Rectovaginal Fistula Treatment

Repeated vaginal infections, pain, foul smells, and gas from your vagina could be signs of a rectovaginal fistula. These symptoms could also be caused by other conditions. If you're having these symptoms, talk to your doctor about them.

A rectovaginal fistula is when there is a connection between your rectum and vagina. Gas or stool may pass into your vagina.

Some rectovaginal fistulas close up without treatment. But most will need surgery to close the connection. 

Rectovaginal Fistula Treatment at UVA Health

Surgery is usually needed to repair the fistula. The surgery closes the opening between your rectum and vagina. We may use tissue from another body part to use as a graft. This tissue will help to close the fistula.

You may need antibiotics if there is an infection in the area around your fistula.

How Did I Get a Rectovaginal Fistula?

Rectovaginal fistulas could be caused by an injury or a medical condition. You may be more likely to get one if you have:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Injuries while giving birth
  • Complications after surgery in the vagina, rectum, anus, or perineum (skin between your vagina and rectum)
  • Anal infection
  • Cancer or radiation treatment in your pelvis area