What is genitourinary fistula?
A genitourinary fistula is an abnormal communication/connection between the vagina, urethra, ureter and bladder. This abnormal communication causes urine to be directed away from its normal location in the ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder), bladder or urethra.
What are the causes?
Genitourinary fistulas can be congenital, as some women can be born with abnormal fistula tracts. Trauma related to gynecologic or other pelvic surgeries and childbirth can also contribute. A direct injury to the genitourinary tract can cause a fistula to become present, following a surgical procedure. If an infection interferes with wound healing following surgery, the fistula can develop 7-21 days later. Risk factors include: cesarean section, surgery for endometriosis, surgery following previous pelvic irradiation, hysterectomy following childbirth, obstructed labor, forceps or vacuum delivery, malignancy, gastrointestinal surgery and prior radiation exposure to the pelvic area.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms include:
- Urinary drainage from the vagina after an injury or trauma
- Leakage similar to stress urinary incontinence
- A persistent and foul-smelling discharge
- Urinating in small amounts, as the bladder never fills up
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea
Assessment and treatments in Torrance, California
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shelby Morrisroe in order to be assessed by the only female urologist in the South Bay. She will discuss your health history with you and conduct a pelvic exam to help localize the fistula. Further tests can be done to fully assess the issue. Not all fistulas will require surgery, and Dr. Morrisroe will discuss all of the available treatment options with you. To get started, schedule online or give us a call at (310) 542-0199.Schedule
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.