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.