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Hi- I've been reading all the posts from women with recto-vaginal fistulas after childbirth. I had no idea there are so many of us!!! From what I read 8-9 years ago on this subject, this problem was supposed to be all but eradicated around the turn of the last century. Supposedly, our "high quality" of healthcare in the western world was suppose to all but have made rectal-vaginal extinct!!! It's only in "third world" countries where this is suppose to still be a problem due to a lack of good pre and post partum care. In those countries if you end up with a rectal-vaginal fistula, you're often shunned by your family and community and left to feel dirty and unwanted. I guess we should feel lucky huh. NOT---I certainly have felt dirty at times. As far as unwanted, that label is reserved for my husband whom feels this way because of all the years of emotional junk that has come along with this problem and me not wanting to have sex because of feeling dirty, maimed, freakish, etc., etc. >:(

Anyway- the saga is continuing. Recently, (after nearly two years of not seeing a gyn) Iwent to a new gyn. I've been reluctant to go because, if you can even believe this, the one had been "trusting" to see me through this life altering experience, lost his mind. He was very inappropriate during my last exam with him. Thankfully, it was "only" inappropriate talk and an attempted kiss. However, thinking he was stressed, not thinking clearly, having a really "off" day, I told noone except one of my sisters at the time. Well, two years later, he is being prosecuted because he's a serial letch!

Again, anyway, after finding someone to take me on, she cultured some discharge I continue to have even though I have a colostomy because of the rectal-vaginal fistula. The culture came back with E-coli!!!! She is not sure how we are going to proceed because we don't even know why this is happening. It is being theorized that the fistula is still there.

Does anyone out there have ANY other theories or guidance. I'm really tired of all of this and I still have a son to raise and a husband who would like to live some kind of "normal" again someday!! Please, please, please help.

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I was also surprised there is more people like us out there! This has been a very long and trying journey for us and I could use the comfort of someone who really knows what I'm going through...
_[removed]_ if anyone with RVF wants to talk...
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I was recently diagnosed with recto - vaginal fistula. After 10 years of suffering. I cannot believe what a difficult time I had getting a diagnoses. My symptoms have been terrible. Since I have been diagnosed. I have been looking for a support group. I don't think any body who does not have this can relate. I story is heart wrenching. I sure other women feel the same way. I have not even been able to start medical treatment yet. So I do not know how things will go. I too I'm looking for advice from women who have gone through treatment.
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I also have experienced a fistula due to childbirth. I also just went through an uncessful attempt to surigically repair it. If any wants to talk email me at *****

**edited by moderator**emails not allowed**
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Hi

I too experinced a 4th degree tear which has resulted in a fisutla and now im awaiting corrective surgery. My son was born weighing 9lb 10oz, im only 5ft 3inc. they knew that he was on the biggish side due to a scan requetsed by my midwife as she thought i was big for my dates. i was left to go 10 days over my due date.
I have had a seaton put in few months ago.
I hate what the doctors have done to me. im worried about what will happen when i go back to work, im due back feb but i dont want to go, my whole years maternity has been ruined, thankfully my husband and famiy are brilliant with me, i just want to be normal again but after reading these treads i am worried that i will not be

how can i take my son swimming ?? when will i stop leaking feaces ?? when will i be able to g back t the gym, when can my huisband an i be intimate ??
i know these are all questions that may never be answered.....

gul x
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How long after childbirth was the vaginal discharge visible and the odor noticable?
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I too suffered from a recto vaginal fistula. But luckily i got mine repaired on the first try :-) don't give up hope because it is possible to be completely repaired :-) although i lost my fiance and home along the way. Keep your head up :-)
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I had a RVF that resulted from hemorrhoid surgery. Thankfully my GYN was able to repair it on the first try. Thinking about it still brings me to tears. I can't imagine living with this problem for such a long time. I find it incredulous that it takes so long for some women to be diagnosed. My GYN was able to see mine with a speculum inspection - hell, I was able to feel mine myself. The symptoms pretty much speak for themselves. My daughter is almost 2 and we are thinking of trying for another. I am terrified that giving brth vaginally might cause the already weakened vaginal wall to tear but I am also scared of a CS. Anyone else here given birth vaginally after a surgical repair?
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I had a 5th degree tear while giving birth to my daughter 8lbs 2 oz's which ended up with a recto-vaginal fistula. I was luck enough to have mine repaired on the first try. I honestly feel for the women here who have lived with this so long! It was a very trying 2 years for my husband and I. Thankfully he is a wonderful man and stuck by me through the entire ordeal! I am now 8 months pregnant with my 2nd...yes I know I'm crazy! I will be having a c-section with this child as my doctor and I felt there was no other option. I'm very nervous for the c-section however nothing can be as bad as the recovery I had from my daughter! Good luck to everyone out there with this problem. I know it is a mentally exhausting issue.
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:$ Hi all with RVF.
I too am suffering embarrassing wind through my vagina that makes noises like a meowing cat. o.O
I have to find it humourous otherwise I'd die crying!

