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Fistula – What Is It? Types And Causes

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Every year 50,000 to 1 lakh new cases of Fistula are found all over the world. It’s said that it is more common in women during pregnancy if no proper obstetrical care is taken.

What is a fistula?

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two organs or vessels which are not supposed to connect.

They can be between the intestine and skin or in between the rectum and vagina. 

Types of fistula

  1. Anal and Perianal Fistula – There are a few more types that are based on the affected area.

Anorectal occurs between the anal canal and skin around the anal region.

A rectovaginal fistula is the abnormal opening between the rectum and vagina.

Colovaginal fistula occurs between the colon and vagina.

  1. Urinary Tract Fistula – This is an abnormal opening between the urinary tract and surrounding organ.

They are further divided into

Vesicovaginal – In this hole forms between the urinary bladder and vagina. 

Urethrovaginal – Opening between urethra and vagina.

Vesicouterine – Here the opening is between the urinary bladder and uterus.

  1. Enteroenternal – This is found in between two colons. 
  1. Colocutaneous – This is an abnormal opening between the colon and the skin. 

Cause behind it

  1. Diseases of the intestine like Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis can cause it.
  1. In women, the reason to get this, is obstructed delivery. 
  1. People who are undergoing radiotherapy are at higher risk. 

How will you know about it?

  • Frequent urinary infection.
  • Leakage of urine from vagina.
  • Leakage of gas or faeces from vagina.
  • Irritation in female genitals.
  • Fluid drainage from vagina.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea


Fisstulectomy is the first line of treatment in this case. 

You can consult a colorectal surgeon, gynaecologist or a urologist for it. 


  • Avoid constipation by drinking enough water and taking a high fibre diet. 
  • To prevent pregnancy induced fistula avoid early age pregnancy.
  • Do regular check ups during pregnancy. 
  • Consult your physician for any abnormal symptoms. 

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