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.
Products & Services
Vaginal fistula care at Mayo Clinic
April 11, 2020
- Ferri FF. Vaginal fistula. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 25, 2017.
- 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.
- Garely AD, et al. Urogenital tract fistulas in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2017.
- Toglia MR. Rectovaginal and anovaginal fistulas. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 26, 2017.
- Berger MB, et al. Colovaginal fistulas: Presentation, evaluation, and management. Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery. 2016;22:355.
- Warner KJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. Nov. 25, 2019.
Products & Services