Mine happened as a result of extended labour during natural birth, (umbilical cord too short and didn't know it) where babys head put pressure on the recto-vaginal wall.Hey Presto ;-) I didn't get it repaired as the location of where I am has given me the least amount of trust in it's healthcare,practices and staff. I plan to give birth to my next child in my home country, the UK.

:O I am asking everyone with experience, what it's like to give birth naturally,vaginally not CS,with an RVF as I want to get pregnant again soon.
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Hi All!

Oh Boy...how difficult living with an RVF is! I am currently two weeks post repair surgery and so far so good! I am not going to get ahead of myself here, but I am just taking it easy and praying every day that I continue to heal. My daughter is 16 weeks old now and my RVF was the result of a fourth degree tear during childbirth. I wanted to post here because I am concerned for all of the other women dealing with this who have NO one to talk to. As rare as this is, a close girlfriend of mine had the same experience a few years before I had my daughter, so when I saw the symptoms (stool and air passing through the vagina), I was of course shocked and devastated, but because I knew what was possible (from what my girlfriend had experienced), I was able to "handle" it. She was the first person I called after my doctor and to have someone to speak to who knew EXACTLY what I was going through was a life saver.

Living with this is such an emotional roller-coaster! You feel disgusting at times, alone, scared, dirty, un-sexy.. and for me, that was all with AMAZING support from a loving husband, fabulous friends and faith that the Lord would help me through! I know there are so many people living with this who do not have any of those things and I am writing to tell you that YOU WILL BE OKAY! It may be very hard to see that now and you may have repair surgery that doesn't work the first time, but.. YOU WILL BE OKAY.

I'm thinking of starting a website or a blog to help support women who are going through this. I am amazed that there isn't much out there for us. I think the hospital should have offered some type of emotional support or my OB's office should have as this is so emotionally and mentally difficult to deal with.

If you're suffering from this. Please hang in there. Believe it or not, some day you will be able to laugh about some of this. I would love to help anyone cope in any way that I can.
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i have a rvf my dr.cut my all the way through ! it took 3yr. and 11 different attemps to repair, including the rubber band that cut me all the time for 5 days. the last thing was a colostomy for 4 months; that did work . i have to say even though it sound like alot of attempts to repair the problem. the doctor i had was great (dr. sobat) at Kendrick memorial hospital in moresville indiana. my son is 18yrs old and i still have issues with control. i watching my weight and working out the, exersise ball is great. it is hard to talk about.
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hi, i also developed a recto-vaginal fistula after having my first daughter, i was 20 when i had her and i am only 4ft 9. my baby was 7lb5oz when she was born which is quite big for me. i had a fourth degree tear which was repaired after delivery, although unfortunately it broke down, my faeces were freely passing through my vagina so to resolve this recto-vaginal fistula i had to have a temporary colostomy. i had the colostomy for 8 months, in that time i had corrective surgery which to an extent has worked. I have been left with mild bowel incontinence and numbness in my back passage, i get diarrehea quite a lot and agonising stomache pain. none of the midwifes at my hospital maternity unit had never seen a case like mine so my hospital stay was awfull because none of them had experience with a colostomy so i had to learn from rememberence of my dad and gran having colostomies. this was very traumatic birth for me and if anyone has been through or is going through the same i would be more than happy to give advice and a friend to talk to. take it from someone who has experienced such trauma having a baby, you will need a lot of support.

thanks for reading.
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I'm so sorry for everyone who is dealing with this. I too got a rectovaginal fistula from childbirth. It was high, and close to my sphincter, but not actually into my sphincter, and was small. I went to Dr. James Fiorica in Sarasota, FL, he's a Gynecologic Oncologist. Apparently many women who have rectovaginal fistulas get them from chemotherapy from having cancer. He had amazing reviews, and he literally saved my life. I had Medius graft surgery 6 weeks ago to repair the fistula and it worked! I had my clearance check up today and he said everything is perfect. I'm just finishing up some healing and I'll be on my merry way...finally!

Just wanted everyone to know that you can overcome this, and recommend Dr. Fiorica if you are in Florida. I think going to the right surgeon makes ALL the difference.
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VLadyInRed,

I have an RVF due to childbirth. I had a failed flap repair! Fortunately my symptoms are minimal and I am thinking about just living with it because I don't want it to get worse! I live in the Tampa area in Florida so seeing your doctore wouldn't be too far for me.

Could you give me more info about your repair? What exactly did they do? Did you have a colostomy? Any more info you could give me would be great!

Thanks,
CJ
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