A fistula is an abnormal connection between two separate parts of the body. The several types of urinary fistulas include:

  • Vesicovaginal Fistula: fistula between the urinary tract and the vagina
  • Vesicouterine Fistula: fistula between the bladder and the uterus
  • Urethrovaginal Fistula: fistula between the urethra and the vagina
  • Ureterovaginal Fistula: fistula between the ureter and the vagina
  • Colovesical Fistula: fistula between the colon (bowel) and the bladder
  • Rectovaginal Fistula: fistula between the rectum and the vagina

Fistulas are most often caused by injury to the organs in question, either during surgery or from trauma; they may also result from infection, cancer, or radiation.

Symptoms

Symptoms from fistulas vary dramatically. They vary depending on where the abnormal connection or opening occurs but can include:

  • Constant urine leakage from the vagina
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Blood or gas with urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nausea/vomiting

Treatment

While some small, early fistulas can be treated with a catheter, most fistulas will require surgery to fix the undesired opening or connection between two organs.

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