DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
A rectovaginal fistula is an abnormal connection between the lower portion of your large intestine — your rectum — and your vagina. Bowel contents can leak through the fistula, allowing gas or stool to pass through your vagina.
A rectovaginal fistula may result from:
- Injury during childbirth
- Crohn's disease or other inflammatory bowel disease
- Radiation treatment or cancer in the pelvic area
- Complication following surgery in the pelvic area
The condition may cause emotional distress and physical discomfort, which can impact self-esteem and intimacy.
Talk with your doctor if you have signs and symptoms of a rectovaginal fistula, even if it's embarrassing. Some rectovaginal fistulas may close on their own, but most need surgical repair.
Oct. 17, 2015
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