A fistula is an unnatural connection between organs or even skin that are normally separate. In regards to female urology (urogynecology), a connection between the bladder and the vagina can form what is called a bladder or vesicovaginal fistula. This can be the culprit to a number of urinary defects within the feminine urologic system. Let's go over some of the causes and symptoms.
What causes a bladder fistula?
Bladder fistulas are formed due to damaged tissue. The damaged tissue (over the course of days to years, depending) opens into a fistula. Fistulas can form due to previous surgeries of the female pelvic area, such as a hysterectomy. Damaged tissue can also be the result of radiation treatment of the female pelvic region.
There are also circumstances in which a young mother will struggle to pass a child during childbirth. This can cause severe damage to the bladder, vagina, and rectum.
A bladder fistula is not painful. You may not even know you have a bladder fistula until you have an infection. Urinary Tract infection (UTI) can be the direct result of a bladder fistula as well as urinary incontinence. When the fistula opens up a passage between the bladder and the urethra and (or vagina), it will cause unwanted urine to leak from the vagina. Having to worry about urinary incontinence in your daily life is not only detrimental to your physical well being, but also to your mental wellness.
Fortunately, there is a surgery available to correct female bladder fistulas. In most cases, patients will need surgery to repair the fistula. Your physician will first check if the tissue is healthy enough to be operated on. Consult your physician to find out what treatment options would be suitable to your specific case.