A vaginal fistula is an abnormal opening that connects your vagina to another organ, such as your bladder, colon or rectum. Your doctor might describe the condition as a hole in your vagina that allows stool or urine to pass through your vagina.
Vaginal fistulas can develop as a result of an injury, a surgery, an infection or radiation treatment. Whatever the cause of your fistula, you may need to have it closed by a surgeon to restore normal function.
There are several types of vaginal fistulas:
- Vesicovaginal fistula. Also called a bladder fistula, this opening occurs between your vagina and urinary bladder and is the type that doctors see most often.
- Ureterovaginal fistula. This type of fistula happens when the abnormal opening develops between your vagina and the ducts that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder (ureters).
- Urethrovaginal fistula. In this type of fistula, also called a urethral fistula, the opening occurs between your vagina and the tube that carries urine out of your body (urethra).
- Rectovaginal fistula. In this type of fistula, also known as a rectal fistula, the opening is between your vagina and the lower portion of your large intestine (rectum).
- Colovaginal fistula. With a colovaginal fistula, the opening occurs between the vagina and colon.
- Enterovaginal fistula. In this type of fistula, the opening is between the small intestine and the vagina.
Read more about rectovaginal fistula.
April 14, 2014
- Garely AD, et al. Urogenital tract fistulas in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 22, 2014.
- Hoffman BL, et al. Williams Gynecology. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=768. Accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 19, 2013.
- DiMarco CS, et al. Vesicouterine fistula: A review of eight cases. International Urogynecology Journal and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. 2006;17:395.
- Gebhart JB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 29, 2014.