery involves Incision and Drainage of the Skene’s glands. The outcome of the surgery is in almost all the cases excellent with complete resolution of Skenitis.[1, 2, 3]

References: