Overview

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, 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.

Vaginal fistula care at Mayo Clinic

Aug. 16, 2017
References
  1. Ferri FF. Vaginal fistula. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 25, 2017.
  2. Cameron JL, et al. The management of rectovaginal fistula. In: Current Surgical Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 25, 2017.
  3. Garely AD, et al. Urogenital tract fistulas in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2017.
  4. Toglia MR. Rectovaginal and anovaginal fistulas. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 26, 2017.
  5. Berger MB, et al. Colovaginal fistulas: Presentation, evaluation, and management. Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery. 2016;22:355.
  6. Brown A. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 13, 2016.