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A vaginal fistula (passage or hole) is an abnormal tunnel between two organs. It is abnormal in that it should not exist and can create significant problems. In women, fistulas that involve the vagina and urinary tract can develop due to problems that arise during childbirth, injury, infection, and inflammation in the pelvic area.

What is a vaginal fistula?

A vaginal fistula is one that connects the vagina to another organ. This can include the bladder, colon or rectum. Several issues can be caused by each type of fistula that require treatment. The following types of vaginal fistulas can occur in women:

  • Vesicovaginal fistula: Also known as a bladder fistula, this is a tunnel-like hole that occurs between your bladder and vagina. This is the most common type of vaginal fistula.
  • Urethrovaginal fistula: This is a type of vaginal fistula that occurs between your vagina and urethra (the tube that removes urine from your body).
  • Rectovaginal fistula: This type of fistula is an opening between the vagina and the large intestine.
  • Ureterovaginal fistula: This type of fistula occurs when there is an opening between your vagina and your ureters (the ducts that carry urine away from your kidneys).
  • Colovaginal fistula: This is an opening between the vagina and colon.
  • Enterovaginal fistula: This occurs when there is an opening between the small intestine and the vagina.

What is the recovery for a vaginal fistula procedure?

This will depend on the extent of the surgery required. If it is a simple closure of the fistula, your recovery will not take long although you may require a catheter for up to three weeks. If the surgery is more extensive, you may require more downtime to fully recovery.

Vaginal Fistula

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