What are fistulas in women and what are the symptoms and treatments for this problem? Fistulas are a medical term for a hole or passage that forms between a single organ in your body and your skin, or between two different organs. Women can get this disease from the lining of their vagina, and it can happen in several ways. The rectovaginal type is between your vagina and your rectum, and the enterovaginal type is between your vagina and the small intestine. The vesikovaginal type goes from your vagina to your urinary tract and the colovaginal type goes from your vaginal wall to your colon. The most common cause of all of these types is tissue damage. As soon as the initial tissue damage occurs, this tissue collapses in the following weeks or years and forms the opening.
Symptoms of a vaginal fistula depend on your specific type. Usually there is no pain, but the open passage can cause feces or urine to enter your vagina through the hole in the wall. You may notice fluid leaking from your vagina, and the amount may vary from trickle to constant flow. You may also experience a smelly vaginal discharge and gas leakage from your vagina. If feces get into the vaginal area, infections can often occur. You may notice vaginal pain, usually due to an infection rather than a really abnormal opening. You can also become incontinent.
Only a doctor can diagnose this condition and determine the exact type you have. To make a correct diagnosis, you must tell your doctor about any symptoms that you have. A complete medical history and examination is also necessary so that your doctor is aware of any underlying trauma, illness or surgery that may have caused tissue damage. A urinalysis will likely be done to rule out infection. A blood test also detects infections. Your doctor may also want to do a test that applies a dye to your vaginal walls to find possible areas where leaks are occurring. An x-ray and telescopic aiming procedure can also be performed.