A vaginal fistula is a tract or hole that has opened up from the vaginal wall and connects with another organ in the body. The most common types of vaginal fistula are:. A fistula usually develops after tissue damage or trauma has occurred to the area. They can develop as quickly as several days or occur after several years of damage. Having continuous leakage in the vaginal area can also lead to infection or soreness.
A rectocele is a bulging of the front wall of the rectum into the back wall of the vagina. The rectum is the bottom section of your colon large intestine. This is a very common problem that often does not produce symptoms. Other pelvic organs can bulge into the vagina, including the bladder cystocele and the small intestines enterocele , producing similar problems. Rectoceles are usually caused by thinning of the rectovaginal septum the tissue between the rectum and vagina and weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. There are many things that can lead to weakening of the pelvic floor, including:. Most people with a small rectocele do not have symptoms.
Jump to content. See pictures of a vesicovaginal fistula and a rectovaginal fistula. A vaginal fistula starts with some kind of tissue damage.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam to try to locate the rectovaginal fistula and check for a possible tumor mass, infection or abscess. The doctor's exam includes inspecting your vagina, anus and the area between them perineum with a gloved hand. Unless the fistula is very low in the vagina and readily visible, your doctor may use a speculum to see inside your vagina. An instrument similar to a speculum, called a proctoscope, may be inserted into your anus and rectum to check for problems. Your doctor may not find a fistula during the physical exam.