Rectovaginal Fistula

Rectovaginal Fistula

Rectovaginal fistula is a condition which is characterized by abnormal connection between rectum and vagina. This lead to a catastrophic events like  bowel content leaking from fistula and in turn allowing gas and stool to pass through vagina.


Symptoms mainly  presents depending upon size and location of fistula. Major signs and symptoms include:Rectovaginal Fistula symptoms causes treatment

  • Passage of pus, stool or gas from vagina
  • Vaginal discharge being foul smelling
  • Recurrent urinary tract and vaginal infection
  • Irritation and pain in perineum

Main causes of this condition include:

  • Childhood injuries
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Radiation therapy or cancer in pelvic area
  • Hysterectomy or other surgeries involving pelvic area
  • Infections in anus or rectum or diverticulitis or ulcerative colitis
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Problem maintaining hygiene
  • Recurrent infections of urinary tract and vagina
  • Inflammation of perineum
  • Recurrent fistula formation

Diagnosis of this condition depends upon detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of the patient. Other tests include:

  • Contrast tests
  • Blue dye test

Imaging tests like CT scan, MRI, anorectal ultrasound, anorectal manometry.

  • Biopsy is sometimes done

Treatment options include:

  • Medications to treat fistula symptoms and prepare patient for surgery. Medications can be antibiotics and Infliximab.
  • Surgery is done to treat the fistula completely
Lifestyle and home remedies
  • Avoid coming in contact with irritants
  • Dry the area with gentle pat of towel
  • Avoid using dry toilet papers
  • Wear loose fitting clothes
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