Rectovaginal Fistula

Rectovaginal Fistula

A rectovaginal fistula is an abnormal connection of the rectum and the vagina allowing bowel contents to leak through the vagina.

Symptoms of Rectovaginal Fistula

Symptoms of a rectovaginal fistula include:

  • Passing gas, stool or pus from the vagina
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Vulvar or vaginal pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Causes of Rectovaginal Fistula

A rectovaginal fistula can be caused by:

  • Injury during childbirth
  • History of irritable bowel disease
  • Radiation treatment
  • Cancer of the pelvic region
  • Pelvic surgery complications

Diagnosing a Rectovaginal Fistula

Your physician will first want to perform a physical exam to locate the fistula. If the fistula cannot be found on physical exam, other imaging tests such as a CT scan, MRI, and an anorectal ultrasound may be performed.

Treating a Rectovaginal Fistula

Typically, surgery is necessary to repair a rectovaginal fistula. There are a number of different surgical options and your physician will work with you to determine the best option for you.